Vatican moves to place evangelization ahead of doctrine

Report says new Vatican constitution would create a super dicastery for evangelization potentially more important than the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Pope Francis. (Credit: Daniel Ibanez/CNA)

A new “super dicastery” on evangelization might be one of the most significant reforms of the governing structures of the Vatican, according to a new report.

Spanish journalist Dario Menor Torres, writing for the weekly Vida Nueva, reveals several elements of the new Vatican constitution that has been in development for years.

The biggest novelty in the document, called Praedicate Evangelium [“Preach the Gospel”], will be the creation of the “super dicastery” for evangelization, which will potentially be more important than the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), often called “The Supreme Congregation.”

Having its roots in the Roman Inquisition, the doctrinal office is the oldest among the congregations of the Roman Curia, and insiders still call it the Holy Office, as it’s tasked with promulgating and defending Catholic doctrine and defending the Church from heresy.

Today, in addition to defending doctrine, it is also tasked with judging priests who’ve been accused of sexually abusing minors, with 17 officials dedicated almost exclusively to this task.

The new “super dicastery” for evangelization will result from the merging of two already existing bodies: The Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, also known as Propaganda Fidei, that is tasked with overseeing “missionary territories;” and the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelization, that was created in 2010 by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI to confront the rapid secularization of Western countries.

Menor’s report is based on interviews he conducted with Indian Cardinal Oswald Gracias and Honduran Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga, both members of the pope’s Council of Cardinal Advisers, which was established at the beginning of Francis’s pontificate to help reform the Curia.

According to Maradiaga, Praedicate Evangelium can give back to the faithful the hope that Francis’s pontificate had generated at its start.

“It offers to the people of God a new and brave perspective of reform in the spirt of Francis,” he said, adding that the constitution takes a lot from the Argentine pontiff’s first major texts, such as Evangelii GaudiumLaudato Si’, and Amoris Laetitia.

Full story at Crux.


  1. This is a step in the right direction. Thank you Pope Francis! Jesus did not say, “Protect doctrine at all costs.” Instead He said, “Go and preach the Gospel to all nations! “

  2. Journalistic hype? Or does the document actually call the new entity a ‘super dicastry’??

  3. Clinton R. says

    How much evangelizing has gone on since the Second Vatican council? The Post VII popes have let it be known no evangelization attempts should be made towards the Jews. Nostra Aetate for all intents and purposes, ended evangelization to all other religions. This latest novelty is the continuation of remaking the Church according to Pope Francis’ agenda. The CDF, as stated in the article is “…. tasked with promulgating and defending Catholic doctrine and defending the Church from heresy.” His Holiness is not that interested in either,

    • Your Fellow Catholic says

      How much evangelizing has gone on since the Second Vatican Council? Apparently Pope Francis thinks “not enough”, which is why he is introducing this new decastery. Yet Francis-Phobes think it’s intents and purposes are a novelty to rmake the Church according to some “agenda”……Huh? Do you want more evangelization or less?

      • Hippo Gus says

        Our Lord commanded to His chosen disciples:

        “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Matt 28, 18-20)

        Through Our Lord’s chosen individuals, by apostolic and Petrine succession, He gave authority. There are no ambiguities, equivocations, limitations or qualifications. The message, however, needs to be transmitted prudentially and lovingly.

      • Clinton R. says

        Yes, to evangelization. No to kowtowing to Islam. The agreement signed by Pope Francis with Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb in February does not involve evangelization at all. The document instead proclaims that God has willed a “plurality of religions” That flies in the face of Our Lord’s Commission to “…go and make disciples of all nations….” So I would love to see evangelization efforts, but I do not see any coming from Rome.

    • Have you actually read any of the documents of the Council? I suspect that you haven’t because the overwhelming thrust of the Council is towards evangelization. I mean just read Nostra Aetate which you are wrongly and falsely denigrating here. In that document, it stresses the overarching goal of the Church vis-a-vis other relgions: “Indeed, [the Church] proclaims, and ever must proclaim Christ ‘the way, the truth, and the life’ in whom men may find the fullness of religious life, in whom God has reconciled all things to Himself.” And read Gaudium et apes which says: “Inspired by no earthly ambition, the Church seeks but a solitary goal: to carry forward the work of Christ under the lead of the befriending Spirit. And Christ…

      • And Christ entered this world to give witness to the truth, to rescue and not to sit in judgment, to serve and not to be served.” You are very wrong in your words about the Council and evangelization.

        • I’m confused Jon,,,,Didn’t Jesus also say “Go and sin no more” and as long as Heaven & Earth shall endure not one letter of the law would be abolished so He fulfilled the law while giving witness to the truth. And doesn’t the Spiritual Works of Mercy still include admonish the sinner & instruct the ignorant?

      • Anonymous says

        Hey, jon, please be kind to your brother Catholics! Yes, we all have read “Nostra Aetate,” “Gaudium et Spes,” “Lumen Gentium,” and all the other documents! However– since the Council– the Church wants ECUMENISM!! Not evangelizing! And we’ve been told, we must not be “ill mannered”– and try to convert the poor Jews, or the Protestants– or anyone else! The Church doesn’t like that, since the Council!!! Instead– she loves ECUMENISM and “brotherly love!” Remember when the Legion of Mary used to go in pairs, door-to-door– before the Council?? Well– now, what does the Pope want????

