Wednesday 24th May 2017

Home » Our Catholic Faith » Currently Reading:

Evangelii Gaudium . . . A Document To Savor And Return To

January 1, 2014 Our Catholic Faith No Comments

By MOST REV. PHILIP EGAN

(Editor’s Note: The Most Rev. Philip Egan, bishop of Portsmouth, England, sent the following message to the priests and people of the Diocese of Portsmouth on the publication of Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium. He called the exhortation a stimulus to put faith into action. The bishop’s message was dated December 9, 2013, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception. ZENIT News Agency provided the text; all rights reserved.)

+    +    +

On November 24 this year, the Solemnity of Jesus Christ, the King of the Universe, in conclusion to the Year of Faith, Pope Francis published the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”) that followed up the Synod of Bishops held in Rome in 2012 on “The New Evangelization for the Transmission of the Christian Faith.”
On behalf of the clergy and people of the Diocese of Portsmouth, I welcome this uplifting and courageous document and I wish publicly to thank the Holy Father for his deep and meaningful teaching. Because in this exhortation the Pope freely develops the discussions of the synod and adds so much of his own thought and reflection, I suggest that alongside Evangelii Gaudium, we also continue to study the 58 propositions the synod issued so that the significant contribution of the synod to Catholic thought and to the work of our diocese not be overlooked.
Evangelii Gaudium is a long document. Yet it is easy to follow, and its central message, about how a personal relationship with Jesus Christ in His Body the Church naturally drives us out joyfully to evangelize others, is direct.
It is a classic expression of Pope Francis’ thought, style, and preaching as seen in his daily homilies at Mass, his speeches and audiences. I encourage everyone in our diocese to read it and study it, perhaps a few paragraphs a day, over the coming months. It is a perfect accompaniment to the “Year of Faith in Action” that I recently announced for the diocese as a follow-up to the Year of Faith.
The exhortation has five chapters. In chapter one (nn. 19-41), the Holy Father begins with the Church and how we need to transpose everything into a missionary key, going beyond our comfort zones to take the Good News of Christ joyfully to the peripheries. He next discusses the crisis of community in the modern world (nn. 50-109), brought about in part by trickle-down economics and consumer culture, which generates individualism and indifference.
In chapter three (nn. 110-175), he explores certain aspects of evangelization, such as the need to inculturate the Gospel and the role of preaching. Chapter four (nn. 176-258) is about the social dimension of the Church’s mission, especially her preferential option for the poor — “I want a Church that is poor for the poor” (n. 198) — and the need to build peace, justice, and fraternity. The Holy Father concludes the exhortation with a brief chapter on the spirituality of being a missionary disciple (nn. 259-288).
There are three features of the exhortation I wish to draw attention to, before asking some specific questions about how the Holy Father’ message might apply to the Diocese of Portsmouth.
1) First, note the Holy Father’s trenchantly critical analysis of the current economic model of consumer capitalism (nn. 52-60). Money, he avers, has become an idol that no longer serves people but dominates and excludes, creating huge inequalities that marginalize many and lead some to violence. “How can it be that it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?…Can we continue to stand by when food is thrown away while people are starving?” (n. 53).
In this context, “some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. Meanwhile, the excluded are still waiting.”
Indeed, “we are thrilled if the market offers us something new to purchase” but in the meantime, “all those lives stunted for lack of opportunity seem a mere spectacle; they fail to move us” (n. 54). The current socioeconomic system is “unjust at its root” (n. 59): it needs to be brought into dialogue with ethics and with God.
2) Clergy might note, secondly, the Holy Father’s extensive consideration of the homily and its preparation (nn. 135-159). In the liturgy, the homily should not dominate but lead people, like a mother speaking with her child, to Jesus in the Holy Eucharist. The pastor must be close both to the word of God and to his people. His words should set people on fire (n. 142). The preacher needs to be personal (n. 149), linked with daily life (n. 154) and able to use clear images (n. 157) with simple language (n. 158). His message must always be positive and lead listeners to a personal encounter with Christ.
3) Thirdly, the Holy Father speaks time and again of the Church’s mission as one of preferential love for the poor (nn. 186-216). “Each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, and for enabling them to be fully a part of society.” Indeed, if we, “who are God’s means of hearing the poor, turn deaf ears to this plea, we oppose the Father’s will and his plan” (n. 187).
This planet belongs to everyone, not just a few; the “mere fact that some people are born in places with fewer resources or less development does not justify the fact that they are living with less dignity. It must be reiterated that the more fortunate should renounce some of their rights so as to place their goods more generously at the service of others” (n. 190).
God’s heart “has a special place for the poor, so much so that he himself became poor” (2 Cor. 8:9). The Savior “was born in a manger, in the midst of animals, like children of poor families; he was presented at the Temple along with two turtledoves, the offering made by those who could not afford a lamb; he was raised in a home of ordinary workers and worked with his own hands to earn his bread” (n. 197).
This is why, Pope Francis adds, “I want a Church which is poor and for the poor” (n. 198). He mentions the “homeless, the addicted, refugees, indigenous peoples, the elderly who are increasing isolated and abandoned, . . . migrants . . . victims of various kinds of human trafficking, . . . unborn children,” the latter being the “most defenseless and innocent” of all (nn. 210, 211, and 216).
Evangelii Gaudium is challenging. At times the Holy Father adopts a style of “prophetic denunciation,” reminiscent of liberation theology, although without the undercurrent of Marxist ideology. It is a document to savor and return to, and a stimulus and call to put faith into action. In the Diocese of Portsmouth, as a follow-up from the Year of Faith, we have announced a “Year of Faith in Action” and during this Year we will be establishing our new diocesan agency, Caritas Portsmouth.
This is exactly in line with the Holy Father’s message. Consequently, I wish to urge the clergy and people of our parishes and pastoral areas to study this apostolic exhortation. Ask yourselves: Who are the poor in your neighborhood? What is the meaning of “poverty” in your local context? What strategies of assistance and support for those in need might you individually and communally put in place?
But there are three further questions the document raises for our Diocese of Portsmouth, that I would like to ask. First, our parish communities and pastoral areas. The parish, Pope Francis states, is a key locus of new evangelization. Over the coming Year of Faith in Action, I wish to ask you to give some thought as to how our parishes and pastoral areas can be transformed into truly evangelizing communities.
“The parish is . . . the presence of the Church in a given territory, an environment for hearing God’s word, for growth in the Christian life, for dialogue, proclamation, charitable outreach, worship, and celebration. In all its activities the parish encourages and trains its members to be evangelizers. It is a community of communities, a sanctuary where the thirsty come to drink in the midst of their journey, and a center of constant missionary outreach” (n. 28).
As your bishop I ask you: How genuinely mission-oriented is your parish and your pastoral area?

