On Friday 8 April 2016, the Holy See published the new Apostolic Exhortation from Pope Francis Amoris Lætitia, the Joy of Love, on love in the family.
This concluding document comes after the 2014 Extraordinary Synod of Bishops on ‘The Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelisation’, and the subsequent 2015 Ordinary Synod of Bishops on ‘The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World’.
We were also personally invited to contribute by the bishops of England and Wales, with an opportunity to reflect on the gift of marriage and family life via a document entitled “The Call, The Journey and The Mission”.
Amores Lætitia makes fascinating and uplifting reading. The Vatican’s own summary concludes by telling us that “As can readily be understood from a quick review of its contents, the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Lætitia seeks emphatically to affirm not the ‘ideal family’ but the very rich and complex reality of family life. Its pages provide an open-hearted look, profoundly positive, which is nourished not with abstractions or ideal projections, but with pastoral attention to reality. The text is a close reading of family life, with spiritual insights and practical wisdom useful for every human couple or persons who want to build a family. Above all, it is patently the result of attention to what people have lived over many years. The Exhortation Amoris Lætitia: On Love in the Family, indeed speaks the language of experience and of hope.”