By William L. Patenaude
Pope Francis’ exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”) continues and reinforces a vision of the Church found in the early studies of the future Pope Benedict XVI—a vision that was central to Benedict’s teachings as the Successor of St. Peter. In Evangelii Gaudium, Francis draws from his own experiences and in his own way continues his predecessor’s vision. In doing so, he is making clear that the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church stands at a critical juncture in a dangerous time. This makes Francis’ exhortation a simple one: as Christians have done in ages past, the faithful today must live the Gospel always, everywhere, and radically. They must rely on the grace of God and relentlessly and sacrificially “love in the present,” as a young Joseph Ratzinger put it.
Read “Pope Francis and the Gospel of Joy”