New… Newer… Newest Evangelization

We have yet to see action from the Vatican’s new office for “New Evangelization”, which was created… to.. ehem…. to… well… Archbp. Fisichella is the President of the new office to help promote a restoration of the Faith in places where once it was strong and now is diminishing.

I call it the Council Pro Re-Propaganda Fide.

Here is a piece from Ironic Catholic which is sprinkled here and there with some salt grains:

Vatican City: The Vatican Office of Evangelization, inspired by the worldwide phenomenon that is WikiLeaks, has created a website intended to penetrate the deep secrets of Catholic Christianity. Angled to the “wandering spiritual seeker,” it is called WikiSeeks.

“Young Fr. Eamon over there was telling me about the WikiLeaks popularity, spilling out all this secret material all over the web, and I thought–hey, the faith is public and always has been, but no one seems to know that. You know, The DaVinci Code and all that crap. So why don’t we set up a website ‘revealing’ all our secrets? A few defenses of the faith? Mysteries explained?” enthused Cardinal Giovanni Bianci. “We’re releasing one doctrinal defense a day through twitter. If Francis de Sales spread the good word through trifolds, well, we can try newfangled media as well!” [That's actually a pretty good idea.]

Fr. Eamon Donahue blushed, and added, “We’re calling it the Newer Evangelization around the office.”

Cardinal Bianci argued there was a hearty debate about whether to publish the site in Latin or a variety of common languages, but it was decided in the interest of transparency and retweets they would begin with English, with mirror sites in Mandarin and Spanish. [Parents... force your children to study Mandarin.]

An added benefit, noted Fr. Eamon, is that the office can detect interest in and response to the doctrinal defenses through the retweets. “We’re especially pleased that the resurrection of our Lord received 2,459 retweets. But we’re commissioned to the ends of the earth, so we think that number is just the beginning. We daily beg the Holy Spirit to move the sinsick souls of Twitter to retweet WikiSeeks.”

One typical follower on Twitter, Born2Search, posted this response to a recent tweet on predestination on his Twitter wall: “I’M SOO GREATFUL 2 U COO PRIESTS 4 CLEARING ^ TH PATH-MY SOUL REJOYCES-AMEN & ROCK ON #WIKISEEKS! [yahhhhh... that's sounds about right.]

Fr. Eamon admits there has been an unexpected downside. “Apparently the Sikhs wanted to create a site by that name, and while they can–the words are differently spelled–they think the two sites will create too much confusion. The Office for Interreligious Dialogue is kind of in a holy huff at us.”

Julian Assauge could not be reached for comment.

–I.C.

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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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16 Responses to New… Newer… Newest Evangelization

  1. I don’t really know Italian, and my Latin is rusty and my Spanish all but forgotten, but I gotta think that “Cardinal Giovanni Bianci” translates “John White,” emphasis on “White”, as in “Stuff White People Like.” For the Italian “i” often becomes “l” in other European languages, and I remember “blanco” being “white” in Spanish. And then Giovanni or “John” is the most generic name one can muster.

  2. Tom in NY says:

    Etiam Spiritus undis electricis ad omnes gentes movet. Nomen pipilandum “@reprop” erit.
    Salutationes omnibus.

  3. jmvbxx says:

    What is the twitter account?

  4. Vetdoctor says:

    there was a guy trying to tweet the summa. I fell behind pretty quickly and it seems even gave up.

  5. catholicmidwest says:

    This is without a doubt the weirdest item I’ve ever seen on your site, Fr Z.

    Tweeting aka flash mob attention on twitter is fine, but it’s a long way from evangelizing someone. Just sayin’. Are we really getting that desperate?

  6. Jerry says:

    The Twitter account is wikiseeks and the website is wikiseeks.org. There’s not much there — not even the two tweets mentioned at the end of the article. Note that the article on IronicCatholic is tagged “satire” and “fake news”. The wikiseeks.org domain is owned by a company in Great Britain, not the Vatican.
    .

  7. All: Did you pick up on the fact that this all has to be taken with a grain of salt?

  8. catholicmidwest says:

    LOL, Fr Z. Nothing surprises me anymore, so I thought maybe somebody with all their “wisdom” would seek to spend a mega-fortune on such baloney.

    Easier than actually cleaning up our act and getting converts the real way, right?

  9. Jerry says:

    Is there a “real” way? Obviously, evangelization via wiki and Twitter will only get you so far, but if done right (a very big IF) it has the potential to catch the interest of those who will be difficult to reach by more conventional means.

  10. Mitchell NY says:

    With the Church official language being Latin, and all the Latin enthusiasts out there, mostly young people, I think tweeting in Latin is a fine idea. I mean, if you can figure out how to tweet and use twitter then you have some tech backround and skills and can certainly use the new foogle translate for Latin. I use it for quick simple messages like “I am on the way home”, in Latin via text message. It is fun and also is a learning tool. Some friends now expect to get a text from me in Latin. Usually short and simple but once shown the google translate feature they like it. I think the Church has to do more to promote the use of a little Latin in everyday life. It is part of our Catholic identity.

  11. catholicmidwest says:

    Jerry,
    Yeah, they will probably file your tweets right alongside Burger King commercials in their brains. Christianity is a way of life that you understand and live, not a product that you buy at a discount from Best Buy.

  12. catholicmidwest says:

    Seriously Mitchell, you are kidding, right??

    The number of people in the US that have been at any period of time Catholic = 22% or so. The number of people who care anything about ecclesial latin (which is different than school latin) = a small percentage of those. Multiply by the number of people on twitter = about 8% at any given time, according to Google (and 60% of whom come & go). I’m thinking you have about enough people to fill an average taxicab there.

  13. joan ellen says:

    Jerry and Mitchell, Thank you. A BEAUTIFUL Godly word or two in Latin, can add balance to the Internet and Twitter, support the Holy Fr. in his request that we learn Latin, and support this blog’s efforts. People can learn to read from flashcards. Twitter is like a flashcard. Using words from The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, beginning with Pater Noster will work for me. A whole bunch of Twitter accounts using words from The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass or The Holy Rosary could, maybe, be very fruitful. In my little peanut mind…

  14. jeffreyquick says:

    Doctrinal defense via Twitter is a ridiculous idea with gold behind it, just as Fr. Z. said. These things get long-winded, and if you can say something substantive about the faith in 140 characters, it means you know the faith, and you know English. What’s not to like?
    “Eucharist: u r what u eat. B Jesus, not a cracker.”

  15. Mitchell NY says:

    Catholicmidwest, serously, you are right, The few I do this with fit in a cab, But it is my small, small, part that I can do in this world to be sure that the few people who I know, know that Latin is alive, and is important to me. I don”t have whole conversations, just a phrase or two. And they do like it and expect it from me. It has to start somewhere and it was just an idea I had after seeing google translate. I hope your not raining on my parade or trying to discourage me. In fact what I am doing is trying to encourage someone. If only 1, it is 1 more than me. God Bless.

  16. kap says:

    Fr., could it be that Archbishop Fisichella has STILL not received his computer yet?! We know how slow things move at and within the Vatican, right? or maybe they haven’t ‘hooked-him-up’ yet.
    Remember this :
    Office for evangelising cyberspace does not have internet access, says official
    http://tinyurl.com/4guo4ek