The Evangelii Gaudium in 30 Key Phrases and Ideas
We present to you the 30 main ideas offered by Pope Francis in his Apostolic Exhortation.
These are the 30 main ideas offered by the Holy Father in the Evangelii Gaudium:
1. The great risk of today's world, with its multiple and overwhelming supply of consumption, is an individualistic sadness that springs from the comfortable and greedy heart, from the sickly pursuit of superficial pleasures, from isolated consciousness. When the inner life is closed in one's interests, there is no longer room for others, the poor no longer enter, the voice of God is no longer heard, the sweet joy of their love is no longer enjoyed, the enthusiasm for doing good no longer throbs.
2. There are Christians whose choice seems to be that of lent without Easter. But I recognize that joy is not lived in the same way in all the sometimes very harsh stages and circumstances of life. It adapts and transforms, and always remains at least an outbreak of light born of the personal certainty of being infinitely loved, beyond everything.
3. I can say that the most beautiful and spontaneous joys I have seen in my years of life are those of very poor people who have little to hold on to.
4. We become fully human when we are more than human when we allow God to take us beyond ourselves to attain our truest self. There is a source of evangelizing action. Because, if someone has embraced that love that gives back the meaning of life, how can he contain a desire to communicate it to others?
5. Nor do I believe that a definitive or complete word on all matters affecting the Church and the world should be expected from the papal Magisterium. It is not appropriate for the Pope to replace the local episcopates in discerning all the problems that arise in their territories. In this regard, I see the need to move forward with a healthy 'decentralization'.
6. The evangelizing community is brought into the daily lives of others with words and gestures, narrowing distances, lowering to humiliation if necessary, and assumes human life, touching the suffering flesh of Christ in the people. The evangelizers thus have "smell of sheep" and they hear their voice.
7. I dream of a missionary option capable of transforming everything so that customs, styles, schedules, language and every ecclesial structure become an appropriate channel for the evangelization of the current world more than for self-preservation. The reform of structures that pastoral conversion demands can only be understood in this sense: to ensure that all of them become more missionary, that the ordinary pastoral in all its instances are more expansive and open, that places the pastoral agents in a constant attitude of exit and thus favor the positive response of all those to whom Jesus calls their friendship.
8. Since I am called to live what I ask of others, I must also think of a conversion of the papacy. It is my duty, as Bishop of Rome, to be open to suggestions that are directed to an exercise of my ministry that makes it more faithful to the meaning that Jesus Christ intended to give and to the current needs of evangelization.
9. In its constant discernment, the Church can also come to recognize its customs not directly linked to the core of the Gospel, some deeply rooted throughout history, which today are no longer interpreted in the same way and whose message is not usually perceived adequately. They may be beautiful, but now they do not provide the same service to transmit the Gospel. Do not be afraid to review them. In the same way, there are norms or ecclesial precepts that may have been very effective at other times but that no longer have the same educational force as channels of life.
10. I remind priests that the confessional should not be a torture room but the place of the mercy of the Lord who encourages us to do good as possible. A small step, amid great human limits, can be more pleasing to God than the outwardly correct life of those who spend their days without facing significant difficulties.
11. The Church "on the way out" is a Church with the doors open. Leaving for others to reach human peripheries does not mean running into the world aimlessly and pointlessly. It is often more to stop the passage, to set aside anxiety to look into the eyes and listen, or to give up the urgencies to accompany the one who stayed by the side of the road. Sometimes it is like the father of the prodigal son, who remains with the doors open so that when he returns, he can enter without difficulty.
12. If the entire Church assumes this missionary dynamism, it must reach everyone, without exception. But who should I privilege? When one reads the Gospel, one finds a strong orientation: not so much too rich friends and neighbors but above all to the poor and sick, to those who are often despised and forgotten, to those who "have nothing to reward you with" (Lk 14,14). There should be no doubts or explanations that weaken this clear message. Today and always, "the poor are the privileged recipients of the Gospel," and evangelization addressed to them freely is a sign of the Kingdom that Jesus came to bring. Needless to say, there is an inseparable link between our faith and the poor. Never leave them alone.
13. I prefer a Church that is bumpy, wounded and stained by going out into the street, rather than a Church sickened by confinement and the comfort of clinging to one's safety. I don't want a Church worried about being the center and ending up shut down in a tangle of obsessions and procedures.
14. Just as the commandment to "do not kill" puts a clear limit on securing the value of human life, today we have to say, 'no to an economy of exclusion and inequity'. That economy kills. It can't be that it's not news that an old man dies of cold in a street situation and that it is a two-point drop in the bag. That's exclusion. It can't be tolerated any more than throwing away food when people are starving. That's inequity. Today everything falls within the game of competitiveness and the law of the strongest, where the powerful eat the weakest.
15. Today, more security is called for in many parts. But until exclusion and inequity within a society and between peoples are reversed, it will be impossible to eradicate violence. The poor and poor people are accused of violence, but without equal opportunities, the various forms of aggression and war will find a breeding ground that will sooner or later cause their explosion. When society, local, national or global, abandon a part of itself on the periphery, there will be no political programs or police or intelligence resources that can indefinitely ensure peace of mind.
16. The postmodern and globalized individualism favors a lifestyle that weakens the development and stability of the links between people, and that denaturalizes family ties. Pastoral action must show even better that the relationship with our Father demands and encourages a communion that heals, promotes and strengthens interpersonal bonds. While in the world, especially in some countries, various forms of wars and confrontations reappear, we Christians insist on our proposal to recognize the other, to heal wounds, to build bridges, to strengthen ties and to help each other carry the burdens (Ga 6,2).
