Earlier today, our Holy Father, Pope Francis, issued his post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation on Love in the Family, Amoris Laetitia. While it changes no Church teaching, it stresses the importance of exercising compassion and mercy when dealing with the difficult situations many married couples face in today’s world.
In Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis provides a beautiful affirmation of love and family life that stems from Scripture and the rich Tradition of the Church. He does this by acknowledging the challenges facing Christian families and individuals and how the Church can respond in love. With the help and direction of many priests, deacons, consecrated religious, and generous members of the laity, such a response is already the practice in many parishes in our Archdiocese. The Holy Father’s wisdom and guidance, as expressed in this document, are a welcome encouragement to all who minister to God’s people, most especially those who have been marginalized or separated from the Church.
This document and related resources provided by the Holy See can be found at www.archbalt.org. I encourage you to read it and to do so carefully and thoroughly. It is more than 250 pages in length and touches on a number of complex issues. I, myself, plan to study it in greater detail and hope to offer additional thoughts on this critically important challenge.
It is my prayerful hope that this document will succeed in providing the Church with a path for building up family life and helping people live the vocation of marriage, so critical to the flourishing of society. In this Year of Mercy, may all who lift up Christian families be ever guided by the Lord’s abundant mercy for us, His children, and by our fidelity to the teachings of His Holy Church.