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Papal Contributions to the Development of the Church's Missionary Spirit: From Ad Gentes to Evangelii Gaudium PART II.

Pope Benedict XVI versus the "Dictatorship of Relativism"

BENEDICT XVI, in his apostolic exhortation Verbum Domini mentioned the continued need for the new evangelization and a continuance of the missionary zeal promoted at the Second Vatican Council:
Pope John Paul II, taking up the prophetic words of Pope Paul VI in the
Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Nuntiandi, had in a variety of ways
reminded the faithful of the need for a new missionary season for the
entire people of God. At the dawn of the third millennium not only are
there still many peoples who have not come to know the Good News, but
also a great many Christians who need to have the word of God once more
persuasively proclaimed to them, so that they can concretely experience
the power of the Gospel. Many of our brothers and sisters are
"baptized, but insufficiently evangelized." In a number of cases,
nations once rich in faith and in vocations are losing their identity
under the influence of a secularized culture. The need for a new
evangelization, so deeply felt by my venerable Predecessor, must be
valiantly reaffirmed, in the certainty that God's word is effective.
The Church, sure of her Lord's fidelity, never tires of proclaiming the
good news of the Gospel and invites all Christians to discover anew the
attraction of following Christ. (1)


There was a specific way, given his own circumstances, in which Benedict XVI attempted to pursue the new evangelization. In 2005 before the conclave that would elect him pope, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger preached a homily during which he stated:
Having a clear faith, based on the Creed of the Church, is often
labeled today as a fundamentalism. Whereas, relativism, which is
letting oneself be tossed and "swept along by every wind of teaching,"
looks like the only attitude (acceptable) to today's standards. We are
moving towards a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize
anything as for certain and which has as its highest goal one's own ego
and one's own desires. (2)


Benedict XVI was deeply concerned about the "dictatorship of relativism." This was a concern that was rooted in his awareness of the needs of the Church and a dissonance between the life of the Church and the life of his society. He wrote to the president of the Italian senate and professor of philosophy at the University of Pisa, Marcello Pera, the following reflections on relativism:
In recent years I find myself noting how the more relativism becomes
the generally accepted way of thinking, the more it tends toward
intolerance, thereby becoming a new dogmatism. Political correctness,
whose constant pressures you have illuminated, seeks to establish the
domain of a single way of thinking and speaking. Relativism creates the
illusion that it has reached greater heights than the loftiest
philosophical achievements of the past. It prescribes itself as the
only way to think and speak--if, that is, one wishes to stay in
fashion. Being faithful to traditional values and to the knowledge that
upholds them is labeled intolerance, and relativism becomes the
required norm. (3)


Benedict did not merely acknowledge this challenge for the life of the Church, he also attempted to work against it. In the spirit of Vatican II's posture of aggiornamento and the "opening of the Church's windows" to observe the world as typified in the perspectives of Gaudium et Spes, Benedict observed the needs of people in his culture and attempted to bridge the life of the Church with the life of contemporary, secular people. This was obviously Benedict's own unique contribution to John Paul II's call for a new evangelization. In his lecture, "The Spiritual Roots of Europe," offered on May 13, 2004, at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, Cardinal Ratzinger attempted to bring to the awareness of his listeners the need to acknowledge the Christian tradition as a foundational aspect of European culture that even bridged the diverse cultures of Eastern and Western Europeans:
The two worlds also had sufficient unifying elements, however, to be
considered a single continent. First of all, both the East and the West
were the heirs to the Bible and to the ancient Church, which in both
worlds refer beyond themselves to an origin that lies outside of
today's Europe, namely in Palestine. Second, both shared the idea of
Empire and of the essential nature of the Church, and therefore of law
and legal instruments. The last factor I would mention is monasticism,
which throughout the great upheavals of history has continued to be the
indispensable bearer not only of cultural continuity but above all of
fundamental religious and moral values. (4)


Living in a secular Europe with Christian roots, Benedict attempted to be a missionary of the new evangelization in his own time and place. Without hesitation he looked thoughtfully yet critically upon contemporary Europe and attempted to persuade people of the relevancy and urgency of the Gospel message.
Toynbee emphasized the difference between technological-material
progress and true progress, which he defined as spiritualization. He
recognized that the Western world was indeed undergoing a crisis, which
he attributed to the abandonment of religion for the cult of
technology, nationalism, and militarism. For him this crisis had a
name: secularism. If you know the cause of an illness, you can also
find a cure: the religious heritage in all its forms had to be
reintroduced, especially the "heritage of Western Christianity."...
This leads us to the question of whether Toynbee's diagnosis is
correct. If it is, then we must ask whether it is in our power to
reintroduce the religious dimension through a synthesis of residual
Christianity and the religious heritage of humankind.... Nevertheless
it is our duty to ask which factors will guarantee the future and which
have allowed the inner identity of Europe to survive throughout its
metamorphoses in history. (5)


