Pope Benedict Creates New Vatican Office to `Re-Evangelize' Secular World

Pope Benedict XVI created a new Vatican department aimed at “re-evangelizing” the most secular regions of the globe, including areas of Europe that have become “de-Christianized.”

Benedict issued a papal decree today launching the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, which will seek to bring Christianity to those whose spiritual lives have become an “interior desert” amid technological and scientific changes in recent decades, according to the document.

While technology has also brought benefits to humanity, there has been a “worrisome loss of any sense of the sacred,” the pope said in the document.

Benedict, the leader of the world’s estimated 1 billion Catholics, has made fighting loss of faith a key theme of his papacy. He criticized “aggressive forms of secularism” during a U.K. trip last month, and called on Europeans “to rediscover the reasons for faith and hope” last year when he visited the Czech Republic, where religious practice is among the lowest in the 27-nation European Union.

The new Vatican office will employ “all the progress of the science of communications” in a bid to restore religion to the secular world. “My first concern is to get a computer on my desk so that I can have Internet access,” Monsignor Rino Fisichella, the head of the new office, said at a Vatican briefing today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeffrey Donovan at jdonovan26@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: John Fraher at jfraher@bloomberg.net;

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