October 25, 2010

Pope Benedict unveiled a new Vatican agency to promote “new evangelization.

”Its job will be to combat the “de-Christianization” of countries that were first evangelized centuries ago.

In an apostolic letter released Oct. 12, the pope warned of a progressive detachment from religious faith, especially in countries marked by scientific and economic progress.

The new council, he said, will encourage a clearer understanding of the faith and help “remake the Christian fabric of human society.”

One task of the agency, called the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, will be to favour the use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the pope said.

Speaking at a news conference, the council president, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, said missionary activity in modern societies requires a systematic effort against “the lack of awareness of the basic contents of the faith” among many Catholics.

Fisichella said the council would work closely with communications media — an explicit request of the pope.