Brian T. Olszewski, The Catholic Virginian

Bishop Barry C. Knestout was a guest of Dr. Pat Robertson on “The 700 Club,” Thursday, May 31, on the Christian Broadcasting Network. Bishop Knestout and Dr. Robertson spoke about the New Evangelization proposed by Blessed Pope Paul VI, and promoted by St. Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis. The bishop noted all of those popes had the same message.

“The first work of the Church is to evangelize; that’s the heart of the work of the Church — to get out and to express that Good News. It’s the disciples’ words: ‘We have seen the Lord and he has risen from the dead’ — to be able to express that to the world around us because it’s the new life that is offered to all who encounter that, to overcome sin and all who encounter the damage done by sin in the world around us,” the bishop said.

Bishop Knestout said the New Evangelization was a return to the roots of the Church.

“We are revisiting how it was done in the early Church, how we are bringing to bear on how we express the faith and live the faith,” he said.

Bishop Knestout continued, “Pope Francis is really encouraging us — all of us — to manifest the faith, to be witnesses of the faith, to bring an expression of the encounter we have had with the Lord — a very personal encounter. We are called to go out and give the Good News.”

The bishop noted why it is important to witness the faith.

“People will listen to witnesses more than teachers,” he said. “They’ll listen to teachers if they’re good witnesses of the faith.”

In an interview on “The 700 Club Interactive,” with Gordon Robertson, CEO of CBN, Bishop Knestout also spoke about the New Evangelization and what Christians are called to do to counter a “very secularized, very materialistic … very seductive culture” that draws people away from a life of faith.

“(There is) a call for each one of us to articulate, to express our own encounter with the Lord. And in that encounter, knowledge of where we’ve been transformed, then go and enter into the world around us,” the bishop said.

He said Christians need to provide a perspective to those experiencing struggles and difficulties, and to help put them into context.

“(Help them) see that there’s maybe a greater purpose in their life, a greater call from God, and to be able to help them by expressing our own encounter with the Lord in that accompaniment,” Bishop Knestout said. “This is what Pope Francis is speaking about. That then leads to a transformation.”