17. Our pain and our shame for the sins of some members of the Church, and our own, should not make us forget how many Christians give their lives for love: they help so many people to be cured or die in peace in precarious hospitals or accompany enslaved people for various addictions in the poorest places on earth, or they wear out in the education of children and young people, or care for the elderly abandoned by all, or try to communicate values in hostile environments, or delivered in many other ways that show that immense love for humanity that has inspired us as God made man.
18. Media culture and some intellectual environments sometimes convey a marked distrust of the Church's message and a certain disenchantment. As a result, although they pray, many pastoral workers develop a kind of inferiority complex that leads them to relativize or hide their Christian identity and convictions. Then a vicious circle occurs, because in this way they are not happy with what they are and with what they do, they do not feel identified with their evangelizing mission, and this weakens the surrender. They end up drowning their missionary joy in a kind of obsession with being like everyone else and having what others possess.
19. One of the most serious temptations that stifle fervor and audacity is the consciousness of defeat that makes us pessimists complaining and disenchanted with the face of vinegar. No one can wage a struggle if he does not fully trust the triumph in advance.
20. The Christian ideal will always invite us to overcome the suspicion, permanent distrust, the fear of being invaded, the defensive attitudes imposed on us by today's world.
21. More than atheism, today we are challenged to respond appropriately to the thirst of God of many people so that they do not seek to put it out in alienating proposals or a Jesus Christ without flesh and commitment to the other. If they do not find in the Church a spirituality that heals them, frees them, fills them with life and peace while convoking them to solidarity communion and missionary fruitfulness, they will end up deceived by proposals that do not humanize or give glory to God.
22. Spiritual worldliness, hidden behind appearances of religiosity and even love for the Church, is to seek, instead of the glory of the Lord, human glory and personal well-being. It is what the Lord reproached the Pharisees: "How is it possible that you believe, you who glorify one another and do not worry about the glory that comes only from God?" (Jn 5:44).
23. This obscure worldliness manifests itself in many opposite attitudes but with the same pretension to "dominate the space of the Church." In some, there is ostentatious care of the liturgy, the doctrine and the prestige of the Church, but without worrying that the Gospel has a real insertion in the faithful People of God and the concrete needs of history. Thus, the life of the Church becomes a museum piece or a possession of a few. In others, the same spiritual worldliness hides behind a fascination to show social and political conquests, or in a vainglory linked to the management of practical matters, or in rapture by the dynamics of self-help and self-referential realization. It can also be translated into different ways of showing oneself in a dense social life full of outings, meetings, dinners, receptions. Or it unfolds in business functionalism, loaded with statistics, planning, and evaluations, where the main beneficiary is not the People of God but the Church as an organization.
24. The Church recognizes the indispensable contribution of women in society, with sensitivity, intuition and peculiar capacities that are often more typical of women than men. For example, the special female attention to others, which is expressed in a particular, but not exclusive, way, in motherhood. I gladly recognize how many women share pastoral responsibilities with priests, contribute to the accompaniment of individuals, families or groups and provide new contributions to theological reflection. But there is still a need to expand the spaces for a more incisive female presence in the Church.
25. Claims of the legitimate rights of women, starting with the firm conviction that men and women have the same dignity, they raise profound questions to the Church that challenge it and cannot be superficially circumvented. The priesthood reserved for men, as a sign of Christ the Bridegroom who gives himself up in the Eucharist, is an issue that is not discussed, but it can become particularly conflicting if sacramental power is overidentified with power.
26. Nobody can demand that we relegate religion to the secret intimacy of people, without any influence on social and national life, without worrying about the health of civil society institutions, without giving opinions about the events that affect citizens. Who would pretend to shut up in a temple and silence the message of St. Francis of Assisi and Blessed Teresa of Calcutta? They could not accept it. An authentic faith, which is never comfortable and individualistic, always implies a deep desire to change the world, to transmit values, to leave something better behind our passage through the earth.
27. For the Church, the choice for the poor is a theological rather than a cultural, sociological, political or philosophical category. God gives them "their first mercy". This divine preference has consequences for the life of faith of all Christians, called to have "the same feelings of Jesus Christ" (Phil 2:5).
28. I was always distressed by the situation of those who are the subject of the various forms of human trafficking. I would like God's cry to be heard asking us all, "Where is your brother?" (Gn 4.9). Where's your slave brother? Where is that one, you're killing every day in the underground workshop, in the prostitution ring, in the children you use for begging, in the one who has to work in secret because it hasn't been formalized? Let's not be distracted. There's a lot of complicities. The question is for everyone! In our cities is installed this mafia and aberrant crime, and many have bloody hands feeling because of the comfortable and mute complicity.
29. Among those weak, who the Church wants to care for with predilection, are also the unborn children, who are the most helpless and innocent of all, who today want to deny their human dignity to do with them what they want, taking their lives and promoting them legislation so that no one can prevent it. Often, to cheerfully ridicule the Church's defense of their lives, it seeks to present its position as something ideological, obscurantist and conservative. However, this defense of unborn life is intimately linked to the defense of any human right. (...) Precisely because it is a question that makes our message internal to the value of the human person, the Church should not be expected to change her position on this issue. I want to be completely honest about it. This is not a matter subject to alleged reforms or 'modernizations'.
30. Sometimes we feel the temptation to be Christians keeping a prudent distance from the Lord's wounds. But Jesus wants us to touch human misery, to touch the suffering flesh of others. He expects us to give up looking for those personal or communal sheds that allow us to keep our distance from the knot of the human storm so that we can truly accept contact with the concrete existence of others and know the strength of tenderness. When we do it, life is always complicated wonderfully and we live the intense experience of being a people, the experience of belonging to a people.