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Volume 26 @ Number 11 @ September 27, 2015 @ $15 per Year

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Culp: Close to Home Part III

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The Bi-Weekly Publication of The Catholic Diocese of Lexington

Turn to Pope Francis , Page 5 LEXINGTON. This Advent, parishes in the diocese will have the opportunity to avail themselves of a new dis- cussion tool, developed by the diocese, to examine Pope Francis' teachings in Evangelii Gaudium" ("The Joy of the Gospel"). The booklet, "Discover- ing the Joy of the Gospel," was developed by Rod Stearn, diocesan director of faith formation, and Meagan Lederman, dioc- esan coordinator for peace and justice, in a coopera- tive effort over the course of several months. It is debuting for the Advent season but its use is not limited to that season, Stearn said. Discovering the Joy of the Gospel" consists of an introduction, which provides historical context, with a general introduction on how to use the guide. The body of the guide consists of eight brief selec- tions from the apostolic ex- hortation, accompanied by prayer, questions, and a brief commentary. The eight themes ad- dressed are: the missionary option and a description of the parish; the economy of exclusion and the common good; spiritual sloth and the church's role in society; Scrip- ture and evangelization; solidarity and the structural causes of poverty; the vulnerable and human dignity; interreligious dialogue; and, enthusiasm for evangelization. The guide ends with a conclusion and a glossary of terms. The Joy of the Gospel shares many charac- teristics with other recent papal teachings. It points to the links between evangelization and the call to love our neighbors. It encourages us to live out Christ's love of the poor, and to ex- amine the structural causes of poverty and mis- ery in our own time. Yet The Joy of the Gospel I also unique, because we live in a unique mo- ment in time," the introduction states We still live in a world dominated by ideologies, but technology, economics, global politics, etc., have all changed in the last few decades. These elements have in- tertwined in new ways, creating new chal- lenges to the Gospel. It is the role of the Church to recognize these new challenges, and to respond accordingly. The Joy of the Gospel is part of Pope Francis' efforts in this regard. It relates the fullness of the Gospel to today's world. It brings forward both of Christ's great com- mandments, and shows that they must be held together for the fulfillment of Christ's Kingdom. Yet it is more than a teaching document. It is a call to action. The Pope has called us to take part in God's plan for the world," the introduction says. A similar guide on Pope Francis' Laudato Si" ("On Care for Our Common Home") is planned for Lent, 2016. n

New guide aids examination of "Joy of the Gospel"

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Ann Schneible

WASHINGTON, DC (CNA/EWTN NEWS). Pope Francis Wednesday reminded U.S. President Barack Obama that religious freedom is one of America's most "precious possessions," while lauding the na- tion's Catholics their work toward a society marked by tolerance and inclusivity. With countless other people of good will, (American Catholics) are likewise concerned that efforts to build a just and wisely ordered so- ciety respect their deepest concerns and their right to religious liberty," the pope said Sept. 23, addressing the U.S. commander-in-chief at the White House in Washington, DC.

Pope to President: Religious freedom is beyond price

Pope Francis receives a kiss outside the Apostolic Nunciature in Washington D.C. on Wednesday. Photo: Molly Riley/AFP/Getty

That freedom remains one of America's most precious possessions." Echoing the appeals by the U.S. bishops on the issue of religious freedom, the pontifftold President Obama: "All are called to be vigi- lant, precisely as good citizens, to preserve and defend that freedom from everything that would threat- en or compromise it." Pope Francis also stressed the role American Catholics have played in building a tolerant and inclusive so- ciety in the nation, one which safe- guards of individuals and commu- nities, while "rejecting every form of unjust discrimination." In his remarks prior to the pon- tiff's, President Obama noted how the 20,000 people gathered on the White House lawn served as only a small re- flection of the "deep devotion of some 70 million American Catholics." The pope's meeting at the White House, marking the first major event of his visit to the U.S. Capi- tal, comes at a time of uncertainty with regard to religious of freedom in the country. Affecting many Catholic as well as other religious institutions, the Obama administration's 2012 HHS mandate requires institutions to provide contraceptive services, of- ten failing to offer exemptions to those who oppose the bill on reli- gious grounds. There are also concerns regard- ing the religious rights of those who oppose same-sex marriage after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled earlier this year to legalize marriage between gay couples across all 50 states. Pope Francis' speech to President Obama also addressed the issue of climate change, and acknowledged

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