Pope Francis on the Universal Call to Holiness

Ronald D. Witherup PSS

This is the first of a series of three articles on Gaudete et Exsultate, Pope Francis’ recent apostolic exhortation. Ronald D. Witherup PSS is Superior General of the Society of the Priests of Saint Sulpice.

Pope Francis continues to forge ahead with his vision of reform for the Church. The latest contribution to his plan is a document titled Gaudete et Exsultate (Rejoice and Exult), an apostolic exhortation on the call to holiness in the contemporary world. It was publicly presented on 9 April 2018, at a press conference, which featured an unusual trio of presenters: Bishop Angelo De Donatis, Vicar General of the Diocese of Rome, Mr Gianni Valente, a journalist, and Madam Paola Bignardi, a lay woman from Catholic Action1. The composition itself of these experts, rather than a surfeit of cardinals or theologians, emphasizes the main teaching. Holiness is not reserved to the ordained or religious women and men. It is a value for all the faithful, regardless of their state in life or their vocation.

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