Pope Francis pushes for the church to be more accepting of divorced and remarried Catholics.
Amoris Laetitia has been one of the most awaited pronouncements from the pontificate of Pope Francis. It was released last week by the Pontiff himself. While it makes no change to the Church doctrine, it calls for a Church that is merciful and compassionate towards the Catholics who are not perfect.
By this, the Pontiff means that the Church will be less strict in dealing with divorced Catholics in the future. As of now, the divorced Catholics are restricted by the Church from taking communion or remarrying, until the time they receive an annulment on their failed marriage. According to Pope Francis, divorced and remarried couples should be treated as part of the Church. They should not be excommunicated, and should not be treated likewise.
Amoris Laetitia in Latin means “The Joy of Love.” In the document, Pope Francis has quoted Martin Luther King and Jorge Luis Borges (an Argentine poet) to make his case for a compassionate Church. Holy Father says that the logic of the Gospel prevents anyone to be condemned forever. It holds true not only for the divorced and remarried, but for everyone.
The Pontiff said that he understands the more conservative people who have trouble accepting the new ways. However, the Church should be looking more at the goodness in people in the midst of human weakness.
Professor of Moral Theology at Boston College, Father James Bretzke, said that even though the document does not explicitly say that the divorced or remarried Catholics could return to communion, it is a future possibility. He said Pope Francis may not be opening the door as of now, however, he has certainly shown where the key is. Blase Cupich, Chicago Archdiocese Archbishop, said that the Pope is calling all to an adult spirituality. He called the document liberating.
On the subject of gay marriage, Pope Francis said that the gay people should be treated with respect. However, he said that gay marriages do not include God’s plan for marriage and family. By saying this, he re-stated the Church's position on the subject of gay marriage.
Archbishop Cupich said that the Pope recognizes a little bit of good in gay unions, but he does not think that it can be considered in the same line as that of a heterosexual marriage.
Giancarlo Marchetti, a coffee bar worker in Rome, welcoming the Church's latest views saying, “I think it’s important for the Church to keep up with the times.”
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