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Publisher: Evangelii Gaudium is Rome’s biggest seller for decades

A copy of the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (CNS)

A year on from his election as pontiff, it has been revealed that Pope Francis first apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium is the bestselling text since the documents of Vatican II.

The text’s British publisher The Catholic Truth Society (CTS) said it had sold more copies of Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation than any other text since the documents of the Second Vatican Council. The society has just printed its fifth edition of the apostolic exhortation, which was released last December and has sold more than 25,000 copies, the highest figure for any Vatican document since Unitatis Redintegratio, the Vatican II Decree on Ecumenism, sold 85,000 copies in Britain.

Pierpaolo Finaldi, managing editor of the CTS, said the document had already sold twice as well as any previous papal documents and that was despite having only been published three months ago.

He said: “The sales of Evangelii Gaudium are considerably more than we’ve seen for even the great encyclicals of John Paul II and Benedict XVI. As publishers to the Holy See we’re really happy to see the words of Pope Francis becoming an ecclesial event in Britain and being bought in great numbers by dioceses and parishes alike. If we as British Catholics can emulate the enthusiasm for evangelisation that shines through the text then it will be good news, not just for the Church but for the country at large.”

Mr Finaldi explained that although many bishops were ordering the text in bulk, there was a mixture of people buying it.

“Some bishops are buying it for all their priests, and parishes are being encouraged [to buy copies],” he said. “We’re just really happy to see Vatican documents becoming an ecclesiastical event because sometimes they don’t get the response they deserve.”