STATEMENT ON THE RELEASE OF AMORIS LAETITIA
+Most Rev. Wm. Michael Mulvey, STL, DD
Bishop of Corpus Christi
April 8, 2016
Today, Pope Francis released his anticipated Apostolic Exhortation on marriage and the family, entitled Amoris Laetitia or “The Joy of Love.”
Amoris Laetitia is an extensive reflection by our Holy Father on the gifts and challenges of marriage and family life.
Amoris Laetitia changes no doctrine nor does it overturn any canonical or sacramental discipline. Rather, the document “exhorts” or “encourages” all of us first and foremost to reflect on the truth of marriage and family life in all its grandeur and beauty but also in all its realism. The Pope meditates on married love as the lifelong union of one man and one woman, opened to the fruitfulness of children. He also speaks beautifully on the “expanded fruitfulness of adoption” and welcoming the contribution of the extended family and the elderly in forming a “culture of encounter.”
Amoris Laetitia calls us as the Church to “pastoral accompaniment,” that is, to walk with each other in all aspects of family life – from preparation for marriage, to the welcoming of children and their education, but also throughout the many difficulties that can arise in family life such as divorce, abuse, same-sex attraction, or the loss of a loved one. The task of the Church is to “accompany” families in all these situations in order to help strengthen love and heal wounds.
In this document, our Holy Father shows us that he is a true pastor concerned deeply about the vocation of marriage and family and that we too must do our part to protect and promote it in our world.
Because of the lengthiness of the document and its sometimes complex and nuanced theological concepts, I strongly urge all to read Amoris Laetitia carefully and patiently. Please be discerning with the many media reports, both secular and Catholic, that you may encounter in the days ahead, as they may not always be accurate in their reporting or interpretation. I look forward to studying more carefully the Holy Father’s words.
We in the Diocese of Corpus Christi are thankful to our Holy Father for his continued care and promotion of marriage and the family. We unite ourselves with Pope Francis as we as pray through the intercession of the Holy Family that all families, through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, will experience the “joy of love” that God holds out before us.