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Religions 2018, 9(10), 290; https://doi.org/10.3390/rel9100290

“[…] from Our Own Comfort Zone […] to […] All the ‘Peripheries’” (EG 20). A Franciscan Keyword of Pope Francis and its Significance for Christian Worship

Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschule, Münster (Germany) and IUNCTUS, Kompetenzzentrum für Christliche Spiritualität, Münster, Hohenzollernring 60, 48145 Münster, Germany
Received: 16 August 2018 / Revised: 19 September 2018 / Accepted: 20 September 2018 / Published: 25 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Franciscan Spirituality and Its Impact for Today’s World)
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Abstract

In Evangelii gaudium (No. 20), Pope Francis writes: “In our day Jesus’ command to ‘go and make disciples’ echoes in the changing scenarios and ever new challenges to the Church’s mission of evangelization […]. Each Christian and every community must discern the path that the Lord points out, but all of us are asked to obey his call to go forth from our own comfort zone in order to reach all the ‘peripheries’ in need of the light of the Gospel.” Here and in other passages the Pope makes clear that he understands the Church and its mission in a very Franciscan way. Consider how St. Francis of Assisi kept company with the poor, and bear in mind texts like his “Instructions for brothers who want to go on the missions”. Celebration in worship is an important element of such an evangelization: it opens a way to the experience of the One who really sends the Good News to all believers! This article argues that Francis prefers two options to promote a Franciscan worship practice in that sense: for him it is “imperative to evangelize cultures in order to inculturate the Gospel” (EG 69). Firstly, worshipping should be connected with “authentic ‘popular piety” as the “starting point” of Evangelization (ibid. and EG 70), and secondly the translation of official liturgical texts should follow a threefold fidelity: to the Bible, to the Church’s tradition, and to any given people’s own language (cf. Motu Proprio Magnum Principium). The Pope’s strategy here follows de facto ideas of St. Francis, such as when the Poverello enlivened the mystery of the Incarnation by arranging a manger in Greccio (1223). One conclusion from this is that the Church has to develop ideas “in restoring a mystical adherence to the faith in a pluralistic religious landscape” (EG 70). View Full-Text
Keywords: Pope Francis; evangelization; worship Pope Francis; evangelization; worship
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Winter, S. “[…] from Our Own Comfort Zone […] to […] All the ‘Peripheries’” (EG 20). A Franciscan Keyword of Pope Francis and its Significance for Christian Worship. Religions 2018, 9, 290.

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