In this article, Jared Staudt explains and explores the surprising teaching of Blessed John Paul II that culture stands at the center of the new evangelization.
The movement toward a New Evangelization, first enunciated by Bl. Pope John Paul II, is picking up steam in the Church. This is evidenced by the recent creation of a new dicastery in the Roman Curia dedicated to the promotion of the New Evangelization and the Synod of Bishops dedicated to this topic, which met in the fall of 2012. The New Evangelization has become a buzz word as of late for clergy and laity alike. Since John Paul laid out the vision for the New Evangelization, it is helpful to continue to turn to his teaching as a guide for understanding and implementing this great initiative. What may be surprising is that John Paul thought that culture was at the center of the New Evangelization. Shortly after becoming Pope he created the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization and in his regular addresses to this Council, he laid out a vision for culture’s central role in the New Evangelization. I will draw upon these addresses and other writings to elucidate John Paul’s teaching on culture in the New Evangelization.