Evangelical Catholicism” is a term being used to capture the Catholic version of a 21st century politics of identity, reflecting the long-term historical transition in the West from Christianity as a culture-shaping majority to Christianity as a subculture, albeit a large and influential one. I define Evangelical Catholicism in terms of three pillars:
A strong defense of traditional Catholic identity, meaning attachment to classic markers of Catholic thought (doctrinal orthodoxy) and Catholic practice (liturgical tradition, devotional life, and authority).
Robust public proclamation of Catholic teaching, with the accent on Catholicism’s mission ad extra, transforming the culture in light of the Gospel, rather than ad intra, on internal church reform.
Faith seen as a matter of personal choice rather than cultural inheritance, which among other things implies that in a highly secular culture, Catholic identity can never be taken for granted. It always has to be proven, defended, and made manifest.
On the other hand I don`t see much evidence of the `Evangelical Catholicism` here among the young in Hexham and Newcastle. The older cultural model seems to be what we do. This was what I found dispiriting about the recent Come Home Sunday we had: the emphasis was on getting Catholics to come back to church simply because it was their cultural inheritance without emphasis on having to believe anything in particular. I remember we used to have an active Youth 2000 group but I`ve not heard much about them in recent years. I hope we do have some Evangelical Catholics among our young but this part of the world has not really been at the cutting edge of Catholic life since the death of Bede in 735.