Mr. Ralph Martin, author of the recently published book The Urgency of the New Evangelization: Answering the Call, said that the new evangelization comes from 50 years ago, from Vatican II reforms and direction in the Church. Before then, evangelization was for “the salvation of souls, [and] the very central motivation is people living in sin, living in darkness, living idolatry, cut off from the light of Christ, cut off from the truth of Christ, cut off from salvation,” he said. Converting people to Christianity was how people could be put on the path to salvation. Evangelization wasn't concerned with people already in the Church.
But a concept in the Church gained traction that “people can be saved already in ways without hearing the gospel,” Mr. Martin said. There wasn't a need to convert them to Catholicism. So missionaries dedicated themselves to human development, to helping others without also emphasizing soul salvation and attention to the story of Jesus. “A tailspin set in in missionary orders that hasn't really been resolved to this day.” Classic evangelization was becoming rare in Catholicism. And church members were leaving, too. Leaders looked for reinvigoration from their Christian gospel.
Popes Paul VI and John Paul II published documents that developed the new evangelization concept. Mr. Martin said that Pope Paul's “Evangelization in Our Day” is the document most quoted by Pope Francis. He quotes Pope Francis as saying, “We need to go to people and tell them about the mercy of God, tell them about the love of God.”Tied into this egalitarian approach to salvation and that everyone is going to be saved, no matter their religion or even no religion at all, was the disintegration of the Holy Mass after Vatican II in form and ritual. The laudable aspect of striving to engage the laity into full, conscious and actual participation was approached in the most clerical way possible and that is that the laity are too stupid to understand the Mass in Latin or the vernacular with all of the accompanying signs, symbols and rubrics of the Mass especially when celebrated ad orientem.
This clericalism of academics in the Church sasw its ugly head rear again when the marvelous new translation of the Mass from its Latin texts was translated literally for use in regular parishes throughout the English speaking world. Academics and some bishops plainly said that the laity, and some priests were just too stupid to understand the hard words that were being incorporated into the new translation, like "dewfall" and "consubstantial" and that the sentence structures were just too difficult for dum priests and laity.
So the whole premise of the contrived Mass after Vatican II including the silly "dynamic equivalency" of translating the Latin text into modern languages all hinged on how stupid the laity were and grassroots clergy too. They needed something simple that they could understand and everything had to be obivous.
So this meant the dumbed down texts we got for the Mass and the "noble simplicity" which in actuality was "first grade liturgics for dumb Catholics." This is how we were preceived by the clericalists in the Church, primarily academic clericalists which is a double whammy!
So after Vatican II, not only was the prescribed liturgy banal, but it was made even more banal and irreverent by experimentations and the cult of clericalism in terms of the creativity priests took in celebrating the Mass and often with his cronies in the pairsh's liturgy committee complicit in it.
Thus, the first complaint from Catholics who truly loved the pre-Vatican II Mass was that the new Mass was was too simple and too "protestant" and there was a tremendous loss of reverence as reverence had been understood prior to the 1960's. All this was tied into the loss of good rubrics that led to reverence, in terms of bows, genuflections and awe and wonder. Many priests even refused the two genuflections at the consecration and would show the consecrated elements begrudgingly if at all.
People were forced to stand to receive Holy Communion and often priests forced them to receive in the hand against their wishes. Those who wanted to kneel were made to feel as paria.
All of this led to the loss of faith that so many Catholics on the periphery of the Church and in the center also had maintained even if weakly so.
Save the liturgy and save the Church may sound like a cliche from an entrenched blogger but there is quite a bit of truth to it and when coupled with a renewed sense of the truth of the Catholic Church that we we have in the Gospel fullness and that outside the Church there is no salvation, then the new evangelization might actually bear some fruit in drawing back the lost and gaining new believers for Christ and His Church.