EVANGELII GAUDIUM: APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION


Evangelii Gaudium: Apostolic Exhortation

Pope Francis
 
Introduction:
“In his first extensive piece of writing as pope, Pope Francis lays out a vision of the Catholic Church dedicated to evangelization in a positive key, with a focus on society’s poorest and most vulnerable. The pope’s apostolic exhortation, “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”), was released by the Vatican Nov. 26. (Pope Francis’ first encyclical, “Lumen Fidei,” published in July, was mostly the work of his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI.) Pope Francis wrote the new document in response to the October 2012 Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization, but declined to work from a draft provided by synod officials. Pope Francis’ voice is unmistakable in the lengthy document’s relatively relaxed style – he writes that an “evangelizer must never look like someone who has just come back from a funeral!”- and its emphasis on some of his signature themes, including the dangers of economic globalization and “spiritual worldliness.”
The church’s message “has to concentrate on the essentials, on what is most beautiful, most grand, most appealing and at the same time most necessary,” he writes. “In this basic core, what shines forth is the beauty of the saving love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ who died and rose from the dead.” The exhortation is too long to fit into one edition of Origins. The first half of the document follows, copyright © 2013 by Libreria Editrice Vaticana; the second half will appear in a forthcoming edition of Origins.“

“Before all else, the Gospel invites us to respond to the God of love who saves us, to see God in others to go forth from ourselves to seek the good of others.”

Commentary
“”Evangelii Gaudium” “The Joy of the Gospel”) was written in response to the October 2012 World Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization. The three-week gathering, which brought more than 260 bishops and religious superiors to the Vatican, along with dozens of official observers and experts, discussed how the church can revive and spread the faith in increasingly secular societies. Pope Francis participated in the synod as a delegate of the Argentine bishops’ conference.
In a homily at a Mass in St. Peter’s Square opening the synod, Pope Benedict XVI said, “The church exists to evangelize” and does this by sharing the Gospel with people who have never heard of Christ, strengthening the faith of those who already have been baptized and reaching out to those who “have drifted away from the church.”
“At various times in history, divine providence has given birth to a renewed dynamism in the church’s evangelizing activity, “as happened, for example, with the evangelization of the Americas beginning late in the 15th century, he said. “Even in our own times the Holy Spirit has nurtured in the church a new effort to announce the good news,” the pope said, pointing to the Second Vatican Council, where he said the modern effort to proclaim salvation in Christ found “a more universal expression and its most authoritative impulse.” Pope Benedict said the synod would be dedicated to helping people strengthen their faith and to helping those who have drifted away “encounter the Lord, who alone fills existence with deep meaning and peace, and to favor the rediscovery of the faith, that source of grace that brings joy and hope to personal, family and social life.”

In a homily marking the closing of the 2012 synod, Pope Benedict underscored “three pastoral themes” that he said had emerged from the talks. “Ordinary pastoral ministry … must be more animated by the fire of the Spirit so as to inflame the hearts of the faithful,” he said, stressing the importance of the sacrament of confession and the necessity of “appropriate catechesis” in preparation for the sacraments of baptism, confirmation and the Eucharist.
The pope also called for a “new missionary dynamism” to “proclaim the message of salvation to those who do not yet know Jesus Christ.”
Finally, the pope spoke of the need to persuade lapsed Catholics, “especially in the most secular countries,” to “encounter Jesus Christ anew, rediscover the joy of faith and return to religious practice in the community of the faithful.” This effort, in particular, calls for “pastoral creativity” and use of a “new language attuned to the different world cultures,” he said. For coverage in Origins of the 2012 world Synod of Bishops, see Vol. 42, Nos. 20, 21, 22 and 23, dated respectively Oct. 18, 2012, Oct. 25, 2012, Nov. 1, 2012, and Nov. 8, 2012.

At the conclusion of the 2012 world Synod of Bishops, its participants issued a “message to the people of God” that expressed optimism about the future despite the growth of secularism, increased hostility toward Christianity and the sinful behavior of some church ministers.
That optimism is based on Christ’s promise of salvation, synod participants said. They said they were certain God “will not fail to look on our poverty in order to show the strength of his arm in our days and to sustain us in the path of the new evangelization.”

Even if the world often resembles a “desert” for Christians, “we must journey, taking with us what is essential: ‘the company of Jesus, the truth of his word, the eucharistic bread that nourishes us,’ the fellowship of community and the work of charity,” the message said.

