Loading
Pope's exhortation praised as a guide to Christian outreach
Pope Francis at the Wednesday general audience in St. Peter's Square on June 5, 2013. Credit: Lauren Cater/CNA.
Pope Francis at the Wednesday general audience in St. Peter's Square on June 5, 2013. Credit: Lauren Cater/CNA.
By Kevin J. Jones
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Pope Francis' new document on the “joy” of evangelization is an opportunity for Catholics to re-examine how to share the gospel in today's world, several Catholic commentators note.

“Pope Francis says the Church has to focus on what is essential and most beautiful, that everyone has to have a personal encounter with the saving grace of Christ,” Vatican media adviser Greg Burke said Nov. 26.

“It’s a wide-ranging document, one that deals with everything from better Sunday homilies to the broadening gap between rich and poor.”

The Pope's 85-page document, “The Joy of the Gospel,” was released Nov. 26. Also known as “Evangelii Gaudium,” the apostolic exhortation follows the 2012 bishops' synod on the new evangelization, which was held as part of the Year of Faith.

Father Mark Morozowich, dean of the Catholic University of America’s School of Theology and Religious Studies, called the work “a wonderful call for the entire Church to once again rethink what we’re doing to seed the ever-renewing Spirit and to reach out in evangelization,”

“You can really see the pastor coming through in Pope Francis,” Fr. Morozowich told CNA Nov. 26. “I think he wants that closeness of pastoral life between the bishop and his flock, between the priest and his people.”

He cited the Pope's comment that evangelizers take on the “smell of the sheep.” The document is written, he noted, “as a pastor would speak to his parishioners” in the Pope’s “invitational style” that is “very approachable.”

Fr. Morozowich said Pope Francis is “calling parishes to renewal” and parish leaders should ask themselves questions like “What more can we do to reach out? How can we invite people? Are we an inviting place?”

Bishop David Ricken of Green Bay, chair of the U.S. bishops’ Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis, said Pope Francis is showing “how to live the gospels and reach out to the world with what every person needs, a relationship with God.”

“He is leading the word to deeper faith, and the bishops of the United States happily receive this exhortation with faith and look forward to sharing it in our dioceses.”

Carl Anderson, Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus, said the document shows Pope Francis’ “missionary spirit” and is “an important and timely contribution to the cause of the new evangelization.”

“It highlights his belief that the gospel message and loving outreach of the Church are for everyone, that the Church must go outside itself and welcome those on the margins with love and healing in the spirit of Christ himself,” Anderson said Nov. 26.

“If this document is embraced by the Church throughout the world, it could mark a key moment for a reinvigorated new evangelization of our culture, which too often has forgotten the Good News of the Gospel, which is central to our faith.”

Burke said the document is in some ways traditional and has an emphasis on “returning to the essentials.” In other ways, it is “prophetic” as Pope Francis calls for a change to how the papacy and the Vatican work.

Burke noted the document’s treatment of the economy and its critique of “the culture of prosperity which makes people indifferent to the needs of others.”

“The document suggests major changes are on the way, with Francis noting that the Church has to get over an attitude that says 'we’ve always done it this way,'” the Vatican media adviser said.

Tags: Pope Francis, Joy of the Gospel

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day
Missionary of Charity, Korea
Testimony of Christian Love during Pope's Visit to Korea
Religious Sisters in South Korea react to Pope Francis kissing a baby
Warm atmosphere during Holy Mass at Daejeon World Cup Stadium
Images inside Pope Francis flight to South Korea
Dec
20

Liturgical Calendar

December 20, 2014

Advent Weekday

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Gospel
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Judg 13: 2-7, 24-25A
Gospel:: Lk 1: 5-25

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »

Saint
Date
12/15/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 21:23-27

Homily
Date
12/15/14
12/14/14
12/13/14