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John Allen Spotlights Progressive Elements of Evangelii Gaudium

John Allen Spotlights Progressive Elements of Evangelii Gaudium

On the day Pope Francis released his Apostlic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium , John Allen of the
National Catholic Reporter, within the context of a larger report on the document, listed four points wherein the Pope’s new text favors the progressivist orientation:

Allen writes that even though Francis “doesn't lay out a comprehensive blueprint for reform, he goes beyond mere hints to fairly blunt indications of direction:

•  “He calls for a "conversion of the papacy," saying he wants to promote ‘a sound decentralization’ and candidly admitting that in recent years ‘we have made little progress’ on that front.

• “He suggests that bishops' conferences ought to be given ‘a juridical status ... including genuine doctrinal authority.’ In effect, that would amount to a reversal of a 1998 Vatican ruling under John Paul II that only individual bishops in concert with the pope, and not episcopal conferences, have such authority.

• “Francis says the Eucharist ‘is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak,’ insisting that ‘the doors of the sacraments’ must not ‘be closed for simply any reason." His language could have implications not only for divorced and remarried Catholics, but also calls for refusing the Eucharist to politicians or others who do not uphold church teaching on some matters.

• “He calls for collaborative leadership, saying bishops and pastors must use ‘the means of participation proposed in the Code of Canon Law and other forms of pastoral dialogue, out of a desire to listen to everyone and not simply to those who would tell him what he would like to hear.’
• “Francis criticizes forces within the Church who seem to lust for ;‘veritable witch hunts,’ asking rhetorically, ‘Whom are we going to evangelize if this is the way we act?’”

• “He cautions against ‘ostentatious preoccupation’ for liturgy and doctrine as opposed to ensuring that the Gospel has ‘a real impact’ on people and engages ‘the concrete needs of the present time’.”

Allen's full report at:

Daily Blog - 2016 Catholic News