Benedict perceived European society to be an evangelized society. The Church was well established in Europe and the seeds of the gospel message had been sown in European soil. Benedict understood that a missionary zeal for the new evangelization was very necessary for the flourishing of the Gospel and the renewal of the life of the Church in Europe. He attempted to articulate what he understood to be particularly European values that were rooted in the Christian tradition and would deform European society if they were lost. He included the following:
Let us summarize: the values of human dignity, freedom, equality, and
solidarity should be inscribed in the European Constitution alongside
the fundamental principles of democracy and rule of law. The image of
man, the moral option, enshrined in these rights should not be taken
for granted. It should instead be recognized as crucial to European
identity. The European Constitution must safeguard these values, also
in terms of their concrete consequences.... A second element that
characterizes European identity is marriage and the family. Monogamous
marriage--both as a fundamental structure for the relationship between
men and women and as the nucleus for the formation of the state
community--was forged already in Biblical faith. It gave its special
character and its special humanity to Europe, both in the West and in
the East, precisely because the form of fidelity and sacrifice
described here should always be regained through great struggles and
suffering. Europe would no longer be Europe if this fundamental nucleus
of its social edifice were to vanish or be changed in a substantial
way. (6)


Through his criticism of the "dictatorship of relativism" and the attempt to call Europeans to embrace their Christian roots as an essential element of their cultural heritage, Benedict engaged in missionary work for the Church in terms of the new evangelization.

Perhaps Dr. Faggioli contends that Benedict's confrontation with relativism was a Eurocentric endeavor that typified his lack of global vision. (7) In my view, this assessment is mistaken. First of all, one must acknowledge that relativism and the priority of one's own ego above everything else is not a purely European problem. In fact, the concluding document of the Aparecida Conference uses language that seems very similar to that of Benedict's cautions. Notice the following points that address ramifications of the relativism Benedict confronted:

1. There is a crisis of meaning--not multiple, partial meanings, but meaning that gives unity to everything that exists. (8)

2. Individualism weakens community bonds and proposes a radical transformation of time and space, granting a primary role to imagination... concern for the common good is set aside to make way for the immediate satisfaction of the desires of me individual. (9)

3. Claiming individual and subjective rights, without a similar effort to guarantee social, cultural and solidarity rights, undermines the dignity of all, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. (10)

4. We likewise find a relativistic mentality in the ethical and religious realm, failure to apply creatively the rich wealth contained in the Church's social doctrine, and sometimes a limited understanding of the secular character that constitutes the proper and specific identity of the lay faithful. (11)

It is reasonable to assume that the relativism in Europe Benedict has rallied against has also been influential in other parts of the world, including Latin America. Benedict used his intellectual and philosophical prowess to address the issue of a "dictatorship of relativism" that he perceived as overtaking the European landscape. It would be plausible to assume that as Bishop of Rome he would push himself into this conflict as a model for other bishops when dealing with pastoral issues that interfere with evangelization in their own cultural situations. Such an approach would follow from the man who wrote the following about the role of the papacy in the life of the Church: "The successor of Saint Peter must discharge his office in such a way that it does not stifle the special gift of the local Church or compel them into a false uniformity, but rather, allows them to play an active part in the vital exchange of the whole." (12) All bishops have a responsibility to promote initiatives for the new evangelization in their dioceses in ways that are relevant and meaningful for their societies and cultures. Benedict has led by example with his confrontation of the "dictatorship of relativism."

