Pope Francis (C) meets with Thailand's Prime Minster Yingluck Shinawatra (2ndL) during a private audience at the Vatican on September 12, 2013 (Photo credit: TONY GENTILE/AFP/Getty Images)
VATICAN CITY (AP) - Pope Francis has issued the mission statement for his papacy, outlining how the Catholic Church and the papacy itself must be reformed to create a more missionary and merciful church that pays particular attention to the poor.
In a document released Tuesday, Francis amalgamated the priorities he has laid out in eight months of homilies, speeches and interviews and put them in the broader context of how to reinvigorate the church's evangelical zeal in a world marked by indifference, secularization and vast income inequalities.
He explained his most controversial remarks criticizing the church's "obsession" with transmitting a disjointed set of doctrines, saying that in the church's "hierarchy of truths," mercy is paramount and that what counts is inviting the faithful in.
He criticized the church's centralization as impeding missionary outreach.