Card-To-Be Dolan addressed the College of Cardinals and Holy Father

Card. DolanFrom CNA comes a report of what Card-To-Be Dolan of New York said to the College of Cardinals about the New Evangelization.

[Read the whole thing here.]

My emphases.

Vatican City, Feb 17, 2012 / 12:55 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- In remarks to the Pope and the College of Cardinals, Cardinal-designate Timothy Dolan outlined a seven-point “creative strategy of evangelization” to counter secularism and bring people to Jesus.

“In many of the countries represented in this college, the ambient public culture once transmitted the Gospel, but does so no more. In those circumstances, the proclamation of the Gospel — the deliberate invitation to enter into friendship with the Lord Jesus — must be at the very center of the Catholic life of all of our people,” he said on Feb. 17.

The Archbishop of New York’s comments came during the College of Cardinal’s day of prayer and reflection, held at the Vatican’s New Synod Hall one day before the Feb. 18 consistory that will create 22 new cardinals.

New York’s cardinal-to-be delivered his speech in Italian in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the college’s dean. He drew on the words of Pope Benedict, Pope John Paul II, Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, and famous saints, urging the cardinals to remember the potential of all people for conversion.

“(W)e believe with the philosophers and poets of old, who never had the benefit of revelation, that even a person who brags about being secular and is dismissive of religion, has within an undeniable spark of interest in the beyond, and recognizes that humanity and creation is a dismal riddle without the concept of some kind of creator,” he said.

Cardinal-designate Dolan repeated the biblical exhortation “be not afraid,” stressing the need for confidence while also rejecting “triumphalism” in the Church. He said the recognition that the Church herself needs evangelization gives Catholics humility and awareness of the Church’s “deep need” for interior conversion.

God does not satisfy the thirst of the human heart with a proposition, but with a Person, whose name is Jesus,” he stated. The New Evangelization invites people not to doctrine, but to know, love and serve him.

The cardinal-designate also said that the missionary and the evangelist must be “a person of joy.”

He recounted a story of a man dying of AIDS at the Gift of Peace Hospice in the Archdiocese of Washington who sought baptism because the Missionaries of Charity sisters who cared for him were so “very happy” because of Jesus.

“The New Evangelization is accomplished with a smile, not a frown,” Cardinal-designate Dolan summarized.

This evangelization is also about love incarnated in care for children, the sick, the elderly, the orphaned and the hungry.

“In New York, the heart of the most hardened secularist softens when visiting one of our inner-city Catholic schools,” he said.

“When one of our benefactors, who described himself as an agnostic, asked Sister Michelle why, at her age, with painful arthritic knees, she continued to serve at one of these struggling but excellent poor schools, she answered, ‘Because God loves me, and I love Him, and I want these children to discover this love.’”

The cardinal-designate’s most sobering words came with his seventh strategy for the new evangelization: the blood of the martyrs.

He cited the Pope’s speech for presenting the red biretta to new cardinals: “know that you must be willing to conduct yourselves with fortitude even to the shedding of your blood.”

Though Cardinal-designate Dolan jokingly asked the Pope to omit that passage from his presentation, he also said that cardinals must be aids for Christians called to be “ready to suffer and die for Jesus.”

The “supreme witness” is martyrdom, he noted.

“While we cry for today’s martyrs; while we love them, pray with and for them; while we vigorously advocate on their behalf; we are also very proud of them, brag about them, and trumpet their supreme witness to the world.”

Their stories still have an impact, he told his fellow bishops.

“A young man in New York tells me he returned to the Catholic faith of his childhood, which he had jettisoned as a teenager, because he read The Monks of Tibhirine, about Trappists martyred in Algeria fifteen years ago, and after viewing the drama about them, the French film, ‘Of Gods and Men.’”

“Tertullian would not be surprised,” concluded Cardinal-designate Dolan, citing the Church father who said the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church.

As he closed his wide-ranging address to the College of Cardinals, he emphasized the need to communicate simply, as to a catechism class for children.

“We need to speak again as a child the eternal truth, beauty, and simplicity of Jesus and His Church,” he said.

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  1. EoinOBolguidhir says:

    The “New” evangelization will not be successful without the return to the “Old” Mass. Having to say that there is a need for a new evangelization is as sad as billboard trying to recruit seminarians. There is only one, continuous evangelization, and of course it extends to all who are outside the church. False ecumenism, indifferentism, and a loss of our distinctive identity are the reasons for the mass apostacy, and only replacing those with the charity of a true and honest ecumenism, an appropriate degree, as it were, triumphalism, and the Mass of the ages with stop the mass apostacy.

