Pope Francis's "The Joy of the Gospel": Is It All Good News?


Five chapters, 288 paragraphs, and more than 220 pages. This is the Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis, titled The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium). It is a programmatic statement of this Papacy: the Church cannot afford to stay in a “simple maintenance” mode. She needs to be in a “permanent state of mission” (25): going out, being always engaged in involving others and being constantly focused on reaching out. But what does the Pope mean when he speaks of mission? Certainly he is using familiar language to evangelicals, but what does he mean when he refers to “evangelization”, “mission”, etc.? The talk provides an overview of the papal document in the attempt to understand the heart of the Pope in his own terms and to provide an evangelical critique.