Pope Francis issues his first Apostolic Exhortation—Evangelii Gaudium, the Joy of the Gospel
The Joy of the Gospel is the title Pope Francis has chosen for this first major document of his pontificate, putting down in print the joyous spirit of encounter with Christ that characterizes every public appearance he has made so far. The man who has constantly kept the media’s attention with his desire to embrace and share his faith with everyone he meets, now urges us to do exactly the same. To “recover the original freshness of the Gospel”, as he puts it, through a thorough renewal of the Church’s structures and vision. Including what he calls “a conversion of the papacy” to make it better able to serve the mission of evangelization in the modern world. The Church, he says, should not be afraid to re-examine “customs not directly connected to the heart of the Gospel” even if they may have deep historical roots.
In strikingly direct and personal language, the Pope appeals to all Christians to bring about a “revolution of tenderness” by opening their hearts each day to God’s unfailing love and forgiveness. The great danger in today’s consumer society, he says, is “the desolation and anguish” that comes from a “covetous heart, the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures, and a blunted conscience.” Whenever our interior life becomes caught up in its own interests , he warns, “there is no longer room for others, no place for the poor.”
1. Tory+ wrote:
I’ve only read the outline and skimmed the text. (We just finished studying his encyclical Lumen Fidei at Truro with great effect). This new Exhortation sounds like an apologia for his missiology, an evangelical Catholicism in the tradition of the Nouvelle Theologians with a good dose of Luigi Giussani.
This bodes well for Anglicanism under the leadership of ++Welby.
November 27, 12:14 am | [comment link]
2. Sarah wrote:
Blessedly, Welby doesn’t lead “Anglicanism.”
November 27, 10:30 am | [comment link]
3. Tory+ wrote:
He most certainly and blessedly does. Indeed, one can’t be an authentic Anglican and be out of communion with him.
We may disagree about the effectiveness of his leadership, but there is no dispute about who occupies Augustine’s chair and who represents Anglicans to the rest of the Christian church worldwide.
Blessings on your holiday
November 27, 11:21 am | [comment link]
4. Capt. Father Warren wrote:
I too have read the outline of the Pope’s encyclical and Chapter 2 in some detail. It appears here that the Pope reaches back to his Jesuit roots in Argentina to look at [or to] a world order that makes the Gospel a reality for all mankind. Unfortunately, it seems he subordinates individual freedom to “structures” which diminish freedom in the name of such “structures” promoting good decisions for mankind [to mankind’s benefit].
Having seen that utopian style of thinking on full display in the U.S. for the last five years, I think the most charitable thing I could say is that I wish such a utopia could be true [intellectually], but history and the nature of mankind, demonstrate it is not.
A better environment for realization of the Gospel as a reality for mankind comes from the founding of this country. Painstaking, prayerful work by the founders produced a society of maximum freedom, held together by laws and just enough government to support that society in a meaningful way. That society thrived as every person had the freedom to explore commercially and spiritually their dreams and potential; with maximum responsibility for the outcomes of their decisions and actions.
I hope the American Roman Catholic Bishops will have some conversations with Pope Francis about this.
November 27, 11:23 am | [comment link]
5. MichaelA wrote:
“Indeed, one can’t be an authentic Anglican and be out of communion with him.”
Really? Do you have any support for that assertion, Fr Baucum, or is it something you just made up?
The reason I write this, is that I can’t off-hand think of any passage in Holy Scripture that talks about it, nor in the Anglican formularies, the creeds, the great councils, or even a report of a Lambeth conference.
Actually, I don’t think the Archbishop of Canterbury himself claims it.
So… why are you asserting it?
Please help me here, Tory+, because I am having great trouble thinking of ANYTHING which would support the notion that being in communion with the Archbishop of Canterbury has anything to do with being an authentic Anglican.
“but there is no dispute about who occupies Augustine’s chair”
I don’t recall Sarah disputing who the Archbishop of Canterbury is, if that’s what you mean. And “Augustine’s chair” is such a lovely, quaint expression, but not really relevant to anything.
“and who represents Anglicans to the rest of the Christian church worldwide.”
Again, you appear to be unaware of what most Anglicans believe, or of what the archbishop of Canterbury himself believes.