  2. acardnal says:

    I hope the conclave and the college of Cardinals appreciates AB Dolan’s humor and that it helps them provide sound advice and counsel to the Holy Father in these difficult times.

  3. Go to confession.

    You’ll find the Sacred Heart of the New Evangelization.

    And you won’t be frowning. You’ll be beaming with joy, real beatitude.

    Priests and bishops: If we go to confession regularly, and speak about our joy of increased friendship with the Lord that we’ve found with this great sacrament… well, the evangelistic joy will spread like wildfire, with the ardent flames of that Sacred Heart.

    Father George

  4. jbpolhamus says:

    The reason that EoinOBolguidhir is correct, is that the church is a paradox: it is eternally new, and instantly of old. That is because time is an biological reality only, otherwise it is an illusion. God does not live in time, He lives in the totality of past, present and future, as does Christendom. We cannot invent the church in any generation, yet for its ancient liturgies each celebration is as the first, always new in its ancientness. We cannot cut off our present from out past, lest we become like the man in the letter of James, who looked at his reflection in the mirror and then walked away, and presently forgot what manner of man he was. For our future lies in our past, and our past in our future, they are inseparable. You would think that it would have been difficult for the church to have fallen out of synch with this reality, but they have to the perdition of many. Many…not all; multis…non omnes! Hope, like the liturgy, springs eternal.

  5. JKnott says:

    seven-point “creative strategy of evangelization” to counter secularism and bring people to Jesus.

    With all due respect to the good Card-to-be-Dolan, … creative strategy?
    What about moral courage in the form of universal, mandatory, orthodox catechisms, consistent for every parish; mandatory reading of the lives of the saints by every Catholic child. What about ‘creative technology’ to test and replace teachers who cannot be found to teach authentically, at every level, including seminaries? What cumbersome hard work still needs to be done to ensure excellence in seminaries? What is the five year detailed plan of action?
    And of course, what about some good old fashioned “creative strategy” securing the end of liturgical abuses? After all, dreams are realized from good foundations. Old peeling paint needs to be scraped off with very uncreative elbow grease first. “Be not afraid.”
    Too much talk and not enough prayer.

  6. PostCatholic says:

    Is that Bernard Law at right in the picture? [The Dean of the College, Angelo Card. Sodano.]

  7. robtbrown says:


    It looks to me like Card Sodano.

  8. Centristian says:

    “We need to speak again as a child the eternal truth, beauty, and simplicity of Jesus and His Church,” he said.

    Do we? Haven’t we been doing that ad nauseam for decades? Where has it gotten us? We’ve so stressed Jesus’ simplicity (?) that we’re about to have our rights to simply act as we believe simply taken away from us by a simple act of a sitting president.

    Perhaps we’ve oversimplified Jesus. Maybe its time we got a little more complex, again. Worshipping a God who is also a man who died on a cross to appease His Father and being called to pick up our own crosses and follow Him while rejecting the world we live in and all other purported ways into the next life doesn’t seem all that simple to me, to be perfectly honest.

    Y’know; I’m just sayin’.

    “(W)e believe with the philosophers and poets of old, who never had the benefit of revelation, that even a person who brags about being secular and is dismissive of religion, has within an undeniable spark of interest in the beyond, and recognizes that humanity and creation is a dismal riddle without the concept of some kind of creator,”

    See, now that’s simplifying things. I don’t think that’s the right direction for the Church to be going in, though.

    Maybe the new evangelization…should kind of look like the old evangelization…before everything was…simplified.

  9. Cathy says:

    Sometimes the good Cardinal-to-be leaves me confused. Are we to catechize without doctrine? Hasn’t this pretty much been the failure over the last two generations?

  10. Supertradmum says:

    The Cardinal-to-be should be addressing the rectors and presidents of many of the diocesan and monastic seminaries, both at the BA and MA levels. In one, and most likely more, there are so few core courses, that a mediocre student can get by with little basics and take a choice of items so that by the attainment of the BA, the student might have had only one class on Thomas Aquinas. I know four seminarians in graduate seminaries in North America, who have not only never had to study the Catechism of the Catholic Church, but even after I gave them copies myself, have not read it. Out of those four, one is a deacon already and two are going to be ordained deacon next year. The Church is still churning out ignorant priests. I beg the Cardinal-to-be if he reads any of this, to start in the seminaries, going back to the classical classes, instead of sociology, for example.

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