Evangelizing
The Urban Areas

2) Secondly, our cities and urban areas. The Holy Father discusses the challenges of modern urban culture and the city as the particular goal of new evangelization (nn. 71-75). We “need to look at cities with a contemplative gaze, a gaze of faith which sees God dwelling in their homes, in their streets and squares” (n. 71).
For new “cultures are constantly being born in these vast new expanses where Christians are no longer the customary interpreters or generators of meaning. Instead, they themselves take from these cultures new languages, symbols, messages, and paradigms which propose new approaches to life, approaches often in contrast with the Gospel of Jesus” (n. 73).
The challenge is how to find “innovative spaces and possibilities for prayer and communion which are more attractive and meaningful for city dwellers” (n. 74).
So let us think of the cities and urban areas of our Diocese of Portsmouth. They tend to follow the motorway corridors: the M3, M4, M27, etc. Think, for instance, of Oxford, Reading, Ascot and Windsor, Aldershot, Basingstoke, Winchester, Eastleigh and Southampton, Portsmouth and Bournemouth. Then there are the islands, the Isle of Wight and the Channel Isles, which are fairly densely populated.
How should we “interpret” these dispersed urban areas? That is, how might the Lord be calling us specifically to evangelize them? What are the needs? What new “ways-in” might there be?
At the moment, I am conducting a consultation about grouping our pastoral areas into six or seven larger regions or deaneries in order to enable better strategic thinking for the new evangelization. But as your bishop I ask you: How might you, your parish community, your pastoral area, become a better evangelizer of the urban cultures of our dispersed centers?

