The Joy of the Gospel

By Sam Lucero | The Compass | November 30, 2013

Much has been written, and will continue to be written, about the new apostolic exhortation released last week by Pope Francis, “The Joy of the Gospel.” The exhortation was written in response to the Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization held at the Vatican in October 2012. The bishops who met at the Vatican in 2012 released a series of final propositions that came out of their discussions.

After Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation, it was up to Pope Francis to write a document responding to the final positions. Catholic News Service reported that Pope Francis “declined to use the draft provided by synod officials” in writing his exhortation. Instead, he chose to use their findings as springboards for a document that reflected his distinct style and concerns.

Among those concerns are the inequalities that exist in economic systems, particularly those in the world’s wealthy nations. He also tackles the church’s own shortcomings.
“He laments its ‘excessive centralization’ in the Vatican,” reported Catholic News Service. “Most remarkably, the pope devotes nearly a tenth of the entire document to suggestions for improving priest homilies. …”

Jesuit Fr. James Martin, culture editor for America Magazine, appeared on National Public Radio Nov. 30 to discuss the pope’s document, particularly on what he says about capitalism. You can listen to the interview below.

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