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POPE FRANCIS’ APOSTOLIC EXHORTATION ON THE JOY OF LOVE

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‘Amoris Laetiti’ ( The Joy of Love) is the post-synodal apostolic exhortation by Pope Francis, dated 19 March 2016, and was released on 8 April 2016. Amoris Laetitia is a profound reflection on the reality of family life in contemporary society, and Pope Francis has said the community should read the apostolic exhortation slowly and deliberately.

The lengthy document 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 idealizing many challenges that are faced by family life. The pastors of the souls should care for, rather than condemning, all those who do not reflect the teachings of the Church.

In particular the document focuses on the need for ‘personal and pastoral discernment’ for individuals, recognizing 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 Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia seeks emphatically to affirm not the “ideal family” but the very rich and complex reality of family life. Its pages provide an openhearted 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 laetitia: On Love in the Family indeed speaks the language of experience and of hope.

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