The Joy of the Gospel

j

Evangelii gaudium (English: The Joy of the Gospel) is a 2013 apostolic exhortation by Pope Francis on “the church’s primary mission of evangelization in the modern world.” In its opening paragraph, Pope Francis urged the entire Church “to embark on a new chapter of evangelism”. According to the exhortation, the Church must understand itself as a “community of missionary disciples”, who are “permanently in a state of mission”. It has been described as a “remarkable and radical document, one that ranges widely and challenges complacency at every level”, as well as “the manifesto of Francis” and a “Magna Carta for church reform.”

Evangelii gaudium touches on many of the themes of Francis’ papacy, including obligations Christians have to the poor and the duty to establish and maintain just economic, political, and legal orders. Francis says that the world “can no longer trust in the unseen forces and the invisible hand of the market” and calls for action “beyond a simple welfare mentality” that “attack[s] the structural causes of inequality.” Refocusing society’s priorities, he asks how “it is not a news item when an elderly homeless person dies of exposure, but it is news when the stock market loses two points?”

In contrast to the writing style of previous popes, Evangelii gaudium is not written in an academic style but “in language that is both easily understood and captivating.”