Pope Francis' Proclamation on the Gospel in Today's World

Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gadium
The Proclamation of the Gospel in Today’s World

The scope and limits of this Exhortation
I was happy to take up the request of the Fathers of the Synod* to write this Exhortation.19 In so doing, I am reaping the rich fruits of the Synod’s labours. In addition, I have sought ad­vice from a number of people and I intend to express my own concerns about this particular chapter of the Church’s work of evangelization. Countless issues involving evangelization today might be discussed here, but I have chosen not to explore these many questions which call for further reflection and study. Nor do I believe that the papal magisterium should be expected to offer a definitive or complete word on every question which affects the Church and the world. It is not advisable for the Pope to take the place of local Bishops in the discernment of every is­sue which arises in their territory. In this sense, I am conscious of the need to promote a sound “decentralization”.
Here I have chosen to present some guide­lines which can encourage and guide the whole Church in a new phase of evangelization, one marked by enthusiasm and vitality. In this con­text, and on the basis of the teaching of the Dog­matic Constitution Lumen Gentium, I have decid­ed, among other themes, to discuss at length the following questions:
a) the reform of the Church in her missionary outreach;
b) the temptations faced by pastoral workers;
c) the Church, understood as the entire People of God which evangelizes;
d) the homily and its preparation;
e) the inclusion of the poor in society;
f) peace and dialogue within society;
g) the spiritual motivations for mission.
I have dealt extensively with these topics, with a detail which some may find excessive. But I have done so, not with the intention of provid­ing an exhaustive treatise but simply as a way of showing their important practical implications for the Church’s mission today. All of them help give shape to a definite style of evangelization which I ask you to adopt in every activity which you undertake. In this way, we can take up, amid our daily efforts, the biblical exhortation: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say: Rejoice” (Phil 4:4).
*The XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops gathered from 7-28 Oc­tober 2012 to discuss the theme: The New Evan­gelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith. The Synod reaffirmed that the new evangeliza­tion)

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