Pope Francis and the close of the Year of Faith

UPDATE: The Pope has scheduled his apostolic exhortation “Evangelii Gaudium” (“The Joy of the Gospel”) for publication on Tuesday, 26 Nov 2013.

Pope Francis will issue an apostolic exhortation — his first substantial teaching document — on the last day of the year of faith (Sun. Nov. 24 2013). I believe that the great apostasy begins during the reign of Pope Francis. This document could be one of several factors that triggers the start of the apostasy.

The document is entitled: The Joy of the Gospel

He might teach that those who explicitly reject the Gospel as taught by the Church can still be saved if that objective mortal sin is not also an actual mortal sin, due to invincible ignorance. He might teach that non-Christians and non-believers can be saved without converting by implicitly accepting Christ.

Here is what Pope Francis said in a General Audience (16 Oct 2013) about the joy of the Gospel:

My final thought: the Church is apostolic because she is sent to bring the Gospel to all the world. She continues in history the mission which Jesus entrusted to the Apostles: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, to the close of the age” (Mt 28:19-20). This is what Jesus told us to do! I insist on this missionary aspect, because Christ invites all to “go out” and encounter others, he sends us, he asks us to move in order to spread the joy of the Gospel! Once again let us ask ourselves: are we missionaries by our words, and especially by our Christian life, by our witness? Or are we Christians closed in our hearts and in our churches, sacristy Christians? Are we Christians in name only, who live like pagans? We must ask ourselves these questions, which are not a rebuke. I ask myself as well: what kind of Christian am I, is my witness true?

The Church’s roots are in the teaching of the Apostles, the authentic witnesses of Christ, but she looks to the future, she has the firm consciousness of being sent — sent by Jesus — of being missionary, bearing the name of Jesus by her prayer, proclaiming it and testifying to it. A Church that is closed in on herself and in the past, a Church that only sees the little rules of behaviour, of attitude, is a Church that betrays her own identity; a closed Church betrays her own identity! Then, let us rediscover today all the beauty and responsibility of being the Church apostolic! And remember this: the Church is apostolic because we pray — our first duty — and because we proclaim the Gospel by our life and by our words.

Notice that he emphasizes bringing the Gospel to all the world. His apostolic exhortation on this topic is likely to include the teaching that those who reject Catholicism and Christianity can nevertheless be saved.

How soon after the promulgation of “the Joy of the Gospel” will some Catholics accuse the Pope of heresy?

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