Friday, December 06, 2013

Pope's Exhortation to Church and World

By Mike McManus
December 4, 2013

Pope Francis has issued his first apostolic Exhortation, a 224-page blueprint to jolt the church out of its complacency by enlisting all Catholics in two tasks: to evangelize the world and serve the poor.

"I prefer a church which is bruised, hurting and dirty because it has been out on the streets, rather than a church which is unhealthy from being confined and from clinging to its own security," he wrote in a document called "Evangelii Gaudium" (The Joy of the Gospel).

The task he has assigned to the church is monumental. At one level it is to attack consumerism or what he calls "the feverish pursuit of frivolous pleasures and a blunted conscience."

However, the far larger task is to restructure an economy characterized by a "survival of the fittest, where the powerful feed on the powerless. As a consequence, masses of people find themselves excluded and marginalized: without possibilities, without any means of escape."

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