“The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith”

Benedict XVI announced today (25October) the theme for the next general assembly of the Synod of Bishops: The new evangelization.

The Pope made the announcement today at the closing Mass of the Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops, and repeated it before praying the Angelus at midday with those gathered in St. Peter’s Square.

The next Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops will be held in 2012, and will be dedicated to the theme “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith,” the Pontiff said.

Noting that today marked not only the end of the Mideast synod, which considered the theme “Communion and Witness,” but also World Mission Sunday, which considered the theme “The Building of Ecclesial Communion is the Key to Mission,” the Holy Father called attention to the similarities between the themes.

“Both invite us to look upon the Church as a mystery of communion that, by its nature, is destined for the whole person, and to all people,” he said.

Quoting Pope Paul VI, he added,

“The Church exists to evangelize, that is to say, to preach and to teach, to be the channel of the gift of grace, to reconcile sinners with God, to perpetuate the sacrifice of Christ in the Holy Mass, which is the memorial of his death and of his glorious resurrection.”

“The missionary task,” Benedict XVI reflected, “is not to bring about revolution in the world but to transfigure it, drawing power from Jesus Christ who ‘convokes us at the table of his Word and Eucharist, to taste the gift of his Presence, to form ourselves in his school and live more and more consciously united to him, Master and Lord.'”