Loading...
Loading...
Click here if you don’t see subscription options

Everything in "Amoris Laetitia," Pope Francis' exhortation on the family, sprang from consultations with Catholics around the world and was thoroughly discussed by the bishops at the 2014 and 2015 synods on the family, Pope Francis said.

"Either you have a pyramidal church where everything Peter says is done or you have a synodal church where Peter is Peter, but he accompanies the church, lets it grow, listens. What is more, he learns from this reality and sees how to harmonize it," the pope told the Belgian Catholic weekly newspaper Tertio.

Pope Francis said the "richest experience" of the church operating in a way that is not strictly "top down" came from the two meetings of the Synod of Bishops on the family. In preparation for the meetings, every bishop in the world, every diocese and Catholic organizations were asked for their input.

The process highlighted the richness of the variety found in the church and was a sign of its "unity in diversity," the pope said. "This is synodality. It's not descending from on high to the base, but listening to the churches, discerning."

He said the apostolic exhortation, "Amoris Laetitia" ("The Joy of Love") is his contribution in response to the discussions. However, he said, "everything in there was approved by more than two-thirds" of the synod members. The sections dealing with ministry to the divorced and civilly remarried received more "no" votes than the other sections, but still had two-thirds approval.

Asked about secularism, Pope Francis said a healthy separation of church and state is good for both, but a form of secularism that treats religion as a "subculture" and tries to confine any expression of religious belief to within the walls of a church or other sacred space is an offense to the dignity of the person, who naturally is open both to others and to God.

"A culture or political system that does not respect the openness to transcendence of the human person 'prunes' or cuts the person," he said, adding that it attempts to "cut from human nature a good part of its life, which is openness."

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Kevin Murphy
7 years 6 months ago
Or you have a Church that does not negate a direct teaching from Jesus, which is what we had until recently. I'll follow Jesus ' words rather than Francis' "discerning Synodality,"
Henry George
7 years 6 months ago
Majority voted does not guarantee the Truth. The Holy Spirit may well be directing Pope Francis on the proposed changes. But even if the Holy Spirit is, Pope Francis must not bully those who disagree with him, nor force these changes upon the Church, for such would be counterproductive. Teach with charity and patience and let the Spirit work as God, not man, wills.

The latest from america

The head of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Communication has defended his department's use of expelled Jesuit priest Marko Rupnik’s artwork in its official materials.
Colleen DulleJune 21, 2024
A conversation with Rachel L. Swarns, the author of "The 272: The Families Who were Enslaved and Sold to Build The American Catholic Church"
JesuiticalJune 21, 2024
Spanish Jesuit Luis María Roma, who died in 2019, was recently discovered to have abused hundreds of Indigenous girls while serving as a missionary in rural Bolivia, and to have documented his acts in a diary.
Members of Coro y Orquesta Misional San Xavier perform the opera “San Francisco Xavier” at the Church of San Xavier in the town of San Javier, Bolivia, on April 23. 2024.
The opera ‘San Xavier’ provides a glimpse of how Jesuits evangelized with music—a key dimension of the 1986 film “The Mission.”