Category Archives: Franciscus

FRANCIS PERSON TO PERSON . . .

FRANCIS Person to Person. . . .

Yes to the New Relationships Brought by Christ

87. Today, when the networks and means of human communication have made unprecedented advances, we sense the challenge of finding and sharing a “mystique” of living together, of mingling and encounter, of embracing and supporting one another, of stepping into this flood tide that, while chaotic, can become a genuine experience of fraternity, a caravan of solidarity, a sacred pilgrimage. Greater possibilities for communication thus turn into greater possibilities for encounter and solidarity for everyone. If we were able to take this route, it would be so good, so soothing, so liberating and hope-filled! To go out of ourselves and to join others is healthy for us. To be self-enclosed is to taste the bitter poison of immanence, and humanity will be worse for every selfish choice we make.

88. The Christian ideal will always be a summons to overcome suspicion, habitual mistrust, fear of losing our privacy, all the defensive attitudes that today’s world imposes on us. Many try to escape from others and take refuge in the comfort of their privacy or in a small circle of close friends, renouncing the realism of the social aspect of the Gospel. For just as some people want a purely spiritual Christ, without flesh and without the cross, they also want their interpersonal relationships provided by sophisticated equipment, by screens and systems that can be turned on and off on command.

Meanwhile, the Gospel tells us constantly to run the risk of a face-to-face encounter with others, with their physical presence which challenges us, with their pain and their pleas, with their joy which infects us in our close and continuous interaction. True faith in the incarnate Son of God is inseparable from self-giving, from membership in the community, from service, from reconciliation with others. The Son of God, by becoming flesh, summoned us to the revolution of tenderness.

89. Isolation, which is a version of immanentism, can find expression in a false autonomy that has no place for God. But in the realm of religion it can also take the form of a spiritual consumerism tailored to one’s own unhealthy individualism. The return to the sacred and the quest for spirituality that mark our own time are ambiguous phenomena. Today our challenge is not so much atheism as the need to respond ade­quately to many people’s thirst for God, lest they try to satisfy it with alienating solutions or with a disembodied Jesus who demands nothing of us with regard to others. Unless these people find in the church a spirituality that can offer healing and liberation, and fill them with life and peace, while at the same time summoning them to fraternal communion and missionary fruitfulness, they will end up by being taken in by solutions that neither make life truly human nor give glory to God.

90. Genuine forms of popular religiosity are incarnate, since they are born of the incarnation of Christian faith in popular culture. For this reason they entail a personal relationship, not with vague spiritual energies or powers, but with God, with Christ, with Mary, with the saints. These devotions are fleshy, they have a face. They are capable of fostering relationships and not just enabling escapism. In other parts of our society, we see the growing attraction to various forms of a “spirituality of well-being” divorced from any community life or to a “theology of prosperity” detached from responsibility for our brothers and sisters or to depersonalized experiences that are nothing more than a form of self-centeredness.

91. One important challenge is to show that the solution will never be found in fleeing from a personal and committed relationship with God that at the same time commits us to serving others. This happens frequently nowadays, as believers seek to hide or keep apart from others or quietly flit from one place to another or from one task to another without creating deep and stable bonds. “Imaginatio locorum et mutatio multos fefellit.”68

This is a false remedy that cripples the heart and at times the body as well. We need to help others to realize that the only way is to learn how to encounter others with the right attitude, which is to accept and esteem them as companions along the way, without interior resistance. Better yet, it means learning to find Jesus in the faces of others, in their voices, in their pleas. And learning to suffer in the embrace of the crucified Jesus whenever we are unjustly attacked or meet with ingratitude, never tiring of our decision to live in fraternity.69

92. There indeed we find true healing, since the way to relate to others that truly heals instead of debilitating us is a mystical fraternity, a contemplative fraternity. It is a fraternal love capable of seeing the sacred grandeur of our neighbor, of finding God in every human being, of tolerating the nuisances of life in common by clinging to the love of God, of opening the heart to divine love and seeking the happiness of others just as their heavenly Father does. Here and now, especially where we are a “little flock” (Lk 12:32), the Lord’s disciples are called to live as a community that is the salt of the earth and the light of the world (cf. Mt 5:13-16). We are called to bear witness to a constantly new way of living together in fidelity to the Gospe1.70 Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of community!

Evangelii Gaudium: Apostolic Exhortation, Paragraphs 87-92, Pope Francis (Catholic News Service)

THE PASTORAL CHALLENGES OF THE FAMILY IN THE CONTEXT OF EVANGELIZATION

“The family is experiencing very difficult times requiring the church’s compassion and understanding in offering guidance to families ‘as they are.”

