Pope Francis tells us Evangelii Gaudium is not the place to look for detailed examinations, let alone answers, to the serious problems facing people today.
184. This is not the time or the place to examine in detail the many grave social questions affecting today’s world, some of which I have dealt with in the second chapter. This Exhortation is not a social document, and for reflection on those different themes we have a most suitable tool in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, whose use and study I heartily recommend. Furthermore, neither the Pope nor the Church have a monopoly on the interpretation of social realities or the proposal of solutions to contemporary problems. Here I can repeat the insightful observation of Pope Paul VI: “In the face of such widely varying situations, it is difficult for us to utter a unified message and to put forward a solution which has universal validity. This is not our ambition, nor is it our mission. It is up to the Christian communities to analyze with objectivity the situation which is proper to their own country”.[Octogesima Adveniens 4]
So it’s up to the people. Lay people are not children, nor are we without the resources and the competence to address the vital issues of our day.
A preview of EG 186-258:
185. In what follows I intend to concentrate on two great issues which strike me as fundamental at this time in history. I will treat them more fully because I believe that they will shape the future of humanity. These issues are first, the inclusion of the poor in society, and second, peace and social dialogue.
We’ll cover these issues and Pope Francis’ commentary in the next fifty or so posts.