Bishop Pat Power called it the most enriching and life-giving papal document since Vatican II. Evangelii Gaudium is the first major document authored by Francis. Analysis from Pat Power, Frank Brennan, George Weigel, and others within.
- Excerpts from:
OF THE HOLY FATHER
23 November 2013
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...
48. If the whole Church takes up this missionary impulse, she has to go forth to everyone without exception. But to whom should she go first?
When we read the Gospel we find a clear indication: not so much our friends and wealthy neighbours, but above all the poor and the sick, those who are usually despised and overlooked, 'those who cannot repay you' (Lk 14:14).
There can be no room for doubt or for explanations which weaken so clear a message. Today and always, 'the poor are the privileged recipients of the Gospel,'  and the fact that it is freely preached to them is a sign of the kingdom that Jesus came to establish.
We have to state, without mincing words, that there is an inseparable bond between our faith and the poor. May we never abandon them.
49. Let us go forth, then, let us go forth to offer everyone the life of Jesus Christ. Here I repeat for the entire Church what I have often said to the priests and laity of Buenos Aires: I prefer a Church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security.
I do not want a Church concerned with being at the centre and which then ends by being caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures.
If something should rightly disturb us and trouble our consciences, it is the fact that so many of our brothers and sisters are living without the strength, light and consolation born of friendship with Jesus Christ, without a community of faith to support them, without meaning and a goal in life.
To read the full Apostolic Exhortation: CLICK HERE.
Bishop Pat Power: Surprised by Joy (The Good Oil)
George Weigel: Pope Francis the Revolutionary (The Wall Street Journal)
John L. Allen Jr: 'Evangelii Gaudium' amounts to Francis' 'I Have a Dream' speech (NCR)
Fr Frank Brennan SJ: Pope Francis throws the doors of the Church wide open (Ucanews)
Pope Francis calls for decentralised Vatican in reform document (The Australian)
Pope issues first Apostolic Exhortation: Evangelii Gaudium (Vatican Radio)
Lumen Fidei: an overview of Pope Francis’s first encyclical (The Catholic Herald)