The Pope's first apostolic exhortation, titled 'Evangelii Gaudium' or 'Joy of the Gospel' has been published. It's the first public document completely authored by Pope Francis. Divided in five chapters, it highlights several points about what it really means to be Christian. It deals with mercy, sharing the joy of faith, the role of the Pope and of Episcopal conferences. Also topics ranging from spirituality and the defense of life to poverty and economics.
MSGR. RINO FISICHELLA
President, Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization
"He uses clear and immediate language in this text, without any type of rhetoric. Pope Francis goes to the heart of modern day problems, adding that to respond to these, the Church must show more than just a presence.”
Pope Francis began writing this text back in August 2013, after he came back from World Youth Day in Rio. The Pope urges Catholics to welcome the "delightful and comforting joy of evangelizing.” He also includes some of the conclusions discussed during the 2012 Bishops Synod on the New Evangelization.
MSGR. LORENZO BALDISSERI
Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops
"What's quite striking, right off the bat, is the way he describes the joy that comes with living the Gospel, hence the name 'Evangelii Gaudium.' In fact throughout the text he includes the word 'joy' a total of 59 times.”
MSGR. CLAUDIO MARIA CELLI
President, Pontifical Council for Social Communications
"Because it is in fact an apostolic exhortation it has its unique style and wording. I also want to highlight that the Pope uses a common language to explain his points, which include a spiritual and pastoral dimension.”
The document is more than just an invitation to spread the faith. Rather the Pope is making a direct call to all Catholics, so they may accept the personal responsibility of moving the new evangelization forward.