By the way, aren’t you in ACNA? I seem to recall that many in ACNA are not in communion with ABC, so does that mean you are saying that they are not “authentic Anglicans”?
November 28, 4:03 am | [comment link]
6. Tory+ wrote:
Hi Michael A
Fair question. Anglicanism does not exist in a vacuum but rather as a reform movement within the wider Western Church. When the Bishop of Rome, for example, wishes to consult with the Anglican Church he does not call New York nor Abuja. He calls Canterbury/Lambeth. This is widely known. And I don’t believe this will be changing, at least anytime soon.
I have articulated the ecclesiology behind these statements in my tract Why Anglicanism? which can be accessed on our website. Some of the other tracts found there also shed light on this matter
November 28, 10:24 am | [comment link]
7. Tory+ wrote:
I do believe Archbishop Duncan is in Communion with the ABC. Also, it is widely known that teams have been sent to C of E by ++Duncan to advocate for ACNAs recognition (I served on one of those teams….again public knowledge). Our orders are already in process of being recognized.
My personal belief is that ACNA will be formally recognized in the next decade.
November 28, 10:54 am | [comment link]
8. Sarah wrote:
RE: “He most certainly and blessedly does. Indeed, one can’t be an authentic Anglican and be out of communion with him.”
Nope, not true. He leads the Church of England and he leads—sort of in a vague and nominal way—the “Anglican Communion.”
We not only disagree about “the effectiveness of his leadership” but we disagree about *what* he actually leads, and of course, masses of other things as well.
November 28, 12:18 pm | [comment link]
9. Sarah wrote:
RE: “I don’t recall Sarah disputing who the Archbishop of Canterbury is, if that’s what you mean. And “Augustine’s chair” is such a lovely, quaint expression, but not really relevant to anything.”
Yes, but it serves as a nice attempted distraction from the imprecise, inaccurate language with which he started out. ; > )
November 28, 12:22 pm | [comment link]
10. MichaelA wrote:
“When the Bishop of Rome, for example, wishes to consult with the Anglican Church he does not call New York nor Abuja. He calls Canterbury/Lambeth.”
That’s not correct. In 2012, the Pope granted two audiences to Anglicans - one to the Archbishop of Canterbury, and one to Gafcon bishops. The chairman of Gafcon, ++Wabukala could not make it due to last minute travel issues, but ++Duncan of ACNA attended.
That hardly indicates that the Curia regards ABC as the only representative of all Anglicans.
November 28, 5:43 pm | [comment link]
11. MichaelA wrote:
“I do believe Archbishop Duncan is in Communion with the ABC.”
Through being TEC bishop of Pittsburgh, yes. But how is that an answer to my question? You know perfectly well that there are many bishops and clergy in ACNA who are not formally in communion with ABC, and who are not in any way inhibited from ministry because of that. My question remains - what does being recognised by ABC have to do with “being authentically Anglican”?
“Also, it is widely known that teams have been sent to C of E by ++Duncan to advocate for ACNAs recognition”
Actually that advocacy was directed to the General Synod of CofE, not to ABC. ++Williams recognised the GS could do whatever it liked on that issue, regardless of his views. In any case, how is that an answer to my question?
“My personal belief is that ACNA will be formally recognized in the next decade.”
Again, how is that an answer to my question? You admit that they aren’t formally recognised now, and despite your prognostications, you cannot say with any certainty that they ever will be. That means (on your terms) that they aren’t “authentically Anglican”. I am still waiting to hear why that should be so.
November 28, 5:52 pm | [comment link]
12. MichaelA wrote:
“He leads the Church of England and he leads—sort of in a vague and nominal way—the “Anglican Communion”.”
November 28, 5:57 pm | [comment link]
13. Katherine wrote:
It is my understanding that +Welby received the Holy Communion consecrated by +Duncan in Nairobi recently. That sounds like “in communion” to me.
November 28, 6:32 pm | [comment link]
14. tjmcmahon wrote:
One does wonder under what theory of ecclesiology one can be in communion with TEC and ACNA at the same time, given that the majority of clergy of ACNA have been deposed by TEC, and are, under “official” Anglican rules, no longer clergy. Either a) Robert Duncan abandoned the communion of the Church was properly deposed, or b) Katharine Jefferts Schori abandoned the communion of the Church by deposing an orthodox bishop. Difficult to find a “both/and” solution there.
