With the Thanksgiving holiday upon us and NDS out on break, I'm hoping to read the Holy Father's apostolic exhortation, Evangelii gaudium.
More than just read it, I'm hoping to spend some time contemplating it!
So far, Ive done a fair job avoiding the temptation to scan the document for confirmation/refutation of my hobby horse concerns. Fallen human nature and my own particular fallenness make that temptation very, very, very difficult to resist.
For my own betterment and maybe yours as well, here's what I'm struggling to avoid:
1. Hobby Horse Issues: scanning for Culture War hot-button issues to sling at my ideological opponents, i.e., abortion, contraception, women's "ordination," etc. (Confession: I saw the quote about the Holy Father's confirmation of the impossibility of women's ordination before I saw the document itself.)
2. Minimizing the Pope's Expertise: dismissing the Holy Father's teaching on issues where he has little or no technical expertise, i.e., finance, economics, etc. His lack of expertise on these issues shouldn't prevent a fair reading of his moral teachings when those teachings touch these issues.
3. A Hermeneutic of Rupture: reading EG as if it were a wholly novel, purely innovative document written in an ecclesial vacuum; that is, pretending that the Holy Father is somehow unaware that previous popes ever wrote anything about evangelization, preaching, economics, etc.
4. Jesuitical Suspicion: not ignoring my natural Dominican suspicion of all things Jesuitical but making an effort to set aside those prejudices and not write in the margins, "Such a Jebbie!"
5. Let the MSM Define What's Important: reading media accounts of the document before reading the document itself. I've already seen two reports in the UK press that predictably applaud the Holy Father for his "anti-capitalist" rhetoric. . .as if the Pope's principal concern is the macro-economics of Western liberal democracies.
So, lots of things to avoid; lots of things to look forward to. . .especially the longish section on homilies and preaching!__________________
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