Conversation With The Lord

3) And thirdly, ourselves. Pope Francis here and elsewhere calls for our churches to be open. The “Church is called to be the house of the Father, with doors always wide open. One concrete sign of such openness is that our church doors should always be open, so that if someone, moved by the Spirit, comes there looking for God, he or she will not find a closed door” (n. 47).
Moreover, “without prolonged moments of adoration, of prayerful encounter with the Word, of sincere conversation with the Lord, our work easily becomes meaningless; we lose energy as a result of weariness and difficulties, and our fervor dies out.
“The Church urgently needs the deep breath of prayer, and to my great joy groups devoted to prayer and intercession, the prayerful reading of God’s word and the perpetual adoration of the Eucharist are growing at every level of ecclesial life” (n. 262).
How good it is, the Holy Father opines, “to stand before a crucifix, or on our knees before the Blessed Sacrament, and simply to be in his presence! How much good it does us when he once more touches our lives and impels us to share his new life!” (n. 264).
For the “primary reason for evangelizing is the love of Jesus which we have received, the experience of salvation which urges us to ever greater love of him.” In the Diocese of Portsmouth, I once again urge everyone: Keep your church open! Visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament! Adore Him and come away renewed, sharing your love and happiness with others!
But as your bishop I ask you: When and how are you yourself going to find time to do this, to be in the Presence of the Lord in the Holy Eucharist? Pope Francis concludes Evangelii Gaudium by turning to Mary.
He notes that whenever we look to her, “we come to believe once again in the revolutionary nature of love and tenderness. In Her we see that humility and tenderness are not virtues of the weak but of the strong who need not treat others poorly in order to feel important themselves. . . . She is the woman of prayer and work in Nazareth, and She is also Our Lady of Help, who sets out from Her town ‘with haste’ (Luke 1:39) to be of service to others. This interplay of justice and tenderness, of contemplation and concern for others, is what makes the ecclesial community look to Mary as a model of evangelization” (n. 288).
At the end of this message, let us commend ourselves and all the clergy and people of our diocese to the powerful intercession of Mary Immaculate our patron. Mary is the Star of New Evangelization and if you look at my episcopal “coat of arms” you will see that Star shining brightly in the sky over the Diocese of Portsmouth.
Here is part of the Holy Father’s prayer, which I ask you now to pray: “O Mary, Star of the New Evangelization, help us to bear radiant witness to communion and service, to ardent and generous faith, and to justice and love of the poor, so that the joy of the Gospel may reach to the ends of the earth, illuminating even the fringes of our world.” Amen.
In Corde Iesu.

+    +    +

(© Innovative Media Inc.)

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Planned Parenthood Closing Multiple Abortion Clinics in Iowa After State Defunds It

The abortion chain Planned Parenthood announced plans Thursday to close four Iowa clinics as a result of a new state law that defunds it. At the end of June, Planned Parenthood facilities in Burlington, Keokuk and Sioux City, Iowa will…Continue Reading

Graduates walk out on Pence at Notre Dame commencement

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Dozens of graduates and family members silently stood and walked out Sunday as Vice President Mike Pence began his address at Notre Dame’s commencement ceremony. Pence, the former governor of Indiana, was invited to speak…Continue Reading

Trump nominates Callista Gingrich for ambassador to the Vatican

President Trump has nominated Callista Gingrich, the wife of former Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), as ambassador to the Holy See, the White House announced Friday. The nomination comes just five days before Trump is set to meet with Pope Francis…Continue Reading

The murder case of Blessed Oscar Romero has been reopened

San Salvador, El Salvador, May 19, 2017 / 01:14 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A nearly 40 year-old murder case was reopened this week to properly prosecute the suspected killer behind the Salvadorian archbishop’s martyrdom. Because of an amnesty law that prohibited…Continue Reading

Notre Dame Protest of Pence Twists Catholic Social Teaching

This Sunday, vice president Mike Pence will return to his home state of Indiana to deliver the commencement address at the University of Notre Dame. For the third time in several years, the school’s graduation ceremony will be plagued by…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood is Ditching the Failed “Pro-Choice” Label. Here’s Why

