More Than Just a Good Idea
"Most of us have never lived in or experienced a “missionary” Church."
Popes Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis have something in common other than the papacy: a focus on the new evangelization. Paul VI popularized the term in his 1975 apostolic exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi. John Paul II explained it in great detail in his 1990 encyclical letter Redemptoris Missio, in which he called for a new kind of evangelization—new in its ardor, methods, and expression.
John Paul II was a missionary to the world who preached the gospel to countless people in many countries and cultures. Benedict XVI offered writings and lectures that focused on living the truth of the faith. Francis is drawing our attention to affording loving service to the poor and marginalized. Each of these popes has presented concrete ideas to make the new evangelization real in the here and now.