Amoris Laetitia 7: A Careful Reading

amoris laetitia memeRemember to check the actual document Amoris Laetitia. With this post, we come to the end of the introduction, and Pope Francis provides a bit of background along with a few sample recommendations.

It strikes me that many naysayers on the topic of divorced and remarried, for example, will rush to a section intended for pastoral ministers (which they are not) for a situation in which they do not (currently) participate. Why? Why not look instead to Scripture, prayer, or spirituality? Lots of harping here and there on scandal. But it is also a scandal to be seeking words that rile up the inner reaches of a person, a self-inflicted righteousness that justifies noone and nothing.

7. Given the rich fruits of the two-year Synod process, this Exhortation will treat, in different ways, a wide variety of questions. This explains its inevitable length. Consequently, I do not recommend a rushed reading of the text. The greatest benefit, for families themselves and for those engaged in the family apostolate, will come if each part is read patiently and carefully, or if attention is paid to the parts dealing with their specific needs. It is likely, for example, that married couples will be more concerned with Chapters Four and Five, and pastoral ministers with Chapter Six, while everyone should feel challenged by Chapter Eight. It is my hope that, in reading this text, all will feel called to love and cherish family life, for “families are not a problem; they are frst and foremost an opportunity”. (Address at the Meeting of Families in Santiago de Cuba (22 September 2015): L’Osservatore Romano, 24 September 2015, p. 7.)

As I’ve hinted elsewhere, it is possible for people to refuse the suggestions here, and look for outrage or justification. The Holy Father suggests the aim is not the reading of the document as such. The aim is to love and cherish family life. If this document doesn’t float that boat for someone, they are better off going elsewhere.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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One Response to Amoris Laetitia 7: A Careful Reading

  1. FrMichael says:

    I’m thinking this summer, when the Pauline Sisters have printed AL out and parish life slows down, that I’ll give it a serious sustained read. In the meantime I read it slowly via this blog. Thanks for the series!

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