The “pro-choice” label has not been working out so well for the abortion chain Planned Parenthood. The labels pro-choice and pro-life have been used for decades to help identify people’s positions on abortion, but young adults seem to be moving…Continue Reading

Bishop Conley: The Pro-Choice Political Dictatorship of Relativism

In 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who would soon be elected Pope Benedict XVI, preached that “we are building a dictatorship of relativism that does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and…Continue Reading

These Republicans Voted Against the Bill to Defund the Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz

Republicans in the House of Representatives yesterday voted for a Reconciliation bill that would defund the Planned Parenthood abortion business. This was the second attempt to get enough votes on the reconciliation bill that would not only defund the nation’s…Continue Reading

Cecile Richards Comes Unglued After House Defunds Planned Parenthood: Republicans Hate Women

Planned Parenthood abortion business president Cecile Richards it’s not happy that the House of Representatives voted yesterday to defund Planned Parenthood. The main response of the CEO of the nation’s biggest abortion conglomerate can be summed up in three words:…Continue Reading

Despite pro-life provisions, healthcare bill raises serious concerns

Vatican City, May 4, 2017 / 05:27 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The House passed a repeal of the Affordable Care Act and a replacement health care bill on Thursday, but one bishop warned that the new bill poses serious problems for…Continue Reading

Nine Catholic Colleges to Honor Opponents of Catholic Teaching at Commencement Ceremonies

This spring’s commencement honorees at nine Catholic colleges include pro-abortion politicians, a dissenting priest, and advocates for same-sex marriage, according to The Cardinal Newman Society’s annual review of commencement speakers and honorary degree recipients at more than 200 Catholic colleges…Continue Reading

Matt Walsh: Dear Christians, there’s nothing ‘compassionate’ about helping people get to Hell

I received this email yesterday. The subject line, as you could guess, was “Compassion”: Matt, you call yourself a Christian but you have no compassion. The Jesus I believe in just wants people to be compassionate towards each other. We…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Pope Francis Receives US President Donald J. Trump

Pope Francis received President of the United States of America, Donald Trump, today, May 24, 2017, at about 8:30 a.m. in the Apostolic Palace, before Francis’ weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square. The meeting was broadcasted by Vatican Television and can be watched via this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVCm1-toVFg According to a statement released by the Holy See Press Office, the discussions, which lasted about 30 minutes, were cordial.

Trump budget completely defunds abortion providers, and Planned Parenthood is furious

May 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Pro-abortion feminists are bemoaning and pro-lifers are celebrating President Trump’s 2018 budget proposal that would withhold all federal funds from abortion-provider Planned Parenthood. Breitbart reported yesterday that Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney told the media on Monday that the new budget would defund the abortion business, but only if the new Republican healthcare legislation passed recently by the House is also passed by the Senate and…Continue Reading

Catholic Church Sues St. Louis to Stop It From Becoming a “Sanctuary City” for Abortion

Several Missouri Catholic groups filed a lawsuit Monday challenging a St. Louis ordinance that could force them to hire abortion activists and rent to pro-abortion groups. The Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis, the pro-life maternity home Our Lady’s Inn and a local Catholic businessman said the city ordinance violates their constitutional freedoms. In their lawsuit, they ask the court to block the city from enforcing the measure. In February, the St. Louis Board of Alderman…Continue Reading

Canon lawyer tells diocese to follow guidelines allowing Communion for remarried

May 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A canon lawyer told priests at a workshop run by a U.S. diocese that Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia has allowed them to break with the Church’s tradition practice of refusing Communion to “remarried” Catholics. Since the diocesan bishop has not issued his own guidelines on the Pope’s exhortation, the canonist said, the priests can follow the controversial interpretations from the bishops of Malta and Buenos Aires. The workshop was recorded…Continue Reading

Pope Francis announces new June 28 consistory

Vatican City, May 21, 2017 / 04:56 am (CNA/EWTN News).- During his Regina Coeli address Sunday, Pope Francis announced to pilgrims that he will be holding a June 28 consistory to create 5 new cardinals he said represent the “catholicity” of the Church. “Brothers and sisters, I wish to announce to you that Wednesday, June 28, I will hold a consistory for the nomination of 5 new cardinals,” the Pope said May 21, adding that…Continue Reading

