Doctrinal note on evangelisation

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith today published a Doctrinal Note on Some Aspects of Evangelisation. To be fair, after the trenchant criticism of Damien Thompson (endorsed here) of the failure of the CBCEW website to publicise the encyclical Spe Salvi, the Bishops Conference of England and Wales has, as far as I can see at the moment, the only online copy of the full text of the doctrinal note. It is a page image pdf (1.67Mb) and the pages were not quite straight in the scanner, but fair play to the guys for getting it on the web even before the Vatican website.

Everyone else has had to make do with Cardinal Levada's summary. I expect the Vatican will have the text up soon so we can paste quotes from it.

The doctrinal note asserts the fundamental right and duty of the Church to evangelise. Its missionary activity is a work of love, to bring to others the truth and the person of Christ. This does not offend against the liberty of the individual but in fact brings that human freedom to its full potential, allowing others to know the beauty of friendship with Christ.

The doctrinal note is an answer to those who cannot contemplate any attempt to preach Christ without protesting that the presentation of the truth is a condemnation of "my lifestyle".

A couple of quotations that I have lovingly typed out for you... First, concerning the false opposition between evangelisation and freedom:
There is today, however, a growing confusion which leads many to leave the missionary command of the Lord unheard and ineffective (cf. Mt28.19). Often it is maintained that any attempt to convince others on religious matters is a limitation of their freedom. From this perspective, it would only be legitimate to present one's own ideas and to invite people to act according to their consciences, without aiming at their conversion to Christ and to the Catholic faith. (n.3)
And secondly concerning an error that is quite common in England today:
In the various forms of agnosticism and relativism present in contemporary thought, "a legitimate plurality of positions has yielded to an undifferentiated pluralism, based upon the assumption that all positions are equally valid, which is one of today's most widespread symptoms of the lack of confidence in truth. [...] (n.4 - the quotation is from Fides et Ratio 9-10))

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