The Vatican has announced that Pope Francis will issue a new Apostolic Exhortation, Gaudete et Exsultate (“Rejoice and Be Glad”) with the subtitle On the call to holiness in the contemporary world. The document will be released on Monday, April 9, and the Vatican will hold a press conference to launch and present the exhortation.
An Apostolic Exhortation is document written by the pope that encourages the faithful to live and act in a way that will bring about deeper conversion. Pope Francis has written two previous Apostolic Exhortations during his 5-year pontificate, Evangelii Gaudium (“The Joy of the Gospel”) in 2013 and Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”) in 2016.
Though an Apostolic Exhortation is a communication from the pope, it does not have the same weight of authority as an Encyclical, and it is not a dogmatic teaching where the pope is speaking ex cathedra. However, the judgements made by the Holy Father should be sincerely adhered to, out of reverence for his role as the Successor of Peter.
Pope Francis has written two Encyclical letters during his pontificate, Lumen Fidei (“The Light of Faith”) in 2013 and Laudato Si’: On Care for Our Common Home in 2015.
The press conference for the launch of Gaudete et Exsultate will take place mid-day at the Vatican on April 9 and will include presentations by a bishop and two lay people. Bishop Angelo De Donatis, the vicar general of the Rome diocese, Italian journalist Gianni Valente and Paola Bignardi, a former president of Catholic Action Italy are slated to speak at the press conference.
Ongoing coverage and discussion of Gaudete et Exsultate can be heard next week on Relevant Radio® and the Relevant Radio App. Be sure to tune-in!