Evangelii Gaudium

The Joy of the Gospel – Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation

BY Frater Bovious

(CARROLLTON, Tx – Cradle of Civilization)

It's not titled "The Joy of Marxism"

It’s not titled “The Joy of Marxism”

Some years ago it occurred to me that a politician’s worst nightmare is an informed populace. The past several decades have gone a long way toward allaying politician’s fears, allowing them to sleep well at night.

A corollary that I have now arrived at comes from watching the “media” reaction to anything Pope Francis has to say, or write. The simplest (and by simple I mean moronic) commentary offered engenders a lot of readership and blog hits. And so a journalist’s (and by journalist I am specifically referring to the political commentator/evangelist) worst nightmare is an informed critical readership. Because, you can only say the crap that some of these people say by counting on it being uncritically accepted by the scandal-of-the-moment-addicted readers that they attract.

Of course, they have good reason to expect uncritical acceptance – they make a living doing so. For example, we have Rush Limbaugh commenting on sections from Evangelii Gaudium as “pure Marxism.” This refers to sections where the pope has the temerity to opine that something is amiss when a homeless person dying of exposure is not news, but the stock market losing 2 points is (Evangelii Gaudium §53). Or the part where the pope suggests that our financial systems should serve rather than rule us (Ibid §57).

Rush should be careful in his bombast. His inference is that Capitalism trumps Human Dignity. Perhaps he is dismayed by the title of chapter two: “Amid the Crisis of Communal Commitment”. I mean, look at that title, sharing as it does two words that have the same root as “Commie”.

Never mind that the premise of Pope Francis’ position is Human Dignity, not exactly a by-product of every effort to put Marxism into play in our world thus far.

Seriously folks, the point of “Joy of the Gospel” is not a critique of current economic systems. Rather, the existing systems and structural inequalities are used to illustrate something other. And what might that be?

Simply that, despite all technological and economic progress, we have not yet realized Heaven on Earth. I submit it is an open question whether technology or economy alone can ever accomplish such a realization. So, a fixation on three or four sections of chapter 2 of this Apostolic Exhortation is quite an adventure in missing the point. And what is the actual point? “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say: Rejoice” (Phil 4:4) – quoted in § 18 of Evangelii Gaudium.

As an aside, it is worth noting what an Apostolic Exhortation is. An Apostolic Exhortation is commonly issued by the Pope after a Synod of Bishops. It is from the Pope, and offers explanation of certain matters of doctrines, disciplines and practices as discussed by the Synod. It never contain new doctrine, rather, any teachings will be there to exhort the faithful to follow certain already existing doctrines, or expand or modify non-doctrinal, non-dogmatic practices as fitting for the situation – things like should we have communion rails, not things like should we have communion. Some quick examples of applications of centuries old Church teaching as illuminated by this document are: Treat each other with the dignity and respect befitting our state in life – Children of God. Don’t worship golden idols – money and things. Recognize when your things stopped serving you and you started serving them. FB

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6 responses to “Evangelii Gaudium

  1. I notice on your post, that it says Apostolic Exhortation..
    I just thought that I would let you know that there are NO Apostle’s
    around anymore…it is not possible for anyone to qualify as one, unless they can travel in time..
    Your so called pope is not an Apostle…!!!


    • Hello spookchristian. I am going to assume that your criteria is that someone was hand-picked by Jesus while he was walking about on Earth in the flesh. I’m further going to assume that you specifically are referring to “the twelve” apostles. If my assumptions are correct, I feel that it is clear that the apostles themselves selected and appointed successors – very specifically when they selected a replacement for Judas as recounted in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 1:12-26) wherein they selected Matthias.

      Additionally, Paul is acknowledged by all as an Apostle, and while the argument would be that Jesus selected Paul, post Ascension, he would be a 13th (or 14th?) Apostle. Clearly the lines of who is and who is not an Apostle is open to discussion based on the fact the existing Apostles selected Matthias and accepted Paul after Jesus returned to the Father.

      Now it is true that no others were called Apostles. The Apostles did see fit however to appoint leaders of the various churches they were founding as at least Paul for example did not simply start one church and stay there until death. The successors to the Apostles were and are known as Bishops. And they do still exist, as that appointing of successors has never stopped in 2000 years.

      Since they would exhort their flock in a manner consistent with the Apostles, it is fair to refer to the continuing exhortations, even to today, as an Apostolic Exhortation.




      • spookchristian

        I have done a posting on apostolic succession,,,
        I think that you need to re-read Acts 1..
        and really understand what the true qualifications are for an ‘ Apostle’.

        There are NO present day Apostle’s…and your so called pope is definitely not an Apostle..as well as other things he likes to refer to himself as…
        the papacy titles are a lie, and a deception..


      • spookchristian

        Anyway.. all the Apostles were


  2. Matthias was a witness to Jesus’ resurrection, if that is what you are talking about. Certainly all the eye witnesses to Jesus’ resurrection are long dead. So, did the Good News die with them? Or did they leave behind legitimate successors, by any name?

    And I’m not following you regarding all the Apostles being Protestants.


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