A Church in Mission or a Church in Meetings?

On the Solemnity of Christ the King in 2013, Pope Francis completed the work of the 2012 Synod of Bishops with the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel), issuing a ringing call for the entire Church to "embark on a new chapter of evangelization." Catholicism, the pope urged, must move from maintenance to mission: "from a pastoral ministry of mere conservation to a decidedly missionary pastoral ministry." And that ministry ought to empower all the people of the Church for mission, for the 21st-century Church must understand itself as a "community of missionary disciples" who are "permanently in a state of mission," because the Church lives not for herself, but "for the evangelization of today’s world."

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