Of course, if the CoE keeps on its current trajectory ala the Piling Report, they will be lucky to be in communion with 10 of the current churches of the Anglican Communion, and certainly not ACNA.
November 28, 6:38 pm | [comment link]
15. tjmcmahon wrote:
Katherine, I believe the celebrant of the Eucharist was ++Wabukala, ++Duncan assisted. Of course, I was not there, so I cannot say definitively who said the words. Granted, I thought Welby much more generous on these matters than Williams, and the photos of him shaking hands with ++Duncan, and the reports of Bishop Iker, were most encouraging. But then, a couple days later, ++Welby took communion with the Porvoo bunch as well, so he is definitely in full communion with gay bishops and whatnot.
If ++Welby considers himself in communion with ACNA, he should say so, in words that are understandable to both liberals and conservatives. So far, he has crafted every message to the immediate audience, and this leads him into self-contradiction on a weekly basis.
November 28, 6:46 pm | [comment link]
16. Sarah wrote:
RE: “It is my understanding that +Welby received the Holy Communion consecrated by +Duncan in Nairobi recently.”
Yeh . . . but Welby and Williams have received Communion from bunches of rascals and scallawags over the years.
Further, the orders of ACNA clergy have long been recognized—probably from the beginning of ACNA—as “valid” and they’ve gone ministering in COE parishes too—but of course, the recognition of ACNA orders hasn’t been a question anyway.
November 28, 8:56 pm | [comment link]
17. Katherine wrote:
So, with all of this ambiguity, I wonder how being “in communion” with Canterbury, and even how “being in communion” is defined, can be THE only way to know if one is Anglican. Seems not.
November 28, 9:21 pm | [comment link]
18. Tory+ wrote:
Back to my original post. I’m grateful to Kendall for alerting us to this amazing document. I will be living with it for some time.
So much in it comports well with Archbishop Welby’s emphasis on renewal and evangelization (as evidenced by one among many examples, the Roman Catholic order coming to live and minister at Lambeth)! I do think he has written something of a road map for all of us who long for the unity of the church and discipling of the nations. Par 244-246 was especially encouraging in light of this thread.
November 28, 10:46 pm | [comment link]
19. Charles52 wrote:
The economic portion of the exhortation does not, to my reading, depart from standard Catholic social teaching in any way. It’s possible that he went beyond the moral teaching proper to his office into means of enacting those moral teachings, which is proper to economists and politicians, but that happens from time to time.
As to the rest, one wag noted that it relies a lot to Cursillo, and I’m hard pressed to deny that.
We were laughing at my family’s today about his call to keep sermons short. That met with unanimous approval.
November 28, 10:56 pm | [comment link]
20. Tory+ wrote:
Par 98-101 also merits prayerful consideration. I’ve seen what he is describing.
I know that since we have walked the path of peace our Alpha courses have doubled in size with seekers. The Holy Spirit is renewing our joy as we love our adversaries.
I think Pope Francis has his finger on the pulse of the Church and his prescription fills me with hope
November 28, 10:59 pm | [comment link]
21. Matt Kennedy wrote:
I am terribly pleased that the ACNA is not in full communion with Canterbury, especially with the present archbishop whose program of reconciliation with heretics without requiring repentance and recantation betrays the gospel and endangers the lives and souls of those with same sex attraction. With regard to the present pope, he does seem quite confused about economic theory…but that is to be expected I suppose.
November 29, 9:23 pm | [comment link]
22. David Ould wrote:
I do think he has written something of a road map for all of us who long for the unity of the church…
What?!!! Has the Pope embraced Justification by Faith Alone and the sufficiency of Scripture? Has he rejected Purgatory, Pardons, Worshipping, and Adoration as well of Images as of Reliques, and also invocation of Saints, as a fond thing vainly invented, and grounded upon no warranty of Scripture, but rather repugnant to the Word of God?
Which paragraph is that in?
November 29, 9:42 pm | [comment link]
23. David Ould wrote:
...the path of peace…
Which “path of peace” is that one, Tory?
