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Pope names U.S. Catholic evangelists to advise Vatican council

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VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI named two Catholic evangelists from the United States to help advise the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization.

Curtis Martin, founder and president of the Fellowship of Catholic University Students, and Ralph Martin, director of graduate theology programs in evangelization at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in the Archdiocese of Detroit, were among 15 people appointed as consultors to the newly created council. The Vatican released the names of the papal appointees Dec. 7.

Curtis Martin, who holds a master's degree in theology, is a fellow at the Augustine Institute in Denver, a Catholic graduate school dedicated to new evangelization.

Ralph Martin is an assistant professor of theology at the Detroit seminary, was the founding editor of New Covenant Magazine and founding director of the International Catholic Charismatic Renewal Office in Rome.

Of the 15 experts chosen, nine are clergy and six are lay Catholics, including one woman -- Maria Voce, who is president of the Focolare movement.

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The majority of those chosen are professors from Europe, and four have taught at Rome's Pontifical Lateran University where the evangelization council's president, Archbishop Rino Fisichella, served as rector.

Consultors to Vatican agencies are experts from around the world who advise Vatican congregations or councils on matters under study, and generally come to the Vatican once or twice a year for meetings.

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