Sunday 26th June 2016

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

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Catholic Bishops Blast Obama Admin for Forcing Churches to Pay for Abortions

The leading pro-life spokesmen for the Catholic bishops are blasting an Obama administration decision revoking federal protection for chruches in California forced to pay for abortions. As LifeNews reported, churches in California are officially subject to an onerous state regulation…Continue Reading

Church Leaders React to Supreme Tie on DAPA/DACA

Catholic leaders from around the country were expressing disappointment today in response to a Supreme Court tie vote that effectively terminates Obama administration initiatives on immigration that shielded millions from deportation. Bishop Oscar Cantu of Las Cruces, New Mexico, described…Continue Reading

Catholic universities must insure abortion, Obama administration rules

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The Obama administration has ruled against two Catholic universities, upholding a rule issued by the state of California requiring all employers to cover elective abortions in their insurance plans – even if the…Continue Reading

Progressive Catholic groups publish “Pope Francis” voter guide

While the IRS revoked the non-profit status of the George Soros-subsidized Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (CACG) in October 2013 for failing to file a form 990 for three consecutive years, the organization recently re-emerged with a progressive…Continue Reading

Pope Francis: Most Catholic marriages are null, some ‘cohabitations’ are ‘real marriage’

June 17, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Pope Francis spoke yesterday at a pastoral congress on the family for the Diocese of Rome, and his remarks are causing consternation among faithful Catholics. In off-the-cuff remarks, the pope made the dual claim that…Continue Reading

From Fox News . . .Enough is enough, Pope Francis should resign

By Adam Shaw ·Published June 17, 2016 · FoxNews.com Pope Francis’s three-year-old papacy, marred by controversy from the beginning, has hit a new low. After Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected to succeed Pope Benedict XVI in 2013, he quickly justified his…Continue Reading

Florida Bishop Blames Orlando Massacre on Catholic ‘Contempt’ for Homosexuality

The Catholic Bishop of St. Petersburg, Fla, has blamed Catholic disapproval of homosexual acts for the brutal slaughter of 49 people in the Pulse nightclub on Sunday. In a blogpost Monday, Bishop Robert Lynch said that Catholicism “targets” and “often…Continue Reading

WATCH: Congresswoman Blasts Sales of Aborted Baby Parts in Explosive Speech Filled With Evidence

Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler gave a recent speech on the flood of the House of Representatives blasting the sales of aborted baby parts. The member of the special panel investigating Planned Parenthood and the sales of aborted baby parts provided shocking…Continue Reading

Transgender bathroom debate: Lawmakers in Massachusetts pass bill allowing use of restrooms based on gender identity

The Massachusetts’ House of Representatives has passed a bathroom bill on Wednesday that will allow transgenders to use restrooms according to their gender identity. Voting 116-36, lawmakers passed the bill despite protests from people who went to the House to…Continue Reading

Bishop Schneider: Pope’s exhortation will lead to practice that ‘trivializes and profanes … three sacraments’

June 7, 2016 (Voice of the Family) — Bishop Athanasius Schneider has made his strongest comments yet on the “real spiritual danger” posed by the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The bishop said that the document contains expressions that are “objectively…Continue Reading

Kasich admin gives Planned Parenthood waiver to continue abortions in defiance of state law

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 2, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – A Planned Parenthood abortion facility in Cincinnati can continue performing abortions, despite the fact that it is breaking state law, because Gov. John Kasich’s administration issued a waiver. On Friday, Ohio Department of…Continue Reading

Amoris Laetitia is ‘objectively unclear’ since even bishops have conflicting interpretations: Cardinal Caffarra

ROME, May 30, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The cardinal tasked by Saint Pope John Paul II 36 years ago with founding an institute to study marriage and the family has criticized Pope Francis’ recent Apostolic Exhortation on the family for lacking…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  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 145 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

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

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Today . . .

Pope Francis arrives in Armenia

popef99

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis arrived in Armenia’s capital Yerevan at 12.55 pm Rome time on Friday 24th June to begin his 14th apostolic journey abroad. Armenia is a landlocked mountainous nation which borders with to the west Turkey, to the East Azerbaijan, to the north Georgia and to the South Iran. He was warmly welcomed by the President of the nation’s Republic Serzh Sargsyn and the Catholicos of All Armenia Karekin II. Also present were…Continue Reading

Thomas Aquinas and the Art of Making a Public Argument

taqun

Zenit.org June 22, 2016•Bishop Robert Barron I would like to revisit a time when people knew how to have a public argument about the most hotly-contested matters … There is, in many quarters, increasing concern about the hyper-charged political correctness that has gripped our campuses and other forums of public conversation. Even great works of literature and philosophy – from Huckleberry Finn and Heart of Darkness to, believe it or not, Kant’s Critique of Pure…Continue Reading

Pope: All of Amoris Laetitia is ‘sound doctrine’; ban the death penalty

Francis doubles down on Amoris Laetitia In the wake of substantial criticisms of his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis has stated that “everything” written in the document is “sound doctrine.” The remarks are especially pertinent in light of the first critical observations on the exhortation issued by Raymond Cardinal Burke which stressed that parts of the document were the Pope’s personal opinion and not to be taken as magisterial. Speaking at the opening of…Continue Reading

