Two days after the conclusion of the Year of Faith, today the Vatican released the text of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”). It is the first major document of Francis’ papacy of which he is the sole author; the encyclical Lumen Fidei, released over the summer, was mostly completed before Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, resigned from the papacy in February.
Evangelii Gaudium is a “re-elaboration” of the proposals presented by the Synod of Bishops at the conclusion of last year’s General Assembly on the New Evangelization, according to Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, who participated in a press conference on the new document this morning at the Vatican. While it references the synod’s “Propositiones” more than 25 times, Evangelii Gaudium “goes beyond the experience of the synod,” Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, told the press. “The Pope commits to paper not only his previous pastoral experience, but above all his call to seize the moment of grace in which the Church is living in order to embrace with faith, conviction and enthusiasm a new phase in the journey of evangelization.”