November 29, 9:43 pm | [comment link]
24. Charles52 wrote:
Worshipping of images and relics?
#21 - Francis writes 240+ pages on having a personal relationship with Jesus, and you speak of economics? To be fair, you are in lots of company, Catholic, non-Catholic, and secular. But it does speak to American priorities.
November 30, 12:35 am | [comment link]
25. tjmcmahon wrote:
Posted this over at SF, but in many ways, it is actually in answer to assertions made on this thread, although with apologies to elves, as it is indeed off topic….
I think it is pretty clear from the attitudes and statements of the current and past ABoC that there will be no “full communion” status for ACNA until some time in the future after the retirements of the bishops who were deposed by TEC. Then, maybe, if ACNA has come ‘round on the gay issues and is willing to make nice with TEC, and accept second tier status and sign the bogus covenant, well, maybe.
Rowan Williams caved to KJS’ demands that he cease to recognize bishops who were present at Lambeth only months earlier, just as he caved to her demands that he “suggest” that the late Bishop Schofield might be best off staying home (which the good bishop needed to do in any case due to health concerns). He could have avoided the entire debacle by simply not recognizing the depositions and “renunciations,” since they were neither justified nor canonical. But he determined that maintaining a full communion relationship with TEC was more important than the Church. And +Welby has followed his lead. Note that the ABoC maintains full communion relationships with the gay bishops of TEC and Porvoo, and all clergy and bishops who perform gay marriages, in open defiance of Lambeth 1.10 and his own ordination vows, but ACNA is off limits.
November 30, 10:20 am | [comment link]
26. Matt Kennedy wrote:
Hi Charles52, it certainly reflects the ability of some Americans to recognize sloppy thinking and baldly false assertions (the absurd suggestion, for example, that those who support supply side economics assume that human leaders are basically good. Not even those who disagree with the theory believe it is grounded in some kind of positive view of human nature. The opposite is true as any freshman Econ student could tell you). As for the bit you quoted above, that was not written by an American but by an Australian, David Ould. His comment reflects an inconvenient penchant for reminding us that there remain deep irresolvable doctrinal divisions between Rome and the churches of the reformation…most notably Rome’s rejection of the gospel. Thanks David, for the reminder.
November 30, 10:33 am | [comment link]
27. Tory+ wrote:
The Lutheran/Roman Catholic Joint Declaration speaks to your query about justification, which of course, is at the heart of the reformation debate and division. RC Church approved it in 1999. Now it’s in a long process of reception and must be nurtured along with other ecumenical endeavors. I’m grateful that many Anglicans have assisted this process, including Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali through his work on ARCIC.
But admittedly much yet remains to be done. I am committed to that work, especially in my roles in evangelization with Catholics. That is one of the reasons I welcome this newest Apostolic Declaration.
Your questions about peacemaking can be answered by browsing the teachings found on our website, with which I know you are familiar.
Peace to you….
November 30, 12:58 pm | [comment link]
28. Matt Kennedy wrote:
The Joint Declaration is a semantic fiction. Rome continues to add grace infused works to faith as the necessary basis for justification. Rome has always agreed we are justified through faith…it is the “alone” part that they have not agreed to and that is the core of the reformation debate. The Joint Statement merely repeats various things Catholics and evangelicals have always agreed on in very conciliatory language. It is an empty document.
November 30, 1:09 pm | [comment link]
29. Capt. Father Warren wrote:
Did not the “faith alone” mandate of Luther come from his mis-translation of the Vulgate into German [Romans3:28]? And did not Calvin continue that line?
The Greek for “to justify” is diakaioo, a verb. Rome saw justification as a process, as the verb suggests. Luther saw justification as a legal declaration. Said and done.
So, it makes sense that “Rome continues…....” because it is how the Roman Church views Justification, as a process, but one that depends on Faith.
November 30, 2:46 pm | [comment link]
30. Charles52 wrote:
My point was the obsession with a brief section on economics among much longer writings about evangelism, not to engage in discussion about it. In fact, it’s in line with Catholic Social Teaching that posits a right to private property coupled with a duty to use it in charity for the common good. You are not RC, therefore I don’t expect you to accept Catholic Social Teaching, or our other doctrines.