Valencia’s Card. Cañizares persecuted for defending nature, common sense against “gender theory”, homosexualist agenda

I was in Spain recently, having breakfast – as one does – and, while munching the ubiquitous toast with tomato looked up at the TV only to see a discussion of Card. Canizares Llovera and the trouble he was in for giving what sounded like a really good sermon in Valencia. I shot a photo of the screen… it I can find it… Since then the Cardinal’s problems have multiplied. BTW… he had the nickname…Continue Reading

Papal comments on cohabitation and civil marriage suggest a direction

June 18, 2016 11:51 EST Edward N. Peters The pope’s most recent comments on marriage point in a disturbing direction but let’s address two important matters first. Point One. Cohabitation is not marriage. Largely overlooked amid the furor caused by Pope Francis’ rash claim that “the great part of our sacramental marriages are null”—an assertion reckless if false (which it is) and brimming with despair if true (which it is not), a claim followed not…Continue Reading

“No Fly, No Buy” Means No Freedom

By JUDGE ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO The people in the government who want to control our personal choices are the enemies of freedom. And the enemies of freedom can be very clever and seductive. This past week, these folks, manifesting their lust to keep us dependent upon the government by rejecting the natural right to self-defense,…Continue Reading

Islam & The West: Irreconcilable Conflict?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN On Saturday night, June 11, Omar Mateen was a loner and a loser. Sunday, he was immortal, by his standards, a hero. Mateen had ended his life in a blaze of gunfire and glory. Now everybody knew his name. He had been embraced by ISIS. His face was on every TV…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101… “The First Time Around: Euthanasia In Nazi Germany”

germ2

By BRIAN CLOWES Conclusion (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.) + + + Step 2: Dehumanization The first…Continue Reading

Fr. Pavone Says . . . Trump Speech “Crystal Clear” Supporting Life, Religious Liberty

By DEXTER DUGGAN Presumed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has an entire political-party structure behind him that is pro-life, so it’s not a matter of simply having to hope that Trump will follow pro-life principles, Fr. Frank Pavone told The Wanderer after attending an important Trump speech for social and religious conservatives. Pavone, national director…Continue Reading

We Should Not Aim For Purgatory

By JOHN YOUNG “I’ll be satisfied if I get to Purgatory.” I recently heard that statement from a Catholic, and I think that mindset is probably quite widespread. It may be said in a thoughtless way, or may even be a sign of humility, confessing that one is far from the holiness one should have.…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Liturgical Seasons And Cycles

By DON FIER As we continued our consideration of “how the liturgy is celebrated” last week, we saw that sacred art (along with sacred music) plays a prominent role in our worship of God. In his 1999 Letter to Artists, Pope St. John Paul II highlighted its importance by saying: “In order to communicate the message entrusted to her by…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. I just want to ask what James J. Drummey’s qualifications are for answering the questions that subscribers ask. Does he have a title or does he consult with an authority on these issues? — K.C., via e-mail. A. My qualifications for writing the Catholic Replies column for the past 25 years include reading, studying, pondering, praying, writing, speaking, and teaching…Continue Reading

Take Up Your Cross

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fourteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Isaiah 66:10c-14 Gal. 6:14-18 Luke 10:1-12, 17-20 In the Gospel reading today we hear about the seventy-two men the Lord had sent out ahead of Him. He had given them authority to heal people and to expel demons. That sounds great, but when one actually sees it happen…Continue Reading

Benedict XVI On His 2011 Ordination Anniversary… Long Experience Of The Goodness Of The Lord

(Editor’s Note: Below we reprint the text of Pope Benedict XVI’s homily on his 60th anniversary of Ordination to the priesthood, given at St. Peter’s Basilica, June 29, 2011. The text is from the website of Catholic News Agency. (Pope Emeritus Benedict was preparing to celebrate the 65th anniversary of his Ordination as The Wanderer went to press this week.…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… “Mass, The Musical”

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK I write to you shortly after the massacre in Orlando, witnessing the divisions that some are making in reaction to this great sin in the sight of God. Above all, and first of all, those who died are human beings, created lovingly by God in His image and likeness, and it is this truth we…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . Mother Maria Guadalupe Garcia Zavala

By CAROLE BRESLIN Which basilica in the country of Mexico has been visited by both Pope St. John Paul II and Pope Francis? The Basilica of Our Lady of Zapopan. Like Our Lady of Guadalupe, the story of Our Lady of Zapopan begins in the year 1531. Beginning in 1531, the same year that Our Lady of Guadalupe appeared to…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. John Francis Regis

By CAROLE BRESLIN In the late 16th century, Calvinism began to make significant advances in the Catholic population of France. More and more Catholics left the faith, or simply stopped going to Mass and practicing their faith. Then God sent a man to the French who preached tirelessly and then spent hours in the confessional, helping the penitents return to…Continue Reading

COMPLETE 3 PART Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Insights On The State Of The Church In The Aftermath Of The Ordinary Synod On The Family

Cburke3

By DON FIER Part 1 (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, recently traveled from Rome to the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., a magnificent place of worship which he founded and dedicated. (His Eminence graciously granted an extensive interview to The Wanderer during which he…Continue Reading