Chapter Six of Amoris Laetitia finds the Holy Father discussing “Some Pastoral Perspectives.” As you might surmise, these are among the most controversial and most resisted of the teaching contained in this document. We’ll continue to take things carefully, one paragraph a day, one paragraph at a time.
Let’s read the introduction for the document’s second-longest chapter, which Pope Francis is careful to offer as a reflection, not a plan:
199. The dialogue that took place during the Synod raised the need for new pastoral methods. I will attempt to mention some of these in a very general way. Different communities will have to devise more practical and effective initiatives that respect both the Church’s teaching and local problems and needs. Without claiming to present a pastoral plan for the family, I would now like to reflect on some more significant pastoral challenges.
You can always check the full document online–just click on the hyperlink above. This chapter treats five topics as follows:
- Proclaiming the Gospel of the Family Today (200-204)
- Marriage Preparation (205-216)
- Early Years of Marriage (217-230)
- Crises, Worries, and Difficulties (231-252)
- Death (253-258)
By the time we’re finished with these themes, we will be well into December. Ready for the ride? If so, then buckle in.