A renewal of morality as a key part of the New Evangelization
The New Evangelization is addressed to those who have fallen away due to the dechristianisation of the West. This involves a loss of faith and an “obscuring of the moral sense.” Indeed we live in a culture terrorised by subjectivism, utilitarianism, relativism and nihilism.
A few days ago Abp. Charles Chaput of Philadelphia reminded the Synod Fathers that developed nations are actually “underdeveloped” morally. He said: “The wealthy societies of today’s world that style themselves as ‘developed’ – including most notably my own – are in fact underdeveloped in their humanity. They’re frozen in a kind of moral adolescence; an adolescence which they’ve chosen for themselves and now seek to impose upon others.”
The New Evangelization must then involve “the proclamation and presentation of morality.”
The renewal of morality requires more than teaching and preaching, it requires witness. The unity of faith and life means faith permeates life in all aspects.
In this context we know that the New Evangelization must start from renewal of morality inside the Church. Otherwise we are the most miserable people. Very recently one of the abuse victims said to her bishop in America: ”I have no faith in your will or your character”. The new evangelization will show its beauty and power in the life of holiness of those who proclaim the Good News.
The beginning of this moral renewal must start in priesthood, religious life, but mostly in marriage and family. John Paul II stresses that: “Through the family passes the primary current of the civilization of love.” We as humans can and must respect the norm of morality even in the most difficult situations. All temptations can be overcome, sins can be avoided, because together with the commandments the Lord gives us the possibility of keeping them.