Amoris Laetitia is a serious and extensive reflection on Christian marriage. While it changes no Church teaching or discipline, it does stress the importance of pastoral sensitivity in dealing with the difficult situations many married couples today face. Pope Francis is skilled at analyzing the cultural forces that make Christian marriage a unique witness, and often a special challenge. His recognition of the importance of children and the value of adoption are great expressions of support for family life.
Happily, the kind of pastoral discernment called for in Amoris Laetitia is already happening in many of our parish communities, and the Holy Father’s encouragement, coming just months after the World Meeting of Families, is a great gift.
Amoris Laetitia is unusual for its size – more than 250 pages – and the Holy Father himself cautions us to read it with patience and attention. This is sound guidance, especially in the scramble that always takes place to stamp a particular interpretation on important papal interventions. My own more developed thoughts will be forthcoming. In the meantime, we can be thankful for the Holy Father’s thoughts on an issue of real gravity. Nothing is more essential to any society than the health of marriage and the family.
+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia
Contact: Kenneth A. Gavin
Chief Communications Officer