Synod 2014 Working Paper

The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization

By the Synod of Bishops General Secretariat

Origins, Pages 157-183, July 17, 2014 Volume 44 Number 10

Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization

Contraception, divorce, same-sex marriage, abortion and the right of parents to be primary educators of their children will be among the topics facing the third extraordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops, according to the 24,600-word “instrumentum laboris,” or working paper, made public June 26 at the Vatican by the Synod Secretariat. The document will serve as the basis for discussions at the synod, scheduled for Oct. 5-19. It summarizes the thousands of responses received from bishops’ conferences, dioceses, parishes, academic institutions and individual Catholics and non-Catholics to a series of questions posed by the Vatican on marriage and family life. “Many respondents confirmed that even when the church’s teaching about marriage and the family is known, many Christians have difficulty accepting it in its entirety,” it says. Catechesis about marriage and family “cannot be limited exclusively to the preparation of couples for marriage,” but must instead permeate the entire church, the document adds. The working document says many bishops’ conferences encouraged the church to consider “more widely exercising mercy, clemency and indulgence toward” divorced and remarried Catholics. On the topic of same-sex marriages, the document said the church needs to “develop a ministry that can maintain the proper balance between accepting persons in a spirit of compassion and gradually guiding them to authentic human and Christian maturity.” The text of the working document follows

INTRODUCTION

0 n Oct. 8, 2013, Pope Francis convoked the third extraordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops to treat the topic “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization.” The General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops began its preparation by sending the preparatory document, which generated significant reflection among the people of God. The results of that consultation are presented in this instrumentum laboris. . . . .

The Holy Father has determined that the work of the Synod of Bishops is to take place in two stages forming an single organic unity. In the third extraordinary general assembly in 2014, the synod fathers will thoroughly examine and analyze the information, testimonies and recommendations received from the particular churches in order to respond to the new challenges of the family. The ordinary general assembly in 2015, representing a great part of the episcopate and continuing the work of the previous synod, will reflect further on the points discussed so as to formulate appropriate pastoral guidelines.

The instrumentum laboris is based on the responses to the questions in the preparatory document that was divided into eight groups of questions on marriage and the family. After its publication in November 2013, this document was distributed worldwide.

A great number of detailed responses to the questions was submitted by the synods of the Eastern Catholic churches sui iuris, the episcopal conferences, the departments of the Roman Curia and the Union of Superiors General. In addition, other responses — categorized as observations — were sent directly to the General Secretariat by a significant number of dioceses, parishes, movements, groups, ecclesial associations and families, not to mention academic institutions, specialists both Catholic and non-Catholic, all interested in sharing their reflections.

The present text is divided into three parts and, for an orderly treatment at the synodal assembly, reflects the eight major subjects treated in the series of questions. The first part, devoted to the Gospel of the family, treats the divine plan and the vocation of the person in Christ. Within this perspective, the section gives indications — positive as well as negative — of the faithful’s knowledge and acceptance of pertinent teachings on the family from the Bible and the documents of the church’s magisterium as well as the faithful’s understanding of the natural law.

The second part treats various challenges and actual situations related to the pastoral care of the family. The third part is devoted to the topic of an openness to life and the responsibility of parents in the upbringing of their children — characteristic of marriage between a man and a woman — with particular reference to difficult pastoral situations.

The present document, the fruit of a collegial effort by the General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops and the ordinary council of the General Secretariat to gather and examine the results of the consultation of the particular churches, is placed in the hands of the members of the synod assembly as the instrumentum laboris. The document offers a broad, yet by no means exhaustive perspective on the present-day situation of the family, on the challenges of the family and on the reflections related to the family today.

The topics that are not included in the document, those in response to Question 9 in the preparatory document (miscellaneous), will be treated in the ordinary general assembly of 2015.

Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri General Secretary Vatican City, June 24, 2014

PREFACE

The proclamation of the Gospel of the family is an integral part of the mission of the church, since the revelation of God sheds light on the relationship between a man and a woman, their love for each other and the fruitfulness of their relationship. In these times a widespread cultural, social and spiritual crisis is posing a challenge in the church’s work of evangelizing the family, the vital nucleus of society and the ecclesial community.

This proclamation of the Gospel of the family takes place in continuity with the synodal assembly on “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith” and the Year of Faith announced by Pope Benedict XVI.

