Looking at this capitalist world where the Word of God is forgotten by many, the Roman Catholic pope Francis I attacked that unfettered capitalism as “a new tyranny”, urging global leaders to fight poverty and growing inequality in a 84-page document, known as an apostolic exhortation. In previous comment he had already criticised the global economic system, attacking the “idolatry of money” and beseeching politicians to guarantee all citizens “dignified work, education and healthcare“.
As first non-European pontiff in 1,300 years coming from South America he has seen enough poverty to know how people are suffering under it. This poverty should not exist in a Christian world and therefore the pontiff called on rich people to share their wealth.
“Just as the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill‘ sets a clear limit in order to safeguard the value of human life, today we also have to say ‘thou shalt not’ to an economy of exclusion and inequality. Such an economy kills,”
Francis wrote in the document issued on Tuesday and also presented this Sunday to the people.
But people should not only share their material wealth, they should let others know what they believe in in Whom they trust.
Pope Francis offers his document to the Church as a map and guide to her pastoral mission in the near future. It is an invitation to recover a prophetic and positive vision of reality without ignoring the current challenges. Pope Francis instils courage and urges us to look ahead despite the present crisis, making the cross and the resurrection of Christ once again our “the victory banner”
The pope said renewal of the church could not be put off and the Vatican and its entrenched hierarchy “also need to hear the call to pastoral conversion”.
“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,” he wrote.
The last Synod on the New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith (2012) may have influenced the drafting of this Exhortation but according to the pope it are his own words and ideas taken independent from the clergy of his church.
The Pope commits to paper not only his previous pastoral experience. He has a clear vision where he wants to bring the church of his Saint Peter which has come in a similar environment as the first church, very hostile world to the believe in the son of God and in the works of God. Not many are interested in God or church and one can wonder if there are still many who have some or little faith.
Extending the teaching of the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii nuntiandi of Paul VI (1975), this new pope emphasizes the centrality of the person of Jesus Christ, the first evangelizer, of whom many have forgotten his function at the early times of our current era. Many have forgotten the call of Christ and love at the people who still continue the task Jesus ordered them to do, namely preaching or witnessing for Jehovah.
“The Church’s missionary action is the paradigm for all of her endeavours”,
affirms the Holy Father, so that it is necessary to seize this favourable moment in order to catch sight of and live out this “new stage” of evangelisation.
The Pope did not only directed his words to his Holy Roman Catholic Church but finds that each individual has to take up his responsibility. Spreading the Word of God is not only restricted to the institution of the Catholic Church. It should be the task of the whole Church, and each individual evangelizer, may discover a common methodology born of the conviction that evangelisation is always participatory, shared and never isolated.
He gave seven points, gathered together in the five chapters of the Exhortation, constituting the fundamental pillars of Pope Francis’ vision of the new evangelization: the reform of the Church in a missionary key, the temptations of pastoral agents, the Church understood as the totality of the People of God which evangelises, the homily and its preparation, the social inclusion of the poor, peace and social dialogue, and the spiritual motivations for the Church’s missionary action.
The cement which binds these themes together is concentrated in the merciful love of God which goes forth to meet every person in order to manifest the heart of his revelation: the life of every person acquires meaning in the encounter with Jesus Christ and in the joy of sharing this experience of love with others.
- Pope Francis says Catholics must become evangelisers
- Capitalism and economic policy and Christian survey
- Idolatry or idol worship
- The possibilities of faith: A Faith that can move mountains
- Faith a commitment to the promises of Christ and to to the demands of Christ
- Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
- Breathing to teach
- Church sent into the world
- Testify of the things heard
- Looking to the East and the West for Truth
- Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
- Proclaiming shalom, bringing good news of good things, announcing salvation
- Witnessing Glad Tidings
- Witnessing at LaGuardia Airport
- In Major Document, Pope Francis Presents His Vision – NYTimes.com (nytimes.com)
In a challenge to the Vatican hierarchy, Francis called for decentralizing power in the church, saying the Vatican and even the pope must collaborate with bishops, laypeople and in particular women.
Francis’ prescription for the church is inextricably tied up with his analysis of what is wrong with the world. He devotes many pages to denouncing the “dictatorship” of a global economic system and a free market that perpetuates inequality and “devours” what is fragile, including human beings and the environment.