Yet at the same time, as the successor of St. Peter, Benedict understood that he needed to support and aid the universal Church and all bishops. He further refined the call to the new evangelization summoned by John Paul. On September 21, 2010, Benedict established a pontifical council to aid the bishops with the specific work of the new evangelization. In his apostolic letter, by which he established the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization, Ubicumque Et Semper, Benedict described the goals for this new council:

1. To examine in depth the theological and pastoral meaning of the new evangelization;

2. To promote and to foster, in close collaboration with the bishops' conferences concerned--which may establish ad hoc organisms--the study, dissemination, and implementation of the papal magisterium related to topics connected with the new evangelization;

3. To make known and to support initiatives linked to the new evangelization that are already being put into practice in various particular Churches, and to promote the realization of new projects by actively involving the resources present in Institutes of Consecrated Life and in Societies of Apostolic Life, as well as in groups of the faithful and in new communities;

4. To study and to encourage the use of modern forms of communication as instruments for the new evangelization;

5. To promote the use of the Catechism of the Catholic Church as an essential and complete formulation of the content of the faith for the people of our time. (13)

Through his pastoral zeal for the new evangelization, demonstrated by his confrontation of the obstacle that relativism is to the new evangelization, and establishment of the Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization, Benedict continued the development of the pastoral plan for missionary growth originally envisioned by Ad Gentes.

Pope Francis and Evangelii Gaudium

It was mentioned above that Pope Francis's Evangelii Gaudium offers greater depth to the pastoral plan of the Church's missionary growth. Before entering into an exploration of Francis's contribution to this pastoral plan, it is relevant to emphasize that, like Pope Benedict XVI, Francis also does not wish to "stifle the special gift of the local Church." He does not provide a precise and exhaustive plan for missionary growth. Theologian Sandra Mazzolini highlights this point:
On one side, Pope Francis does not agree with people who think that
this magisterium should be all-embracing and exhaustive. On the other,
he is aware both that "it is not advisable for the Pope to take the
place of local Bishops in the discernment of every issue in their
territory," and "of the need to promote a sound 'decentralization'" (EG
16). From the ecclesiological point of view, the concept of
decentralization is very relevant. It refers to other notions, such as
participation, joint responsibility, inculturation and
contextualization, which shape a specific ecclesiological model. Here,
it is sufficient to note that this "sound decentralization" implies the
notion of subsidiarity as an essential and constitutive principle of
the relationships both within the Church and between the churches. (14)


There is not always perfect clarity in the documents promulgated by Francis, as evidenced by the dubia publicized by a number of influential churchmen (including Cardinal Raymond Burke, an American on the Apostolic Signatura in Rome), about their perceived ambiguity of portions of his apostolic exhortation on marriage and the family, Amoris Laetitia. Perceived in the context offered by Mazzolini, one can understand that this ambiguity is a part of Francis's invitation for the local Church to enter into dialogue and discernment about the issues he offers for reflection. Just as Jesus invited his listeners to enter into deeper contemplation by speaking in parables, so does Francis offer his insights without absolute clarity in order to invite the Church to prayer and deeper discernment. "What I would like to propose is something much more in the line of an evangelical discernment." (15)

In June of 2013 Aleteia reported Francis as saying, "The Aparecida document is the Evangelii Nuntiandi of Latin America." (16) A few years later, Francis's apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium would be promulgated. Austin Ivereigh, writing out of Rio de Janeiro on the Catholic Voices Comment website, would write about Evangelii Gaudium in this way:
In its depth and breadth it is in fact far more like an encyclical. It
can be seen as an expansion of, and updating of, Pope Paul VI's
Evangelii Nuntiandi--also an apostolic exhortation, but considerably
shorter--which profoundly marked Jorge Bergoglio, then Provincial of
the Jesuits, when it came out in 1975. As well as Evangelii Nuntiandi,
the document makes frequent reference to the Aparecida document of the
Latin American bishops (CELAM) in 2007, which has become the programme
of this pontificate as well as to a previous CELAM meeting in Puebla in
1979. Evangelii Gaudium, in fact, is rich in Latin American theological
insights, especially in passages related to missionary disciples, the
option for the poor and popular piety. (17)


Most recently, Francis himself confirmed these insights when he addressed the 36th General Council of the Jesuits in October of 2016: "I recommend Evangelii Gaudium to you as a framework. It is not original, in this I want to be very clear. It puts together Evangelii Nuntiandi and the Aparecida document. Evangelii Gaudium is the apostolic framework of the Church today." (18) Notice in his comment that Francis speaks of Evangelii Gaudium as a framework, an instrument that is meant to be "fleshed out" and refined according to local circumstances. He also acknowledges that the document is not original but is the result of a development that is rooted in the work of Pope St. Paul VI and the Latin American bishops. In addition, when looking at the citations in the text, one can observe that Francis has also drawn heavily upon the writings of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. In no way did Francis write this apostolic exhortation in a vacuum. He made use of the theological and pastoral insights of many voices, most especially those of the three pontiffs who reigned before him. However, there are some specific insights worthy of mention that make Emngelii Gaudium a unique contribution to the missionary life of the Church.