A Movie Review… “Outcasts” And True Social Justice

By REY FLORES “A bold example of social justice in action” — Follow the cameras of Grassroots Films, the Award-Winning producers of The Human Experience and Child 31, on an unexpected journey across the globe. Travel to the prisons of Central America, walk the dark city streets of London, New York, and Ireland’s most treacherous…Continue Reading

Kentucky Printer Can Refuse LGBT Message

LEXINGTON, Ky. — A Kentucky Court of Appeals ruling on May 14 affirmed a printer who objected to promoting a message for Lexington’s Gay and Lesbian Services Organization (GLSO) which conflicted with his sincerely held religious beliefs. Hands On Originals’ managing owner, Blaine Adamson, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, refused to print T-shirts for the…Continue Reading

No Help For Minor Children… Gender Confusion Prevails In The Courts

By DEACON MIKE MANNO (Editor’s Note: Deacon Mike Manno, an attorney, is director of deacons for the Diocese of Des Moines and host of Iowa Catholic Radio’s Faith On Trial program [www.iowacatholicradio.com]. He can be reached at deaconmike@iowacatholicradio.com.) + + + This month the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal of a Ninth…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… Conservatism, Economics, Social Welfare, And Catholic Social Teaching

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly, sometimes bimonthly. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

A Book Review . . . Pragmatism Revisited

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Putnam, Hilary, and Ruth Anna Putnam. Pragmatism as a Way of Life: The Lasting Legacy of William James and John Dewey. Edited by David Macarthur. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2017. xi + 475 pp. Cloth, $49.95. This book consists of twenty-seven essays, thirteen by Ruth Anna Putnam, eleven by Hilary Putman,…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Canonization Mass For Jacinta And Francisco . . . Pope Francis Says: “Dear Pilgrims, We Have A Mother”

(Editor’s Note: Pope Francis on May 13 canonized Jacinta and Francesco Marto, as the highlight of his May 12-13 Apostolic Pilgrimage to Fatima. Below is the Vatican translation of the Pope’s homily during the Mass, as provided by ZENIT News Agency. (It is followed by the text of Pietro Cardinal Parolin’s homily at the vigil. Earlier at the vigil, the…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… 25th Ordination Jubilee Solemn High Mass And Celebration

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK (Editor’s Note: The staff of The Wanderer congratulates Fr. Cusick on his upcoming 25th anniversary of Ordination.) + + + Thank you for reading my column so faithfully over the years and for all that you have done to support the apostolate of The Wanderer. As we mark the 25th anniversary of my June 6,…Continue Reading

Our Savior And Redeemer… More On The Gabirah, The Queen Mother

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 8 St. Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, in his celebrated book True Devotion to Mary, explains that our Lady is not only the Mother of Christ, the Mother of God Incarnate, but she is also the spiritual Mother of All Christians, of all those who are baptized into the Church founded by her Son. He…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Of Healing

By DON FIER When we began our examination of the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) on the seven sacraments several months ago, it was noted that they are often grouped into various categories: sacraments of the living and of the dead; sacraments of initiation, healing, and vocation or service; sacraments that can be received only once…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I find the following passages in the Gospels puzzling. When the soldiers came to arrest Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and they asked Him if He was Jesus the Nazorean, He replied, “I told you that I AM. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.” John says that “this was to fulfill what he…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Peter Sanz And Companions

By CAROLE BRESLIN In 1748, the Viceroy of Peking with great frustration asked, “What are we to do with these men? Their lives are certainly irreproachable. . . . Their jailers and their families become their disciples and embrace their religion. To prolong this state is only to give them the opportunity of increasing the number of Christians.” Thus Peter…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Pope St. Celestine V

By CAROLE BRESLIN After the death of Pope St. John Paul II, faithful Catholics rejoiced at the election of Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as the next Vicar of Christ. The German prelate took the name of Benedict XVI for two reasons: in memory of Pope Benedict XV who led the Church during the turbulent times of World War I, seeking peace…Continue Reading