The Vatican has published Pope Francis’ eagerly-awaited Apostolic Exhortation on the family, drawing together almost three years of consultations with Catholics in countries around the world.
The lengthy document, entitledAmoris Laetitia, or The Joy of Love, affirms the Church’s teaching that stable families are the building blocks of a healthy society and a place where children learn to love, respect and interact with others.
At the same time the text warns against idealising the many challenges facing family life, urging Catholics to care for, rather than condemning, all those whose lives do not reflect the teaching of the Church.
In particular the document focuses on the need for “personal and pastoral discernment” for individuals, recognising that “neither the Synod, nor this Exhortation could be expected to provide a new set of general rules, canonical in nature and applicable to all cases”.
The Holy See’s summary of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia – The Joy of Love. Pope Francis, 2016: amoris-laetitia-document-summary
Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia – The Joy of Love. Pope Francis, 2016: amoris-laetitia
Questions and Answers: amoris-laetitia-questions and answers