It follows that I have no issues with Mr. Ould pointing out which Catholic theology differs from Protestant theology. However, to say that we “worship” images or relics is false, bordering on slanderous.
As to Catholics “rejecting the gospel”, apparently you don’t regard us as Christians. Therefore I wish you well.
November 30, 3:35 pm | [comment link]
31. Matt Kennedy wrote:
hi Capt. Fr. warren,
No it did not come from a mistranslation. The Grk of Rom 3:28 is “apart from works”.
With regard to dikaioo, that is a vast oversimplication and a misunderstanding of the debate over the dik word group. The idea of justication as a declaration is far more faithful to the greek than what it had become over centuries of reading the vulgate. Luther captured that.
Rome continues to be in error and obscure the gospel.
November 30, 3:39 pm | [comment link]
32. Matt Kennedy wrote:
“My point was the obsession with a brief section on economics among much longer writings about evangelism, not to engage in discussion about it.”
Oh I don’t see any obsession. I see a perfectly reasonable expectation that the pope would at least try to be factually correct when critiquing an economic system. His sloppiness discredits his assertions.
“In fact, it’s in line with Catholic Social Teaching that posits a right to private property coupled with a duty to use it in charity for the common good. You are not RC, therefore I don’t expect you to accept Catholic Social Teaching, or our other doctrines.”
I don’t accept them but I am familiar with them. In the past Roman pontiffs have been generally better informed that is evidenced by the present publication. But I agree that it is in line with what Rome teaches despite his factual inaccuracies.
“It follows that I have no issues with Mr. Ould pointing out which Catholic theology differs from Protestant theology. However, to say that we “worship” images or relics is false, bordering on slanderous.”
Well, not to speak for David, but i would certainly grant that Rome does not teach the worship of such things, and I believe he would too. I think he might say that the line Rome draws between worship and service or adoration is artificial.
“As to Catholics “rejecting the gospel”, apparently you don’t regard us as Christians. Therefore I wish you well.”
Oh I know lots of Roman Catholic Christians…some who attend Good Shepherd. But I would argue they are Christian despite Roman teaching on justification not because of it.
November 30, 3:47 pm | [comment link]
33. Charles52 wrote:
Your analysis is, to my understanding, correct from the Catholic viewpoint. However (again, as I understand it), Catholics would talk about Grace than Faith.
From St. Augustine:
... only grace makes every good merit of ours, and when God crowns our merits, He crowns nothing else but His own gifts.
November 30, 3:48 pm | [comment link]
34. Charles52 wrote:
Have you read Evangelii Gaudium? The whole thing?
November 30, 4:35 pm | [comment link]
35. Tory+ wrote:
Charles52, et al
Hang in there with us Anglicans. The joint declaration is not “empty” but nor is it complete. It needs more work and more work is being done. It also important to understand that Justification is one (very important) aspect of salvation but its not the entirety of it. I do think the infusion of grace of which Catholics speak better fits with sanctification, which begins at regeneration. However, the beginning of personal salvation in justification and regeneration can be more easily differentiated in thought than in experience. That is part of the difficulty: definition and application of terms. And that is part of the helpfulness of the “Joint Declaration”. Justification speaks most clearly to our relation with God as Holy Judge. But that is not the entirety, nor would I say, the heart of God’s self revelation. He is the Father who judges (and takes his own judgement in the person of his son), not the Judge who fathers. We need to understand the believer’s relation to God in familial and nuptial terms also, which befits his nature and purpose and therefore that salvation entails the work of sanctfication/theosis. In other words, salvation is ultimately about our relation to a triune God and that relation is ultimately transformative. A mere transactional salvation is a truncated salvation. There is more than one way into error on this matter.
I think more work must be done by us all on the via salutis (way of Salvation) and the nature of God, with humble minds before the Word of God and within the communion of saints. In this regard, I highly recommend the two volume theology of Thomas Torrance or if you dont have the tme to invest in them, read the little volume by Dennis Kinlaw, entitled Let’s Start with Jesus. They are very valuable conversation partners.
To the degree I understand Matt (and I may not), I do think there are huge implications to getting the order right. And I do believe that Justication is by faith alone and it is harmful to obscure Justication with sanctification.
