Rorate Caeli

Apostolic Exhortation "Evangelii Gaudium"

Apostolic Exhortation
of the Holy Father
to the Bishops, Clergy,
Consecrated Persons,
and the Lay Faithful
on the Proclamation of the Gospel
in today's World

We notice in particular the persistent references to Saint Thomas Aquinas throughout the text - a much more Thomist text than anything ever authored by Benedict XVI, and the most Scholastic-oriented document since Fides et Ratio. Paul VI in particular, but also John Paul II and Benedict XVI also widely quoted.

A remarkable quote: "Since this Exhortation is addressed to members of the Catholic Church, I want to say, with regret, that the worst discrimination which the poor suffer is the lack of spiritual care." (EG, 200)

On the other hand: "Since I am called to put into practice what I ask of others, I too must think about a conversion of the papacy. It is my duty, as the Bishop of Rome, to be open to suggestions which can help make the exercise of my ministry more faithful to the meaning which Jesus Christ wished to give it and to the present needs of evangelization. Pope John Paul II asked for help in finding 'a way of exercising the primacy which, while in no way renouncing what is essential to its mission, is nonetheless open to a new situation'. We have made little progress in this regard. The papacy and the central structures of the universal Church also need to hear the call to pastoral conversion. The Second Vatican Council stated that, like the ancient patriarchal Churches, episcopal conferences are in a position 'to contribute in many and fruitful ways to the concrete realization of the collegial spirit'. Yet this desire has not been fully realized, since a juridical status of episcopal conferences which would see them as subjects of specific attributions, including genuine doctrinal authority, has not yet been sufficiently elaborated. Excessive centralization, rather than proving helpful, complicates the Church’s life and her missionary outreach." (EG, 32)  And once again the Council is widely quoted, as is Pope John XXIII's criticism of the "prophets of doom", without the expression of deep sorrow for all post-conciliar failures caused directly by the implementation of Vatican II.

A series on different aspects of Evangelii Gaudium is forthcoming here in Rorate. If you wish to send us your comments and thoughts, follow us @RorateCaeli.