- A map and guide to the Church’s pastoral mission (blognovic.com)
The life of every person acquires meaning in the encounter with Jesus Christ and in the joy of sharing this experience of love with othersThe first chapter, therefore, proceeds in the light of the reform of the Church in a missionary key, called as she is to “go out” of herself in order to meet others. It is “the dynamic of exodus and the gift of going out of oneself, walking and sowing ever a new, always further and beyond”, that the Pope explains in these pages. The Church must make “this intimacy of Jesus, which is an itinerant intimacy”, its own intimacy. The Pope, as we are already accustomed to, makes use of effective expressions and creates neologisms to grasp the nature of the Church’s evangelizing action. First among these is the concept of “primerear”, namely God preceding us in love and indicating to the Church the path to follow.
- “The Joy Of The Gospel” (dish.andrewsullivan.com)
“I dream of a ‘missionary option,’” Francis writes, “that is, a missionary impulse capable of transforming everything, so that the church’s customs, ways of doing things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably channeled for the evangelization of today’s world, rather than for her self-preservation.”
- Pope Francis calls on Catholics to create more compassionate church (irishtimes.com)
It challenges the church to “abandon the complacent attitude that says: ‘We have always done it this way,’” to find novel, “bold and creative” ways to speak to the faithful and to make the church more meaningful.
Bishops and priests on the ground have a better sense of the needs of the faithful, as well as their frustrations, and parishes should become a critical part of the church’s evangelisation and outreach.
A parish should be a point of “contact with the homes and the lives of its people,” and not a “useless structure out of touch with people or a self-absorbed cluster made up of a chosen few,” he wrote.
- Pope Francis calls unfettered capitalism ‘tyranny’ and urges rich to share wealth (theguardian.com)
Called Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), the exhortation is presented in Francis’s simple and warm preaching style, distinct from the more academic writings of former popes, and stresses the church’s central mission of preaching “the beauty of the saving love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ”.
- Pope Francis strikes again (millennialjournal.com)
Pope Francis’s new apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (Joy of the Gospel) is creating headlines throughout the world only hours after its release. In the 51,000 word text, Francis lays out a new vision for the Church and its role in today’s society.
He’s done this is a less formal way throughout the first eight months of his papacy, but this document represents the first unified and complete communication of his vision.
- Pope Francis Calls Unfettered Capitalism ‘A New Tyranny’ (businessinsider.com)
A meditation on how to revitalize a Church suffering from encroaching secularization in Western countries, the exhortation echoed the missionary zeal more often heard from the evangelical Protestants who have won over many disaffected Catholics in the pope’s native Latin America.
In it, economic inequality features as one of the issues Francis is most concerned about, and the 76-year-old pontiff calls for an overhaul of the financial system and warns that unequal distribution of wealth inevitably leads to violence.
“As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems,” he wrote.
Denying this was simple populism, he called for action “beyond a simple welfare mentality” and added: “I beg the Lord to grant us more politicians who are genuinely disturbed by the state of society, the people, the lives of the poor.”
- Pope Says Power Should be Moved Away from Vatican (goldenageofgaia.com)
He called for power to be decentralised away from Rome and towards bishops and priests working in Catholic dioceses around the world.
“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,” the Jesuit Pope wrote in the document, formally known as an “apostolic exhortation” to the faithful. The Church must not allow itself to be “caught up in a web of obsessions and procedures”, he wrote, in what amounted to a mission statement for the Holy See.
It was time for “a conversion of the papacy” because “excessive centralisation, rather than proving helpful, complicates the Church’s life”, said the pontiff, who has made reform of the Vatican’s dysfunctional finances and administration a priority of his papacy.
- Pope Francis attacks ‘tyranny’ of unfettered capitalism, ‘idolatry of money’ (worldnews.nbcnews.com)
Stressing cooperation among religions, Francis quoted the late Pope John Paul II’s idea that the papacy might be reshaped to promote closer ties with other Christian churches and noted lessons Rome could learn from the Orthodox such as “synodality” or decentralized leadership.
He praised cooperation with Jews and Muslims and urged Islamic countries to guarantee their Christian minorities the same religious freedom as Muslims enjoy in the West.
- Vatican officials say Pope’s document provides map for Church’s future (catholicherald.co.uk)
The archbishop, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelisation, told reporters that Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), 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.”