Building upon the insights of John Paul, Francis has emphasized the importance of the missionary outreach of the Church. In fact, he has made it clear that this call for missionary outreach must be the program for the Church of today:
John Paul II asked us to recognize that "there must be no lessening of
the impetus to preach the Gospel" to those who are far from Christ,
"because this is the first task of the Church." Indeed, "today
missionary activity still represents the greatest challenge for the
Church" and "the missionary task must remain foremost." What would
happen if we were to take these words seriously? We would realize that
missionary outreach is paradigmatic for all the Church's activity.
Along these lines the Latin American bishops stated that we "cannot
passively and calmly wait in our church buildings;" we need to move
"from a pastoral ministry of mere conservation to a decidedly
missionary pastoral ministry." This task continues to be a source of
immense joy for the Church: "Just so, I tell you, there will be more
joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than ninety-nine righteous
persons who have no need of repentance" (Lk. 15:7). (19)


The use of the term "paradigm" in this paragraph is reminiscent of how another Jesuit, Avery Cardinal Dulles, uses the phrase in his influential text on ecclesiology, Models of the Church. Dulles explains the phrase and its relation to ecclesiology in this way:
Admitting the inevitability of such a pluralism of models, theology
usually seeks to reduce this pluralism to a minimum. The human mind, in
its quest for explanations, necessarily seeks unity. A unified field
theory in theology would be able to account for all the data of
Scripture and tradition, and all the experience of the faithful by
reference to some one model. At various times in the history of the
Church it has seemed possible to construct a total theology, or at
least a total ecclesiology, on the basis of a single model. Such a
dominant model is, in the terminology of this book, a paradigm. A model
rises to the status of a paradigm when it has proved successful in
solving a great variety of problems and is expected to be an
appropriate tool for unraveling anomalies as yet unsolved. I am here
employing the term "paradigm" in approximately the meaning given to it
by Thomas S. Kuhn. He speaks of paradigms as "concrete puzzle solutions
which, employed as models or examples, can replace explicit rules as a
basis for the solution of the remaining puzzles of normal science."
(20)


A specific paradigm for the Church, which brings a unifying dimension to all of the works of the Church, is a solution to one of the contemporary problems brought forward by the concluding document of the Aparecida Conference:
It has also become difficult to perceive unity of all the dispersed
fragments deriving from the information that we collect. It frequently
happens that some want to look at reality one-sidedly based on economic
information, others on political or scientific information, others on
entertainments and spectacle. However, none of these partial criteria
can provide us with a coherent meaning for everything that exists. When
people perceive this fragmentation and limitation, they tend to feel
frustrated, anxious, and anguished. Social reality turns out to be too
big for an individual mind that, aware of its lack of knowledge and
information, easily regards itself as insignificant, with no real
impact of events, even when adding its voice to other voices that seek
one another for mutual aid. (21)


With one unified paradigm for the Church, a paradigm which is rooted in the Gospel mandate to "spread the Good News," Francis is attempting to save the Church from the destructive fragmentation one can observe in contemporary society.

Francis has called for the infusion of a paradigm for evangelization into every single aspect of the Church's life and activity:
I dream of a "missionary option," that is, a missionary impulse capable
of transforming everything, so that the Church's customs, ways of doing
things, times and schedules, language and structures can be suitably
channeled for the evangelization of today's world rather than her
self-preservation. The renewal of structures demanded by pastoral
conversion can only be understood in this light: as part of an effort
to make them more mission oriented, to make ordinary pastoral activity
on every level more inclusive and open, to inspire in pastoral works a
constant desire to go forth and in this way to elicit a positive
response from all those whom Jesus summons to friendship with himself.
(22)


This is the most radical and challenging point made in the entire apostolic exhortation.