Although the message described forces hostile to the Christian faith today, the synod members also said,
“With humility we must recognize that the poverty and weakness of Jesus’ disciples, especially of his ministers, weigh on the credibility of the mission.”

The text of the message appeared in Origins, Vol. 42, No. 23, the issue dated Nov. 8,2012.

Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on sharing the joy of the Gospel is a call to faith-filled optimism, recognizing challenges but knowing that God’s love and lordship will prevail, said Archbishop Rino Fisichella, introducing the text to the media.

The archbishop, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization, told reporters Nov. 26 that “Evangelii Gaudium” is “an invitation to recover a prophetic and positive vision of reality without ignoring the current challenges.”

When the pope writes about the reform of church structures to be always missionary or the need to improve homilies or the obligation to reach out to the poor first of all or his insistence that the church always will defend the life of the unborn, Archbishop Fisichella said, “the cement which binds all these themes together is concentrated in the merciful love of God.”

At the Vatican news conference to present the papal document, Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, said Pope Francis wrote it himself in Spanish, mostly during his August vacation.

Archbishop Claudia Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, said the exhortation
“has an almost conversational feel to it which reflects a unique and profound pastoral sensitivity.

In calling for the reform of church structures at every level and a change of attitude on the part of all Catholics in order to give priority to sharing the Gospel of God’s love and mercy with all, he said, the pope uses “the simple, familiar and direct language that has been the hallmark” of his style since becoming pope.

Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, general secretary of the Synod of Bishops, said Pope Francis took the suggestions made by the 2012 Synod of Bishops on new evangelization, “made them his own, re-elaborating them in a personal way” and coming up with “a programmatic, exhortative document” on mission in the fullest sense. “Evangelii Gaudium”is not a post-synodal apostolic exhortation, he said, “because its scope goes well beyond the discussions of the synod.”

Archbishop Fisichella called the document “a map and guide” for the church’s pastoral mission and work in the world. Both Archbishops Fisichella and Baldisseri noted how Pope Francis in the apostolic exhortation expresses a need for the church to return to the Second Vatican Council and find concrete ways to ensure the world’s bishops, united with the pope, exercise collegiality or shared responsibility for the mission of the church.

Archbishop Fisichella also said the pope sees a need for the church to move “from a bureaucratic, static and
administrative vision of pastoral ministry to a perspective which is not only missionary, but is in a permanent state of evangelization.””

EVANGELII GAUDIUM: Apostolic Exhortation

Paragraph 1. “The joy of the Gospel fills the hearts and lives of all who encounter Jesus. Those who accept
his offer of salvation are set free from sin, sorrow, inner emptiness and loneliness. With Christ joy is constantly born anew. In this exhortation I wish to encourage the Christian faithful to embark upon a new chapter of evangelization marked by this joy, while pointing out new paths for the church’s journey in years to come.”

A Joy Ever New, A Joy That Is Shared – Paragraphs 2-8

Paragraph 2-8. “The great danger in today’s world,
pervaded as it is by consumerism, is the desolation and anguish
born of a complacent yet . . . .”

Paragraphs 9-13:The Delightful and Comforting Joy
born of of Evangelizing

Paragraphs 11-13: Eternal Newness

Paragraphs 14-18: The New Evangelization for
the Transmission of the Faith

The Scope and Limits of this Exhortation – Paragraphs – 16-18

1. THE CHURCH’S MISSIONARY TRANSFORMATION – Paragraphs 19-49

A Church That Goes Forth – Paragraphs 20-23

Taking the First Step,
Being Involved and Supportive,
Bearing Fruit and Rejoicing
– Paragraphs 24-26

