ARGENTINA, by Esteban Pitarro, Aleteia.org •
Francis, The Joy Which Emerges from the People. A reflection shared from Evangelii Gaudium, [Francisco: la alegría que brota del pueblo] edited in Buenos Aires by the Publishing House Santa Maria, presents an enriching look together with the most “pragmatic” document of Pope Francis.
The idea of having a book on the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, came from the bosom of the Thomas More Group, an association of laymen who are devoted to the evangelization of world politics and for whom one of their missions is the study and the dissemination of the social thinking of the Church, explains Carlos Ferré, one of the authors of the book.
Signing along with him is the Guzmán Carriquiry Lecour firm, lay secretary of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America; Juan Carlos Scannone, Jesuit priest referring to the social thinking which has marked the Pope; Carlos Galli, ex- dean of Theology at the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina and Expert on Aparecida; in addition to Jorge Benedetti, José María Di Paola, better known as Father Pepe, Gustavo Escobar and Víctor Lupo.
“We convoked the authors who because of their intellectual ability and because of their testimony in putting into action the principles of the Social Doctrine of the Church could make a contribution which would broaden particular topics which Pope Francis was developing in this magnificent document,” Ferré relates.
Francis and the peoples
The name of the book, affirms, “intends to reflect a phenomenon which is evident to any observer of reality. Today, Francis is a motive of renewed hope for people, and as such, of true joy.” The Pope, considers Ferré, “is considered one of them by the people.” In him they found, “the leader they were longing for, and likewise, thought did not exist, and furthermore, could not exist.”
In Ferré’s judgement, a teacher of the Church’s Social Doctrine, “the attachment he struck up with the people from the first moment of his papacy is a mutual acknowledgement, and it has provoked an adherence to the Pope not only from Catholics but from men and women from different creeds and even from non-believers who consider him a moral authority, capable of leading the transformations which our world needs.”
The origin of this relationship which touches the world, he explains, “emerges from his intimate conviction in the leading role which the people so much have in the history of Salvation.” In that line, Francis assumes the conception of the People of God from the Second Vatican Council and “and recognizes the people as the leading historical subjects of the social changes.” Ferré clarifies, however, that the vision of of the Pope of the People is that of a historical category in permanent construction, “removed from sociological conceptions, ideological or of class.”
A theological and missionary reflection summary
Francis, the Joy which emerges from the people. A shared reflection from Evangelii Gaudium. It counts on two contributions from Guzman Carriquiry, the highest ranking laymen in the Holy See: “Mission of the Church in Latin America, at the hour of Pope Francis’ Pontificate, in the light of the Apostolic Exhortation of Evangelii Gaudium” and “ Towards a testimoney ever-so- more credible.”
Father Scannone writes on “The Inculturation in Evangelii Gaudium – Keys to the Reading.” Benedetti, sociologist and teacher in Social Doctrine, analyzes: “Francis, the Theology of the People and their insertions into politics.” “The conception of ‘people’ in Francis’ pontificate,” is Ferré’s title. Fr. Galli, member of the International Theological Commission, is in charge of the chapter: “Ten Keys for the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium.”
Fr. Di Paola, referring to the “small-town priests,” proposes a view on “Popular Religiosity.” Professor Escobar, pastoral facilitator, writes on “Nothing more encouraging than to have hope, a Proposal to install an embodied and missionary pastoral approach.” And the leader of the Social Movement of Sports, Victor Luppo, closes with “Pope Francis and Sports.”
During the dialogue with Aleteia, Ferré related that he favored the realization of the book of which all its authors are part of the Francis Generation (Generación Francisco) network, a group which came forth one year after the beginning of the Pope’s pontificate and in response to “a genuine process of social movement.” “We believed, and time demonstrated that the ‘Francis effect’ was not a passing fad,” Ferré tells.
Generation Francis comes forth just like a web to attach institutions, groups and persons who adhere to the proposals of the Pope in the closest possible existing peripheries, as he explains. “We unite organizations and social associations as well as cultural, unions, university students, students, athletes, and also some groups who unite pastoral agents like the ‘small-town priests’ and we gave ourselves the task of disseminating Francis’ thinking, to support and to execute his proposals and in some form to organize that love which the people express to him in each encounter he has,” he concludes.
In a recent trip to Rome, the Pope said to Bishop Eduardo Lozano, one of the bishops he got to know most when he was Auxiliary Bishop of Buenos Aires, that we must “apply” Evangelii Gaudium, “not to be content with only reading some paragraphs.” For those who seek to take the step which Francis proposes, Francis, The Joy which emerges from the People. A shared reflection from Evangelii Gaudium, supposes an enriching document because of its social view, its theological arguments and its pastoral proposals. A facilitating tool , as Francis asked the Bishop, to take the leap into action.
Original: Spanish. Translation: Carlos Cantú, La Feria, USA