Francis is calling for all activities and ministries in the life of the Church to be endowed with a missionary zeal. It will depend upon the local bishops, the pastors of particular parishes, lay ministers, and even the Catholic who is not a publicly commissioned minister of the Church, to determine in which way such missionary zeal should be manifest. Francis has highlighted the importance of theologians in promoting a living theology of mission that is not stuck at "the desk," (23) the role of the preacher in writing evangelical homilies (24) and even the importance of simple "person-to-person" encounters: "This is the informal preaching which takes place in the middle of a conversation, something along the lines of what a missionary does when visiting a home." (25) As Pope Paul VI emphasized during Vatican II, the missionary work of the Church belongs to everyone. Francis has deepened that initial vision by emphasizing that it is also to be a part of every work of the Church. The Church must never be consumed with herself, but instead must always look outward to how she can bring the gospel to all persons whom she encounters in every aspect of their lives:
Let us go forth, then, let us go forth to offer everyone the life of
Jesus Christ. Here I repeat for the entire Church what I have often
said to the priests and laity of Buenos Aires: I prefer a Church which
is bruised, hurting, and dirty because it has been out in the streets,
rather than a Church which is unhealthy from being confined and from
clinging to its own security. I do not want a Church concerned with
being at the centre and which then ends by being caught up in a web of
obsessions and procedures. (26)


If the call of Francis is heeded, individuals will have a different experience of the Church starting at the universal level and making its way down to the smallest of faith communities. All will be concerned with how the "business" of the Church in all affairs is affecting gospel proclamation. How does one deal with the proprietor of a local business as a representative of the Church in light of gospel proclamation? "The Church is called to be the house of the Father, with doors always wide open." (27) How will a pastor be a missionary to the plumber who has come to fix the rectory drain? How will the secretary answer the parish phone? How will the science teacher in a Catholic school interact with students? How will the principal of a Catholic high school interact with the parents of students, even when they have complaints? Every single interaction now needs to be examined through the lens of the Church's outreach to those "outside."

Francis is calling upon all in the Church to stop being "part-time" Catholics. The calling the Church has been offered is a radical one. It is a call to consistency and genuineness in all affairs. This will help the Church to not only attract new followers of the Lord Jesus but also enable the Church to support those who are living in the life of the Church today. "In our pastoral experience, often sincere people who leave our church do not do so because of what non-Catholic groups believe, but fundamentally for what they live; not for doctrinal but for vivential reasons; not for strictly dogmatic, but for pastoral reasons; not due to theological problems, but to methodological problems for our Church. They hope to find answers to their concerns." (28)

Francis is calling for the Church to become what the Church has first and foremost always supposed to have been: an evangelizing community. By recovering the Church's primary purpose of spreading the gospel as her center and focus, Francis hopes to rekindle the faith of those still practicing it and enliven the faith of both those who have abandoned it and those who have never known Jesus as Lord (traditional missionary work).

Conclusion

There has been a clear development of the pastoral plan of the Catholic Church in terms of her missionary zeal. This development has in no way been interrupted since the Vatican II but has been a continuous growth in which the reforms of each pope built upon the work of his predecessors. In December of 2005, during his curial address, Benedict XVI spoke about the dangers of a hermeneutic of rupture in regard to Vatican II and how it is far more appropriate to espouse a hermeneutic of continuity. (29) Most recently, Benedict has stated that "there is an 'inner continuity' between his pontificate and that of Pope Francis." (30) Catholics have come to discover that missionary fields are everywhere. Paul VI, John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and now Francis, have forwarded in a radical way the calling of Vatican II for the Church to "open the windows" to the world and engage it. Each pontiff, in his own way, calls us to go out into the "periphery" in order to make Christ known. These efforts have enabled the Church to rediscover the fundamental task entrusted to her by her founder, to "go out to all the world and spread the Good News." Because Pope Francis is the first pope of the New World, there are many like Massimo Faggioli who would like to highlight the "radical" changes and new directions this pontificate is making. Father Allan Figueroa Deck, SJ, has gone so far as to say, "Few can deny that the first year of Pope Francis' papacy has been nothing less than spectacular. Has the Church, or for that matter, the world experienced anything quite like it in recent memory?" (31) Theologian Maria Clara Luchetti-Bingemer writes,"Pope Francis brought hope back to a discouraged Church. A new fragrance is being sensed in the air, and we taste the return of the Second Vatican Council." (32) In reality, however, there is a consistency that Francis has with his predecessors. This should not be understood as a denigration of Francis's contribution, but rather as an affirmation for all Catholics of the validity of Francis's call for the Church to be more authentically Church. There is no new gospel, but rather the same gospel that has been proclaimed for two thousand years. While the times have changed, and at times some, even in the leadership of the Church, have lost their focus, the kerygma Catholics are called to "shout from the rooftops" by their words, and more compellingly by their lives, has always been the same: Jesus is Risen! Jesus is Lord!