The extraordinary general assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the topic “The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization,” aware that “tradition, originating with the apostles, proceeds in the . . .

COMMENTARY

Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle of Manila, Philippines, one of three presidents appointed by Pope Francis to direct the daily sessions of the extraordinary Synod of Bishops in October, told Catholic News Service that he found responses to a Vatican questionnaire about marriage and family issues “shocking, if I am allowed to use that word.”

“Shocking because almost in all parts of the world the questionnaires indicated that the teaching of the church regarding family life is not clearly understood by people, and the language by which the church proposes the teaching seems to be a language not accessible to people,” the cardinal said in an interview in mid-May.

“So this is my hope, not far change — how can you change the biblical teachings? But maybe a real pastoral and evangelical concern for the church: How do we present the good news of the family to this generation, with its limitations, with its greatness, with its unique experiences?”

Cardinal Tagle will take turns with Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois of Paris and Cardinal Raymund° Assis of Aparecida, Brazil, running the general sessions of the synod, which will be held Oct. 5-19.

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., will represent the U.S. at the 2014 synod as president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Other presidents of national bishops’ conferences, the heads of Eastern Catholic churches, Vatican officials and three superiors of men’s religious orders, chosen by the Union of Superiors General, will be full voting members. Usually the pope also makes several appointments..

The extraordinary synod — held outside the normal three-year cycle of synods — will not make any final. . . .

ISSN 0093-609X, Origins, CNS Documentary Service, is published weekly (except biweekly during July, August and December’s last week) by Catholic News Service, 3211 4th Street N.E., Washington, D.C. 20017-1100. Copyright © 2014 by Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Periodical-class postage paid at Washington, D.C. Editor, Edmond Brosnan; Associate Editor, Mary Esslinger; Director of CNS, Tony Spence                                                                                                                                    Editorial: (202) 541-3284. Circulation: (202) 541-3290 – www.originsonline.com.                                                                                                                                                                    Subscriptions: One year, $114; two years, $199; three years, $284; foreign postage additional. Single copy: $8.                                                                                                                     Back issues: Inquire for availability and rates. Attach mailing label to change of address requests and subscription correspondence.                                                                  Postmaster: Send address changes to Origins, CNS Documentary Service, 3211 4th Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20017-1100.                                                                               Documentation in Origins is selected on the basis of interest and usefulness in reference to current issues. Publication does not signify endorsement by Origins or its sponsoring body, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

158 origins

continued on page 158

http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/synod/documents/rc_synod_doc_20140626_instrumentum-laboris-familia_en.html

‘SENSUS FIDEI’ IN THE LIFE OF THE CHURCH

“Is the ‘sensus fidei’ something different from the majority opinion of the faithful in a given time or place, and if so how does it differ?

‘Sensus Fidei’ in the Life of the Church

International Theological Commission

Humble listening and proper consultation are necessary to discern the “sensus fidei” (sense of the faith) and “sensus fidelium” (sense of the faithful), especially on matters of controversy within the church, according to a new document from the International Theological Commission. Prepared by a 10-member subcommission and published on the Vatican website in late June with the approval of Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the document aims to explain the meaning, purpose and limits of the capacity of individual believers and of the church as a whole to discern the truth of faith. “When the reception of magisterial teaching by the faithful meets with difficulty and resistance, appropriate action on both sides is required,” it says, calling for “constant communication and regular dialogue on practical issues and matters of faith and morals between members of the church.” The document charges theologians with the task of critically examining “expressions of popular piety, new currents of thought and also new movements in the church for the sake of fidelity to the apostolic tradition.” Laypeople must commit to active participation in the liturgy and the sacraments, constant prayer, active engagement in the church’s mission and “a willingness to follow the commands of God,” the theologians said. Church leadership, for its part, must be open to what Pope Francis calls “new ways for the journey,” as discerned by laypeople. “One of the reasons why bishops and priests need to be close to their people on the journey and to walk with them is precisely so as to recognize ‘new ways’ as they are sensed by the people,” the document says. The full text follows:

Preliminary Note

In its quinquennium of 2009-2014, the International Theological Commission studied the nature of sensus fidei and its place in the life of the church. The work took place in a subcommission presided by Msgr. Paul McPartlan and composed of the following members: Father Serge Thomas Bonino, OP (secretary-general); Sister Sara Butler, MSBT; Rev. Antonio Castellano, SDB; Rev. Adelbert Denaux; Msgr. Tomislav Ivancic; Bishop Jan Liesen; Rev. Leonard Santedi Kinkupu, Dr. Thomas Söding, and Msgr. Jerzy Szymik.

