Pope's latest bid to revive Christianity

In a decree, Benedict said the new office would promote church doctrine, use the media to get the church’s message out and mobilise missionary-type activities. But even on its first day of existence, the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelisation ran into an all-too-typical Vatican snag: The four-page decree instituting the office was issued in only Latin and Italian.

Asked how the pope expected to bring the church’s message to the world in such relatively unknown languages, the head of the new office, Monsignor Rino Fisichella said he hadn’t been in charge until Tuesday and wasn’t responsible for how the decree was issued.

He stressed that he planned to have language sections in his department to deal with the faithful in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian, German and Slavic languages.

Fisichella denied the creation of the office was a mere bureaucratic attempt to fix a complex cultural phenomenon, saying Benedict had made an astute, pastoral decision to focus attention on a growing problem that had preoccupied popes for decades.

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