(UK Guardian) On 21 September 2010, Benedict XVI officially declared that the west needed a "new evangelisation". This was news in itself. It was viewed as an admission of the weakness of the Catholic church, and not a temporary one; and the acknowledgement that today's Catholicism represents a minority in western countries, and a shrinking one. But in a more general perspective, this was a major "geo-religious" step for the pontiff.
The pope is convinced of the strategic relation between Christianity and Europe as its natural geographic and cultural ground for proselytism. And he wants this relation to be reasserted and improved. When, in June 2010, he announced his plans for a new ministry to revive religion, no details were given of its structure, content and goals. There was no secret: the Vatican knew it had to deal urgently with that problem, but hadn't yet figured out how to accomplish this mission. Benedict XVI just felt something very radical had to be done. (Read more)