The general discussions of this theme were held in numerous meetings of the subcommission and during the plenary sessions of the same International Theological Commission held in Rome between 2011 and 2014. The text “Sensus Fidei in the Life of the Church” was approved in forma specifica by the majority of members of the commission by a written vote and was then submitted to its president, Cardinal Gerhard L. Willer, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, who authorized its publication.

INTRODUCTION

1. By the gift of the Holy Spirit, “the Spirit of truth who comes from the Father” and bears witness to the Son (Jn 15:26), all of the baptized participate in the prophetic office of Jesus Christ, “the faithful and true witness” (Rv 3:14). They are to bear witness to the Gospel and to the apostolic faith in the church and in the world. The Holy Spirit anoints them and equips them for that high calling, conferring on them a very personal and intimate knowledge of the faith of the church.

In the first Letter of St. John, the faithful are told: “You have been anointed by the holy one, and all of you have knowledge. … The anointing that you received from [Christ] abides in you, and so you do not need anyone to teach you. … His anointing teaches you about all things” (1 In 2:20, 27).

2. As a result, the faithful have an instinct for the truth of the Gospel that enables them to recognize and endorse authentic Christian doctrine and practice, and to reject what is false. That supernatural instinct, intrinsically linked to the gift of faith received in the communion of the church, is called the sensus fidei, and it enables Christians to fulfill their prophetic calling.

In his first Angelus address, Pope Francis quoted the words of a humble elderly woman he once met, “If the Lord did not forgive everything, the world would not exist”; and he commented with admiration, “That is the wisdom the Holy Spirit gives.”‘ The woman’s insight is a striking manifestation of the sensus fidei, which, as well as enabling a certain discernment with regard to the things of faith, fosters true wisdom and gives rise, as here, to proclamation of the truth. It is clear, therefore, that the sensus fidei is a vital resource for the new evangelization to which the church is strongly committed in our time.’

3. As a theological concept, the sensus fidei refers to two realities that are distinct though closely connected, the proper subject of one being the church, “pillar and bulwark of the truth” (1 Tm 3:15),3 while the subject of the other is the individual believer who belongs to the church through the sacraments of initiation and who, by means of regular celebration of the Eucharist in particular, participates in her faith and life.

“The fathers and theologians of the first few centuries considered the faith of the church to be a sure point of reference for discerning the content of the apostolic tradition.”

On the one hand, the sensus fidei refers to the personal capacity of the believer, within the communion of the church, to discern the truth of faith. On the other hand, the sensus fidei refers to a communal and ecclesial reality: the instinct of faith of the church herself, by which she recognizes her Lord and proclaims his word.

The sensus fidei in this sense is reflected in the convergence of the baptized in a lived adhesion to a doctrine of faith or to an element of Christian praxis. This convergence (consensus) plays a vital role in the church: The consensus fidelium is a sure criterion for determining whether a particular doctrine or practice belongs to the apostolic faith.’

(Continued in Origins for July 3, 2014 – Volume 44, Number 9)

 

COMMENTARY – Page 134

The International Theological Commission was instituted by Pope Paul W in 1969 as an international body of theologians charged with advising the pope, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and other Vatican agencies on doctrinal issues. Its members are appointed by the pope and serve five-year, renewable terms. The commission’s president is the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, German Cardinal Gerhard Muller.

As explained in the preliminary note, the commission has been studying the nature of the “sensus fidei” since 2009. The text presented here was developed by a subcommittee, discussed during four years of the commission’s plenary sessions, approved by a majority of its members in a written vote and approved for publication by Cardinal Millie,: Current members of the commission, appointed by Pope Benedict XVI in June 2009, includes:

—Archbishop Study Hon Tai-Fai. SDB (China, secretary, Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, Vatican City).

—Archbishop Jan Wilhelmus Maria Liesen (Breda, Netherlands).

—Bishop Charles Morerod, OP (Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg, Switzerland).

—Bishop Paul Rouhana, OLM (titular bishop of Antarado, bishop, Patriarchal Vicariate of Sarba, Lebanon).

— Father Peter Damian Akpunonu (Nigeria, biblical exegesis, University of St. Mary of the Lake (Mundelein Seminary!, Chicago, Ill).

—Father Serge Thomas Bonino OR secretary-general (philosophy, the Catholic Institute of Toulouse; theology, Dominican Study Home of Toulouse, France).

