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Evangelical Catholicism

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Evangelical Catholicism

DeepReform in the 21st-Century Church


The Catholic Church is on the threshold of abold new era in its two-thousand–year history. As the curtain comes down on thechurch defined by the sixteenth-century Counter-Reformation, the curtain isrising on the Evangelical Catholicism of the third millennium: a way of beingCatholic that comes from over a century of Catholic reform; a mission-centeredrenewal honed by the Second Vatican Council and given compelling expression byBlessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

The gospel-centered EvangelicalCatholicism of the future will send all the people of the church into missionterritory every day—a territory increasingly defined in the West by spiritualboredom and aggressive secularism. Confronting both these cultural challengesand the shadows cast by recent Catholic history, Evangelical Catholicismunapologetically proclaims the gospel of Jesus Christ as the truth of theworld. It also molds disciples who witness to faith, hope, and love by thequality of their lives and the nobility of their aspirations. Thus theCatholicism of the twenty-first century and beyond will be a culture-formingcounterculture, offering all men and women of good will a deeply humanealternative to the soul-stifling self-absorption of postmodernity.

Drawing onthirty years of experience throughout the Catholic world, from its humblestparishes to its highest levels of authority, George Weigel proposes a deepeningof faith-based and mission-driven Catholic reform that touches every facet ofCatholic life—from the episcopate and the papacy to the priesthood and theconsecrated life; from the renewal of the lay vocation in the world to theredefinition of the church’s engagement with public life; from the liturgy tothe church’s intellectual life. Lay Catholics and clergy alike should welcomethe challenge of this unique moment in the church’s history. Mediocrity is notan option, and all Catholics, no matter what their station in life, are calledto live the evangelical vocation into which they were baptized: withoutcompromise but with the joy, courage, and confidence that comes from livingthis side of the Resurrection.

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