The Most Reverend Joseph Augustine Di Noia OP, Titular Archbishop of Oregon City and Official at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, closed the Faith Matters Lecture Series on 19 November with his talk on ‘Contemporary Challenges to Proclaiming the Catholic Faith’.
Archbishop Di Noia spoke of the challenges that stand in the way of an experience with the living God in contemporary society. He talked also of the need for the Catholic Church to maintain its public presence and witness to Gospel values in society in a more secular world:
“The New Evangelisation has been based primarily here in Europe where the decline has been perceived as more pronounced and troubling...while no one disputes the new cultural and social situation in which we live, there is considerable disagreement amongst historians, sociologists and theologians whether this should be seen as a religious decline, strictly speaking, or simply a long term process of religious change”
“In order to confront these challenges we need a confident, evangelising spirit and robust but not overbearing apologetics. The Apostles in the early Christian communities proclaimed to the ancient a message that was not welcome and we are in a similar situation today”
“In these circumstances retrenchment is not an option, nor can we take refuge in the powerful emotional comforts of the Christian faith....behind the emotional truth of the Christian faith, there needs to be something solid if it is to be anything more than a comforting illusion, like a tale we tell children who are afraid of the dark. The emotional sense the Christian faith creates is rooted in convictions, principally that God wants to make a place for us in the life of the Blessed Trinity and that Jesus Christ opens the way to this communion and that our transformation into his image gets us through the muddle of sin but also launches us into the life of glory.”
Archbishop Joseph Augustine Di Noia, is an American member of the Dominican Order and a prominent member of the Roman Curia. Introducing Archbishop Di Noia’s talk was the Most Rev. Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster.
In addition to the Faith Matters Lecture Archbishop Di Noia spoke on 19 and 20 November to teachers and catechists as well as to the diocesan clergy on the challenges of communicating the Catholic faith.
The video of Archbishop di Noia's talk will be available at the Diocese of Westminster Vimeo Account