      • Clinton R. says

        Your Fellow Catholic & jon; Gentleman, when was the last time the Pope evangelized? Does he not have regular audiences of people of various religions? Do you remember seeing a headline along the lines of “Pope Francis preaches Gospel to the Muslims”? Unfortunately no. St. Francis of Assisi did. He cared enough about the soul of the Sultan that he risked his life to preach the Gospel of Our Lord to him. Pope Francis has continuously marginalized the CDF, as clearly doctrine is not important to him. As for Nostra Aetate, how do we square it with the following?: Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, 1441:”The… Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews…

        • Clinton R. says

          “… or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the Devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives; that the unity of this ecclesiastical body is of such importance that only for those who abide in it do the Church’s sacraments contribute to salvation and do fasts, almsgiving and other works of piety and practices of the Christian militia produce eternal rewards; and that nobody can be saved, no matter how much he has given away in alms and even if he has shed blood in the name of Christ, unless he has persevered in the bosom and unity of the Catholic Church.”

          • Your Fellow Catholic says

            Clinton R: So let me understand this. You are opposed to the Dicastery on Evangelization because you think there is too much evangelization or not enough? If not enough evangelization, what is the logic in opposing the Dicastery on Evangelization? Forgive me for being confused.

          • Clinton R.–aka the Pope’s accuser–yes, the Holy Father has done a lot of evangelization. In fact, didn’t you pay any attention when he was in the United Arab Emirates this past March–the first ever Pontiff to visit the Arabian Peninsula, mind you; and actually CELEBRATED Mass in the national stadium there for 120,000 residents? That Mass (the highest form of evangelization) was broadcast in many if not all Muslim countries to boot, and that was one of the largest gatherings in the UAE. So, Clinton R., and other accusers of the Pope, what have you done for evangelization?

  4. Salvatore Manella says

    Quantity versis quality.

    Perhaps the Holy Father and his willing accomplices in the Vatican plan to overwhelm those who hold fast to doctrine, Sacred Tradition and the teaching contained in the Catechism.

  5. Anonymous says

    DISHONEST! Rev. Dr. Billy Graham, non-denominational world evangelist who converted millions– was always 100 per cent HONEST and presented ONLY Biblical Truths to convert new Christians!!!! Can’t the Pope do better, with our Catholic Faith?

    • Hippo Gus says

      The Late Rev. Billy Graham (God rest his soul) taught ONLY from the Protestant (KJV) Bible. The KJV also had seven books missing from the original canonized version. The seven books were disposed of by Martin Luther. Consequently, the KJV was incomplete on its face.

      Moreover, reliance on the Bible alone for teaching is a false premise. There is also Sacred Tradition, which is not found in either the Catholic Bible of the KJV Bible. In fact, the Bible itself is a product of Sacred Tradition; specifically, it was Sacred Tradition itself, which determined the contents of the Catholic Bible.

      While the late Billy Graham was a great and holy man, the absence of Sacred Tradition from his teachings make his teachings incomplete.

    • Rev. Graham is not in the line of apostolic, episcopal or Petrine succession. See Matt. 28 18-30.

      • Anonymous says

        Carpoli and Hippo Gus— Please do not make a false assumption that I am seeking to equate Billy Graham, or his Bible, with our Church, Catholic Bible, and Catholic clerics! No way! Yes– Sacred Tradition, the Magisterium, Sacraments, etc. — are extremely important!! Graham was non-denominational. Every time he came to town, all the local churches helped him, including ours– praying for conversions, receiving new converts– some of them became Catholics.The Archbishop helped him— for Christ!!

    • Anonymous says

      In our Church today, so many clerics have embraced Modernism, rejecting our True Church– and have misguided “evangelism,” directed wrongly into political activism, often for immoral causes!! For example– a Papal favorite, Fr. James Martin, S.J. , “evangelizes” for gay unions! Prior to his ministry, Rev. Billy Graham was challenged by Modernism in Christianity— and totally rejected it. We Catholics need a return to our True Faith!!

      • Anonymous says

        I greatly admire the work of St. John Vianney– the Saint of parish priests! He was sent to an area in France where our Faith had been abandoned– and he single-handedly re-Christianized them, and brought them all into the Church, as good, solid, practicing Catholics! He worked very hard, endured many hardships– and won thousands of souls for Our Lord– even those with terribly hardened hearts, hopelessly trapped in sin! He was totally faithful to Christ– no “gimmicks!” We need Saintly clerics like him, today! And the “Oath Against Modernism,” for all Catholic leaders and teachers– laymen and clerics!!!!

  6. Anonymous says

    Why is Cdl. Maradiaga still in the “C-9”– and why is he still a Cardinal? There is a very serious investigation on him, for sexual misconduct scandals, as well as financial scandals, in Honduras!! Can’t this Pope pick HOLY CARDINALS for his close advisers, and for the C-9??? And when you seek to evangelize– get out your copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church!! This is all so DISHONEST!!!

  7. If evangelization is placed ahead of doctrine, then spiritilazation is placed ahead of truth.

  8. The Destruction Continues

  9. Lou Varini says
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