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When the president met with Pope Francis this morning, the pontiff gave President Obama a copy of his apostolic exhortation, Evangelii Gaudium (The Joy of the Gospel). Much of the media coverage of his vision statement, so to speak, missed both the Gospel and the joy. It’s document rooted in the Cross on which Christ died, reintroducing the proposals of the Gospel about the challenges of apostolic living, about self-sacrificial love. (I wrote a bit about here and here.) And, yes, it’s clear on both human dignity and our obligations to one another as brothers and sisters of the same Father. It echoes so much of what Pope Francis talks about daily about mercy and real faith. It’s worth reading in its entirety if you’re curious about this pope — rather than merely the parts you agree or disagree with. It’s not a political document, but a pastoral one.



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