—Father Geraldo Luiz Borges Hackmann (systematic theology, Pontifical Catholic University do Rio Grande do Sul of Porto Alegre, Brazil)

—Sister Sara Butler,

(Continued on Page 135)

NOTE: Complete text on link: http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/index.cfm

_________________________________________

ISSN 0093-609X, Origins, CNS Documentary Service, is published weekly (except biweekly during July, August and December’s last week) by Catholic News Service, 3211 4th Street N.E., Washington, D.C. 20017-1100. Copyright CO 2014 by Catholic News Service/U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Periodical-class postage paid at Washington, D.C. Editor, Edmond Brosnan; Associate Editor, Mary Esslinger; Director of CNS, Tony Spence.

Editorial: (202) 541-3284. Circulation: (202) 541-3290 – www.originsonline.com.

Subscriptions: One year, $114; two years, $199; three years, $284; foreign postage additional. Single copy: $8. Back issues: Inquire for availability and rates. Attach mailing label to change of address requests and subscription correspondence. Postmaster: Send address changes to Origins, CNS Documentary Service, 3211 4th Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20017-1100.

Documentation in Origins is selected on the basis of interest and usefulness in reference to current issues. Publication does not signify endorsement by Origins or its sponsoring body, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Page 133-134  of   Origins – Pages 133-154.

APART FROM THE CHURCH, IT IS NOT POSSIBLE TO FIND JESUS



Apart From the Church,
It Is Not Possible to Find Jesus


Pope Francis

Introduction:

“Following Jesus means belonging to the church, the community that gives Christians their identity, Pope Francis said. “Apart from the church it is not possible to find Jesus,” he said in a homily April 23. “The great Paul VI said: It is an absurd dichotomy to wish to live with Jesus but without the church, to follow Jesus but without the church, to love Jesus but without the church.” Dozens of cardinals living in Rome or visiting the Vatican joined the pope in the Pauline Chapel of the Apostolic Palace for the Mass on the feast of St. George, the martyr. The feast is the pope’s name day; he was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio. In his homily, Pope Francis spoke about the persecution of the first Christian communities and how opposition did not stop them from sharing their faith in Christ, but went hand in hand with even greater missionary activity. “At the very moment when persecution broke out, the church’s
missionary nature also ‘broke out,'” the pope said. When the first Christians began sharing the Gospel with the Greeks and not just other Jews, it was something completely new and made some of the apostles “a little nervous,” the pope said. They sent Barnabas to Antioch to check on the situation, a kind of “apostolic visitation,” he said. “Perhaps, with a touch of humor, we can say that this was the theological origin of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.” The pope spoke in Italian; a Vatican translation of his homily follows, copyright © 2013 by Libreria Editrice Vaticana.”

Address:

“I thank His Eminence, the cardinal dean, for his words: Thank you, Your Eminence, many thanks.
I also thank those of you who came today. Thank you! Because I feel warmly welcomed by you. Thank you! I feel at home with you and that pleases me. Today’s first reading makes me think that at the very moment when persecution broke out, the church’s missionary nature also “broke out.” These Christians went all the way to Phoenicia, Cyprus and Antioch and proclaimed the word (cf. Acts 11:19). They had this apostolic fervor in their hearts; and so the faith spread! Some people from Cyprus and Cyrene, not these but others who had become Christians, came to Antioch and began to speak also to the Greeks (cf. Acts 11:20).
This is yet another step. And, so the church moves forward. Who took this initiative of speaking to the Greeks, something unheard of, since they were preaching only to Jews? It was the Holy Spirit, the one who was pushing them on, on and on, unceasingly. But back in Jerusalem, when somebody heard about this, he got a little nervous and they sent an apostolic visitation: They sent Barnabas (cf. Acts 11:22).
Perhaps, with a touch of humor, we can say that this was the theological origin of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: this apostolic visitation of Barnabas. He took a look and saw that things were going well (cf. Acts 11:23).

If we want to take the path of worldliness, bargaining with the world … we will never have the consolation of the Lord.