Notes

(1.) Benedict XVI, The Word of the Lord: Verbum Domini (Frederick, MD: Word Among Us Press, 2010), 96.

(2.) Joseph Ratzinger, "Cardinal Ratzinger's Historic Pre-Conclave Homily in 2005," The Sacred Page (http://www.thesacredpage.com/2013/03/cardinal-ratzingers-historic-pre.html).

(3.) Marcello Pero and Benedict XVI, Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam (New York: Basic Books, 2006), 128.

(4.) Ibid., 55.

(5.) Ibid., 68.

(6.) Ibid., 76-77.

(7.) From Part 1 of this article, "Theologian Massimo Faggioli has written:

It can be said that Pope Francis is the first pope of the post-Vatican II in a proper sense, as a cleric (ordained a priest in 1969) who served the Church when Vatican II had already ended and was already being received. Pope Francis is the first pope coming from the global Church, that is, the Church that for the first time at Vatican II was given a voice in the conciliar tradition.

The conclave of 2013 and the election of Francis have returned the Catholic Church to its global dimension--in a sense, trying to restore the promise made at Vatican II. The conclave has restored to the Catholic Church an image of itself that is much closer to that of Vatican II than it has been in recent years. The Church realigned itself to a more "world Church" dimension just as it was in that council: from urbs to the orbis terrarium, the oikumene. According to the most important theologian of Vatican II, Yves Congar, at the council "the orbis had almost taken possession of the urbs."

From "Evangelii Gaudium as an act of Reception of Vatican II," in Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism: Evangelii Gaudium and the Papal Agenda, ed. Gerard Mannion (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 51.

(8.) Latin American Episcopal Conference, 37.

(9.) Ibid, 44.

(10.) Ibid., 47.

(11.) Ibid., 100.

(12.) Joseph Ratzinger, Called to Communion: Understanding the Church Today (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1996), 100.

(13.) Benedict XVI, Ubicumque Et Semper: Apostolic Letter Establishing the Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization. (http://w2.vatican.va/content/benedict-xvi/en/apost_letters/documents/hf_ben-xvi_apl_20100921_ubicumque-et-semper.html), 3.

(14.) Sandra Mazzolini, "An Ecclesial Renewal Which Cannot Be Deferred," in Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism: Evangelii Gaudium and the Papal Agenda, ed. Gerard Mannion (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 2017), 76.

(15.) Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium: The Holy Father Francis to the Bishops, Clergy, Consecrated Persons and the Lay Faithful on the Proclamation of the Gospel in Today's World (Washington, DC: USCCB, 2013), 50.

(16.) Refer to its website, https://aleteia.org

(17.) Austin Ivereigh, "Francis' 'Ode to the Joy' of Evangelising: A Summary and Guide," (https://cvcomment.org/2013/11/26/francis-ode-to-the-joy-of-evangelising-a-summary-and-guide/).

(18.) Documents of General Congregation 36 of the Society of Jesus, (https://jesuits.eu/images/docs/GC_36_Documents.pdf), 51.

(19.) Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 15.

(20.) Avery Dulles, Models of the Church (New York: Doubleday/Image Books, 1974, 1987), 29.

(21.) Latin American Episcopal Conference, 36.

(22.) Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, 27.

(23.) Ibid., 133.

(24.) Ibid., 135

(25.) Ibid., 127.

(26.) Ibid., 49.

(27.) Ibid., 47.

(28.) Latin American Episcopal Conference, 225.

(29.) Benedict XVI, "Curial Address," (https://w2.vatican.va/content/benedictxvi/en/speeches/2005/december/documents/hf_ben_xvi_spe_20051222_roman-curia.html ).

(30.) "Benedict XVI: 'Foolish Prejudice' To Think Pope Francis Lacks Formation," in Catholic Herald (March 12, 2018, http://catholicherald.co.uk/news/2018/03/12/benedict-xvi-foolish-prejudice-to-think-pope-francis-lacks-formation/).

(31.) Allan Figueroa Deck, SJ, "Understanding Pope Francis: Roots and Horizons of Church Reform," in New World Pope: Pope Francis and the Future of the Church, ed. Michael L. Budde (Eugene, OR: Cascade Books, 2017), 35.

(32.) Maria Clara Lucchetti-Bingemer, "The Hope of a Future for the Catholic Church," in New World Pope: Pope Francis and the Future of the Church, 96.

REV. WALTER F. KEDJIERSKI
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