Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Apostolic Exhortation: The art of the homily

The Pope’s Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium or The Joy of the Gospel is continuing to draw reaction and comment from scholars, NGO’S and the media. 

One of the areas which has provoked interest has been the Holy Father’s remarks on preaching the Gospel.

In the document Pope Francis says the homily “should be brief and avoid taking on the semblance of a speech or a lecture… it should be a “heart-to-heart communication” and avoid “purely moralistic or doctrinaire” preaching”.

Speaking to Lydia O’Kane about the theme of Homiletics in the Exhortation, Jesuit Father Michael Rogers who was the coordinator of English-language outreach and catechetical efforts for the Society at World Youth Day 2013 in Brazil and is pursuing advanced studies in Fundamental Theology at Rome’s Pontifical Gregorian University says the homily “is supposed to be a dialogue between the preacher and his congregation, the sense that if the Homilist, be it either a Deacon or a Priest… if somebody is preaching, one of the things that should be happening is that you have already listened to the community and that you have listened to the word of God and that those things coming together, that’s where you find the message.”

Fr Rogers adds that Pope Francis does not want preachers to use theological language that won’t make sense to people outside.

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