Pastoral Activity and Conversion – Paragraphs 25-26

An Ecclesial Renewal
That Cannot Be Deferred
– Paragraphs 27-33

From the Heart of the Gospel – Paragraphs 34-39

A Mission Embodied Within
Human Limits
– Paragraphs 40-45

A Mother With An Open Heart – Paragraphs 46-49

2. AMID THE CRISIS OF COMMUNAL COMMITMENT – Paragraphs 50-109

Some Challenges of Today’s World – Paragraphs 52-75

No to an Economy of Exclusion – Paragraph 53-54

No to the New Idolatry of Money – Paragraph 55-56

No to a financial System
That Rules Rather Than Serves
– Paragraph 57-58

No to the Inequality
That Spawns Violence
– Paragraph 59-60

Some Cultural Challenges – Paragraph 61-67

Challenges to
Inculturating the Faith
– Paragraph 68-70

Challenges From Urban Cultures – Paragraph 71-75

Temptations Faced by
Pastoral Workers
– Paragraphs 76-77

Yes to the Challenge of
a Missionary Spirituality
– Paragraph 78-80

No to Selfishness and
Spiritual Sloth
– Paragraph 81-83

No to a Sterile Pessimism – Paragraph 84-86

Yes to the New Relationships
Brought by Christ
– Paragraph 87-92

No to Spiritual Worldliness – Paragraph 93-97

No to Warring Among Ourselves – Paragraph 98-101

Other Ecclesial Challenges – Paragraph 102-109

3. THE PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL – Paragraphs 110-175

The Entire People of God
Proclaims the Gospel
– Paragraph 111

A People for Everyone – Paragraphs 112-114

A People of Many Faces – Paragraphs 115-118

We Are All Missionary Disciples – Paragraphs 119-121

The Evangelizing Power
of Popular Piety
– Paragraphs 122-126

Person to Person – Paragraphs 127-129

Charisms at the Service of
a Communion That Evangelizes
– Paragraphs 130-131

Culture, Thought and Education – Paragraphs 132-134

The Homily – Paragraphs 135-136

The Liturgical Context – Paragraphs 137-138

A Mother’s Conversation – Paragraphs 139-141

Words That Set Hearts on Fire – Paragraphs 142-144

Preparing To Preach – Paragraph 145

Reverence For Truth – Paragraphs 146-148

Personalizing the Word – Paragraphs 149-151

Spiritual Reading – Paragraphs 152-153

An Ear to the People – Paragraphs 154-155

Homiletic Resources – Paragraphs 156-159

Evangelization and the
Deeper Understanding of the kerygma
– Paragraphs 160-162

Kerygmatic and
Mystagogical Catechesis
– Paragraphs 163-168

Personal Accompaniment
in Processes of Growth
– Paragraphs 169-173

Centered on the Word of God – Paragraphs 174-175

4. THE SOCIAL DIMENSION OF EVANGELIZATION – Paragraphs 176-258

Communal & Societal Repercussions
of the Kerygma
– Paragraph 177

Confession of Faith and
Commitment to Society
– Paragraphs 178-179

The Kingdom and
Its Challenge
– Paragraphs 180-181

The Church’s Teaching on
Social Questions
– Paragraphs 182-185

Inclusion of the Poor
in Society
– Paragraph 186

In Union with God,
We Hear a Plea
– Paragraphs 187-192

Fidelity to the Gospel,
Lest We Run in Vain
– Paragraphs 193-196

Special Place of the Poor
in God’s People
– Paragraphs 197-201

The Economy and
the Distribution of Income
– Paragraphs 202-208

Concern for the Vulnerable – Paragraphs 209-216

The Common Good and
Peace in Society
– Paragraph 217-221

Time is Greater than Space – Paragraphs 222-225

Unity Prevails Over Conflict – Paragraphs 226-230

Realities Are More
Than Ideas
– Paragraphs 231-233

The Whole Is Greater
Than the Part
– Paragraphs 234-236

Social Dialogue as
a Contribution to Peace
– Paragraphs 238-241

Dialogue Between
Faith, Reason and Science
– Paragraphs 242-243

Ecumenical Dialogue – Paragraphs 244-246

Relations With Judaism – Paragraphs 247-249

Interreligious Dialogue – Paragraphs 250-254

Social Dialogue in
a Context of Religious Freedom
– Paragraphs 255-258

5. SPIRIT-FILLED EVANGELIZERS – Paragraphs 259-288

Reasons For a Renewed
Missionary Impulse
– Paragraphs 262-263

Personal Encounter With the
Saving Love of Jesus
– Paragraphs 264-267

The Spiritual Savior of
Being a People
– Paragraphs 268-274

The Mysterious Working of the
Risen Christ and His Spirit
– Paragraphs 275-280

The Missionary Power of
Intercessory Prayer
– Paragraphs 281-283

Mary,
Mother of Evangelization
– Paragraph 284-

Jesus’ Gift to His People – Paragraphs 285-286

Star of the
New Evangelization
– Paragraphs 287-288

Franciscus