Cardinal Dolan sees US as ‘mission territory’
“I was raised – as were most of you – to think of the missions as ‘way far away’ – and, to be sure, we can never forget our sacred duty to the foreign missions,” the New York archbishop wrote on his “Gospel in the Digital Age” blog.
“But, we are a mission territory, too. Every diocese is. And every committed Catholic is a missionary. This is at the heart of what Blessed John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI call the New Evangelization.”
Cardinal Dolan voiced his agreement with Philadelphia Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, who observed in a June 2012 speech to the Catholic Press Association that his own archdiocese was “now really mission territory … for the second time.”
While the Philadelphia archbishop’s statement may seem startling, Cardinal Dolan said it was “right on target” – not simply due to troubles facing the Church in Philadelphia, but because of the larger crisis of faith sweeping through Western societies.
“Our beloved Archdiocese of New York is also mission territory,” the cardinal and U.S. bishops’ conference president observed. Although his local church is financially and administratively sound, it faces the same spiritual challenges that prompted Archbishop Chaput’s remark.
“Maybe, we have gotten way too smug. We have taken our Catholic faith for granted,” the New York archbishop suggested.
The entire Church, he said, can no longer “coast on the former fame, clout, buildings, numbers, size, money, and accomplishments of the past.” [More]