Interview: Archbishop Jose Octavio Ruiz Arenas

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(Photo of Archbishop Jose Octavio Ruiz Arenas)
The recently appointed Secretary to the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of the New Evangelisation, Archbishop Jose Octavio Ruiz Arenas, has shared in an exclusive interview his understanding of aspects of the teaching underpinning the creation of the new Council.

The interview took place at Holy Trinity Brompton (HTB) Anglican Church during the recent Alpha International Conference in London (6 – 10 June); the Archbishop was the guest of the Alpha for Catholics team. The now annual Conference brings together delegates from all over the world to learn about this tool of evangelisation, and this year there were 29 Catholic archbishops and bishops and eight representatives of bishops in attendance. Bishop Patrick Lynch, Chair of the Office for Migration Policy in the Department of International Affairs (England and Wales), attended the Conference on Wednesday 8 June.
Speaking to a representative of the Home Mission Desk of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales, some of the topics Archbishop Ruiz Arenas covered were: a definition of New Evangelisation; how this teaching links in with Pope Benedict’s teaching on secularisation; the role of social media in mission today, and he suggested ways in which people can evangelise in their families and communities.
Archbishop Ruiz Arenas highlighted the importance of speaking a language that people can understand. He said:

 “If we wish to reach out to people in our task of evangelisation we must know how people think. Pope John Paul II talked of ‘new expressions’, but what did he mean by this? He meant that we must transmit our message in a different way. We must keep our core values and the essence of the Gospel, but we need to find a modern language. To achieve this we need to know the people, their concerns, their lifestyle, in order to respond to them. The Gospel has to respond to people’s needs and if we speak a language that people do not understand, or if we do not understand the people, we will not be able to evangelise. Therefore, it is imperative to find a new language that ensures that the message of Christ and His salvation is understood by the new generations.”

For a full transcript please see: Interview with Archbishop Ruiz

 Further Information

Photographs of Bishop Patrick Lynch with Archbishop Ruiz Arenas are available from:

Bishop Patrick Lynch is Chair of the Office for Migration Policy in the Department of International Affairs (England and Wales)

Archbishop Ruiz Arenas was interviewed on Tuesday 7 June 2011 by a representative of the Home Mission Desk.
Alpha: and
Missio is the official overseas mission organisation of the Catholic Church.