Vatican City

Pope Francis to publish encyclical with Benedict

'Powerful document' on spreading faith

Pope Francis to publish encyclical with Benedict

(updates previous). Vatican City, June 13 - Pope Francis said Thursday that he will publish an encyclical co-written with his predecessor Benedict XVI. "Now an encyclical written by four hands is coming out," Francis told a bishops' follow-up meeting on last October's Synod about evangelisation, or spreading the Faith. He said the encyclical would likely take the place of a definitive post-Synod statement, expanding on it. Benedict, who resigned at the end of February and is now pope emeritus, presided over that Synod. Francis, the first Jesuit and Latin American pope, was elected March 13. "Pope Benedict started it and he delivered it to me. It's a powerful document". The Argentine pontiff thanked his German predecessor for his "great work", which he said he would "carry on". A post-Synod exhortation would make no sense because it would be overshadowed by the encyclical, Francis said. The encyclical would sum up the findings of the Synod and enlarge on it, talking about "evangelisation in general". "I will go along that path," he said. Francis said he had "already written something" and would be able to get more done during the summer holidays. Unlike previous popes, Francis is not going to the summer residence at Castel Gandolofo but will be staying in Vatican lodgings. He has yet to move into the traditional papal apartments and has indicated he may never do so. "I'll be less busy in August so I'll be able to go on a bit," Francis said. The synod on new evangelization ended on October 24 with a call to "the People of God," to more actively spread the Gospel message. The bishops agreed that this was "not a question of finding new strategies as if the Gospel was to be spread like a market product, but rediscovering the ways in which individuals come close to Jesus".

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