Walker Percy, thou shouldst be living at this hour
A Benefactor of Mankind

This Is Not My Opinion Of Evangelii Gaudium

So, Pope Francis has published an "apostolic exhortation," and I see indications that the Catholic blogosphere is lighting up with comments about it. And I'm tempted to skim the thing as quickly as possible and deliver some quick comments of my own. But I'm going to resist that impulse. This thing is about 50,000 words long, and presumably the pope put a good deal of thought into it. I think it deserves an equally careful and thoughtful reading. So maybe in two or three weeks I'll have something to say.

I expect a certain amount of the commentary, both from within and without the Church, will involve the deployment of selected passages as weapons against enemy factions within the Church. I'm not going to do that. It requires no particular virtue on my part to refrain from it, because the temptation is very weak. Much stronger is the temptation to react to those who do. I'm going to make an effort not to do that, either, although that will be more difficult. I mention it because having said this publicly will help me to resist the urge. I don't think it's useful or spiritually healthy, and I don't think it's what either the pope or God wants.

Here is the text, in case you haven't already seen it. I note with a bit of amusement that one section is called "No to warring among ourselves."


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Has this been published in print form yet? I hate reading long things on a screen, and I don't want to download and print a 220 page PDF document!

Not that I know of, but I haven't checked. I don't like to read anything more than a page or two online, but I didn't want to spend all the paper and ink to print it, either, so I pasted it all into an Open Office document so I could highlight things. Not the most comfortable way to read but it's ok.

Amazon is showing a release date of Dec. 4, but there's no pre-order availability yet.

You might want to at least skim it online before you buy it. You may have gotten the impression from the headlines that it's mostly about political and economic questions, but it's not. Those segments are important they're not the main show. It's about evangelization, and to a great extent is intra-Catholic in its explicit orientation, although I think all Christians would find a lot of it inspiring.

The Vatican website has also posted it as a flip book, a format I've not seen before. Sort of neat -- you can read it open like a book and you can even hear the page turning.

Here's the link: http://www.vatican.va/evangelii-gaudium/en/index.html#1

That would be a great way to read it if one's screen were more portrait than landscape oriented, so you could get a whole page on the screen and not have to scroll down. On my monitor I can only get it to fit at a type size that's too small to read comfortably.

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