Perspectief 2014-26

2014-26 Towards a Healthy Future of Catholicity in the Roman Catholic Church 39 Reag eer 2 Pope Francis on catholicity as missionary outreach and as unity in diversity I will now indicate that both aspects of Vatican II’s teaching on catholicity occupy a central place in the teaching of pope Francis thus far. His first interest is that the Church rediscovers its missionary nature, and, because of its longstanding preoccupation with the centre it is especially the mission to the periphery which he wants to promote. Second, this requires an institutional reform which is not afraid of promoting the same “diversity in unity” willed for by the Council. To both aspects – catholicity as missionary outreach and catholicity as unity in diversity – I now turn, limiting myself to studying four important texts of pope Francis: - We can difficultly ignore the first encyclical of this papacy on faith, entitled Lumen Fidei and promulgated on June 29, 2013, the solemnity of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul. It is an exceptional document though in that pope Francis recognizes that his predecessor had “almost completed a first draft” – as the logical sequel of his encyclicals on ‘charity’ and ‘hope’ – to which he only “added a few contributions of his own.” (§ 7). Normally, however, popes conceive their first encyclical as a programmatic statement, as was e.g. the case with Ecclesiam Suam of Pope Paul VI and Redemptor Hominis of Pope Jean-Paul II. In the case of Pope Francis one even wonders whether he himself would fully subscribe to its rather closed teaching on tradition. The apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium carries much more the character of a maiden encyclical, as will hopefully become clear from my presentation. - An important address given by pope Francis was the one at the General Coordination Meeting of the Episcopal Conferences of Latin-America (better known under its acronym CELAM) in Rio de Janeiro, 28 July 2013. The meeting was devoted to study the reception and implementation of their 5 th general conference, which had taken place under the guidance of Cardinal Bergoglio in the Marian shrine of Aparecida, Bresil. - Interviews seem to be an important communication means in this pontificate. In view of the fact that doubts have been raised on whether the two interviews