This is not theoretical for us at Truro. For example, we do Alpha 12 times a year and Alpha is largely a corporate set of practices of creating a habitat (i.e. a pre-catechetumenate) for the work of justification Before introducing the work of sanctification. (Actually, Alpha is an apostolic way of life and I have written a book on its geneaology and form). One of the new works of God in my lifetime is seeing many Catholics recovering this important distinction between justification and sanctification, at least in practice, as they do the ministry of evangelization via Alpha.
My friend Bishop Mike Bryne, of the archdiocese of Detroit, is successfully pioneering Alpha in his diocese and he may be of help to you as work through these matters.
Again, there is much work to do but The Lord is helping his Church, and I take this new Pope and his Apostolic Exhortation as a further sign of the Lord’s goodness and kindness to us all.
I will post more on these matters on my blog and website in the months to come. And maybe a new tract when i have the time to spare. Enough for now.
Peace to you
November 30, 5:17 pm | [comment link]
36. Capt. Father Warren wrote:
Matt, yes the Greek is “faith apart from works”. As noted in the source below, “Others had translated the Bible into German, but Luther tailored his translation to his own doctrine. When he was criticised for inserting the word “alone” after “faith” in Romans 3:28, he replied in part: “[T]he text itself and the meaning of St. Paul urgently require and demand it.*
November 30, 5:32 pm | [comment link]
* Michael A. Mullett, Martin Luther, London: Routledge, 2004, ISBN 978-0-415-26168-5,
Mullett, 148; Wilson, 185; Bainton, Mentor edition, 261. Luther inserted the word “alone” (allein) after the word “faith” in his translation of St Paul’s Epistle to the Romans, 3:28. The clause is rendered in the English Authorised Version as “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law”.
37. Charles52 wrote:
RE: my #34 - I was not trying to set s trap with that question, though it can be read that way. The fact is, I don’t remember the pope writing what Matt Kennedy days he wrote. Truth be told, I read the whole thing quickly, so perhaps I missed it. A paragraph reference would be helpful.
Tory+ - I hear you. I know many non-catholics online and in real life. We recognize Christ in each other and consider ourselves brothers and sisters, albeit separated by much.I’ve learned that one or two persons is not a fair way to judge a church.
Now, I smile at “evangelism with Catholics”. Not sure off you and Catholics are cooperating in evangelism or you are evangelizing Catholics. By the way, either is fine: we have more than a few Catholics who need evangelizing.
November 30, 5:39 pm | [comment link]
38. Matt Kennedy wrote:
Hi Charles52, yes, I’ve read the whole thing.
November 30, 10:04 pm | [comment link]
39. Matt Kennedy wrote:
Capt. Father Warren,
I agree with Luther. I think the word “alone” is perfectly justified as an implication of Paul’s argument in Rom 3:28.
November 30, 10:06 pm | [comment link]
40. Matt Kennedy wrote:
“To the degree I understand Matt (and I may not), I do think there are huge implications to getting the order right. And I do believe that Justication is by faith alone and it is harmful to obscure Justication with sanctification. “
We definitely agree on this.
November 30, 10:06 pm | [comment link]
41. Matt Kennedy wrote:
here’s the quote: “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 naïve 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.” My problem with this text is that he suggests that those who support supply side capitalism do so out of a naive trust in the goodness of those in power. The opposite is true. That is the whole point. You may disagree with the system, but no one who supports it does so because we think human beings are good or those in power are good.
November 30, 10:17 pm | [comment link]
42. Charles52 wrote:
Thank you. I’ve read a good deal about that paragraph and your issue is unique.
By the way, there are some interesting problems with the translation of that paragraph, plus cultural issues, but nothing that touches on your specific objection.
November 30, 11:45 pm | [comment link]
43. MichaelA wrote:
Tory+, I have read your comments at #35 and above, but they all seem quite meaningless given your comment above at #3: “Indeed, one can’t be an authentic Anglican and be out of communion with [the Archbishop of Canterbury]”.
You are writing as though you are in some way representing Anglicans generally, and with a comment like that, I don’t believe you do. Obviously you are fully entitled to your opinion, but its your private opinion, just like anyone else’s.
December 2, 6:49 pm | [comment link]