On Nov. 26 the Vatican will publish "Evangelii Gaudium" ("The Joy of the Gospel”), Pope Francis' first apostolic exhortation. CNS photo/Paul Haring

Pope Francis' first apostolic exhortation to be published Nov. 26

By  Francis X. Rocca, Catholic News Service
  • November 18, 2013

VATICAN CITY - The Vatican will publish Pope Francis' first apostolic exhortation Nov. 26, two days after he formally delivers it to the church at a Mass concluding the 2012-13 Year of Faith.

The Vatican announced Nov. 18 that "Evangelii Gaudium" ("The Joy of the Gospel") will be presented at a news conference featuring Archbishop Rino Fisichella, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting New Evangelization; Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops; and Archbishop Claudio Celli, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications.

Apostolic exhortations, one of the most authoritative forms of papal writing, are often based on deliberations of synods of bishops. "Evangelii Gaudium" is expected to take into account the October 2012 synod on the new evangelization, held at the beginning of the Year of Faith.

However, last June, Pope Francis told the ordinary council of the Synod of Bishops, which is normally responsible for helping draft post-synodal apostolic exhortations, that he would not be working from their draft.

Instead, the pope said, he planned to write an "exhortation on evangelization in general and, within it, refer to the synod," in order to "take everything from the synod but put it in a wider framework."

Pope Francis will formally deliver the document Nov. 24 in St. Peter's Square, at the concluding Mass of the Year of Faith, giving copies to a Latvian bishop, a Tanzanian priest and a deacon from Australia. The pope will also give copies to members of men's and women's religious orders, and to representatives of other groups of faithful, including seminarians, families and members of ecclesial movements. A visually impaired Catholic will receive the document in the form of a CD-ROM allowing for audio reproduction.

A Japanese sculptor and a Polish painter will receive the apostolic exhortation on behalf of the artistic world, Archbishop Fisichella said, and two journalists will do likewise on behalf of the media.

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