Amoris Laetitia 31: The Experiences and Challenges of Families

amoris laetitia memeWhat’s next? Chapter two stretches from paragraphs 31 through 57. Remember that the whole document Amoris Laetitia is online in pdf format here.

These sections that introduce chapters and themes in Pope Francis’s documents are hardly controversia. But it is worthwile to attend to them because we get the reason why some topics are hit and others not covered.

First, another recent pope, St John Paul II, felt concern for the situation of the family in the contemporary context. The document cited in the footnote below is here.

Let’s read:

31. The welfare of the family is decisive for the future of the world and that of the Church. Countless studies have been made of marriage and the family, their current problems and challenges. We do well to focus on concrete realities, since “the call and the demands of the Spirit resound in the events of history”, and through these “the Church can also be guided to a more profound understanding of the inexhaustible mystery of marriage and the family”. (Familiaris Consortio 4)

Pope Francis concedes that no document can cover the entirety of the matter:

I will not attempt here to present all that might be said about the family today. Nonetheless, because the Synod Fathers examined the situation of families worldwide, I consider it ftting to take up some of their pastoral insights, along with concerns derived from my own experience.

Where does this leave us? We are not looking to the pope and bishops for guidance on every obstacle. And this is good. At some point, couples and parents are urged to conduct their own discernment, and deal with issues according to their formation as Christian believers and disciples.



About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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