I owe an apology to a great number of people. I have been criticizing the name “New Evangelization.” My problem has been due to the understanding that the Faith does not change and so how can we have a “New” Evangelization. Evangelization means Evangelization. It means spreading the Gospel and gaining converts to the Faith. The Gospel is the same. The Faith is the same. We are still seeking souls, so that has not changed. So what is “New?”
I have been educated. I have seen that I have been short sighted. And as is my practice, when I am wrong, I admit it and I correct it. That is what an honorable Catholic Man does. So for all those I have offended due to my rashness, I humbly submit and apologize.
Now let me explain what I have learned:
I really have a parishioner to thank for my enlightenment. They brought me an article from the City Pulse, a Lansing, MI news paper. The article was a critical piece on the Made for Happiness Assembly in the Lansing Diocese on Sep 22, 2018. In it is a quote from Craig Pohl, Diocese director of new evangelization. He said, “I think the title of this conference is throwing people off a bit. The word ‘happiness’ was designed to catch attention. People think we’re coming together to celebrate this happy event. They think smiles and giddiness. A better word here might be ‘holiness.’ The sad truth of the matter, had we labeled it that way, we’d only get like 2,000 people to attend. We wouldn’t be able to pack that stadium. So much of this was just on a marketing level, and it gives people the wrong idea.”
We see in this quote some disturbing words: designed and marketing. They designed this event, using secular, psychological, manipulative techniques. And with that, I now understand the New Evangelization.
You see in the old days, we used inspiration for evangelization, not manipulation. We lived our faith in the world. We stood for our faith and morals in an uncompromising manner. We unapologetically held out the truths of our faith to the world of the one true God and the one true faith, and the one true Church established by Jesus Christ. We had beautiful liturgies and beautiful liturgical music that uplifted the mind and heart and soul to God. We had so much, that we did not have to manipulate people. Rather, they were inspired to be Catholic or they did not come to us.
But I guess the goal now is to fill stadiums with people of whatever caliber. As long as we get the bottom side of people into seats, it is fine and acceptable to lessen the faith with heretical titles and slogans. Mr. Pohl even admits that these manipulative marketing techniques “gives people the wrong idea.” As long as we fill the stadium, it is OK.
The name New Evangelization is quite accurate. There has been a change. Use manipulation rather than inspiration and then once you have them, give them watered down, apologetic, half-truths. Just keep them happy and in the pew.
Again, let me apologize for having not realized sooner that there is indeed a “New Evangelization.”