Pope Benedict XVI has confirmed his plan to create a new office of the Roman Curia: the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization.
Speaking on June 28 at a Vespers service in the basilica of St. Paul-Outside-the-Walls, on the vigil of the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, the Pope said that the new council would be devoted to spreading the Gospel message in regions where the faith has suffered from the inroads of secularism and the “eclipse of God.” In a reference to his coming patronal feast, the Holy Father said that he, as successor to St. Peter, had an obligation to continue the apostolic mission that the apostles began, bringing the faith to every part of the earth—including those parts where Christendom once flourished but has now been weakened.
The Pope’s plan to create the new dicastery had been reported several weeks ago, but never formally announced. In his Monday-evening statement the Pontiff did not reveal any more detailed plans for the office. Vatican insiders predict that the first president of the new pontifical council will be Archbishop Renato Fisichella, currently the president of the Pontifical Academy for Life.