And in this way the church is increasingly a mother, a mother of many, many children: She becomes a mother, ever more fully a mother, a mother who gives us faith, a mother who gives us our identity. But Christian identity is not an identity card. Christian identity means being a member of the church, since all these people belonged to the church, to mother church, for apart from the church it is not possible to find Jesus.
The great Paul VI said: It is an absurd dichotomy to wish to live with Jesus but without the church, to follow Jesus but without the church, to love Jesus but without the church (cf. Evangelii Nuntiandi, 16). And that mother church who gives us Jesus also gives us an identity that is not simply a rubber stamp: It is membership. Identity means membership, belonging. Belonging to the church: This is beautiful! The third idea that comes to my mind ? the first was the outbreak of the church’s missionary nature and second the church as mother ? is that, when Barnabas saw that crowd, the text says, “and a great many people were brought to the Lord” (Acts 11:24), when he saw that crowd, he rejoiced. “When he came and saw the grace of God, he rejoiced” (Acts 11:23). It is the special joy of the evangelizer.
It is, as Paul VI said, “the delightful and comforting joy of evangelizing” (cf. Evangelii Nuntiandi, 80). This joy begins with persecution, with great sadness and ends in joy. And so the church moves forward, as a saint tells us, amid the persecutions of the world and the consolations of the Lord (cf. St. Augustine,
De Civitate Dei, 18:51, 2: PL 41, 614).
This is the life of the church. If we want to take the path of worldliness, bargaining with the world ? as the Maccabees were tempted to do back then ? we will never have the consolation of the Lord. And if we seek consolation alone, it will be a superficial consolation, not the Lord’s consolation, but a human consolation. The church always advances between the cross and the resurrection, between persecutions and the consolations of the Lord. This is the path: Those who take this path do not go wrong.
Today let us think about the missionary nature of the church: these disciples who took the initiative to go forth and those who had the courage to proclaim Jesus to the Greeks, something that at that time was almost scandalous (cf. Acts 11;19-20). Let us think of mother church, who is increasing, growing with new children to whom she gives the identity of faith, for one cannot believe in Jesus without the church. Jesus himself says so in the Gospel: But you do not believe because you do not belong to my sheep (cf. Jn 10:26).
Unless we are “Jesus’ sheep,” faith does not come; it is a faith that is watered down, insubstantial. And let us think of the consolation Barnabas experienced, which was precisely the “delightful and comforting joy of evangelizing.” Let us ask the Lord for this parrhesia, this apostolic fervor that impels us to move
forward as brothers and sisters, all of us: forward! Forward, bearing the name of Jesus in the bosom of holy mother church, as St. Ignatius said, hierarchical and Catholic. Amen.”

COMMENTARY:

“The biggest threat to the church is worldliness, Pope Francis said in his daily morning Mass homily. A worldly church becomes weak, and while people of faith can look after the church, only God “can look evil in the eye and overpower it,” he said April 30. The pope celebrated the Mass with members of the Vatican’s investment agency in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthas. The day’s reading from the Gospel of St. John recounts Jesus telling his disciples, “I will no longer speak much with you, for the ruler of the world is coming;” but Satan “has no power over me.”
The pope said, “If we don’t want the prince of this world to take the church in his hands, we have to entrust her to the only one who can defeat the prince of this world. Entrusting the church to the Lord is a prayer that makes the church grow” and is an act of faith because “we can do nothing. All of us are poor servants of the church,” he said.
Israeli President Shimon Peres officially invited Pope Francis to Israel, telling the pope “the sooner you visit the better, as in these days a new opportunity is being created for peace, and your arrival could contribute significantly to increasing the trust and belief in peace.”
The Israeli president’s remarks were reported in a statement released by the Israeli Embassy to the Vatican after Peres met Pope Francis April 30. The statement said Peres told Pope Francis about efforts to restart Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, mentioning specifically the meeting April 29 in Washington between U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the foreign ministers of the Arab League.
Peres also told the pope that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas “is a genuine partner for peace,” the statement said. Peres left the meeting at the Vatican telling the pope, “I am expecting you in Jerusalem and not just me, but all the people of Israel.”
Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, Vatican spokesman, told reporters, “The pope would be happy to go to the Holy Land,” although there are no concrete plans for the trip. The Vatican said that during their half-hour private conversation, the pope and the president discussed “the political and social situation in the Middle East, where more than a few conflicts persist.” Going to confession isn’t like heading off to be tortured or punished, nor is it like going to the dry cleaners to get out a stain, Pope Francis said in a morning Mass homily. “It’s an encounter with Jesus” who is patiently waiting “and takes us as we are,” offering penitents his tender mercy and forgiveness, he said April 29.
Members of the Vatican’s investment agency and a group of religious women joined the pope for the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae. “God is light, and in him there is no darkness at all,” the pope said, quoting from the First Letter of John.
While everyone experiences moments of darkness in life, the verse refers to the darkness of living in error, “being satisfied with oneself, being convinced of not needing salvation,” he said. As John continues, the pope said, “If we say, ‘We are without sin,’ we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” People have to start out with the humility of realizing “we are all sinners, all of us, “he said.”



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