Om - Amoris Laetitia

Letting ‘Amoris laetitia’ Be Heard

19. okt. 2017

Matthew Sitma, Commonweal skriver bl.a.:

Amoris laetitia, Pope Francis’s 2016 apostolic exhortation, is translated as “The Joy of Love,” but its reception over the last year has been anything but patient and kind. A richly textured if occasionally unwieldy document that stretches to over two-hundred pages, the controversy it’s generated has almost entirely focused on one chapter—even one footnote—that raises the issue of divorced-and-remarried Catholics receiving Communion.

A conference hosted by Cardinal Blase Cupich and James Keenan, SJ, at Boston College earlier this month sought to forge, as its title claimed, “a new momentum for moral formation and pastoral practice.” Bringing together two cardinals, twelve bishops, and over twenty other participants—some priests, but many lay theologians—the gathering clearly was an attempt to shift the way Amoris laetitia is being understood and engaged with in the United States. Most Catholics certainly haven’t read the exhortation; their knowledge of it is second hand, often filtered through fevered speculations about the pope’s “plot” to change the church or news reports about “filial corrections” from self-styled guardians of orthodoxy. When those more sympathetic to Amoris understandably respond to such criticisms, it only further establishes the narrative of controversy surrounding the document. If there was one refrain that dominated the discussions in Boston, it was that the exhortation really does have nine chapters—more than the much-debated chapter 8.

Amoris begins not with disputed questions or polemics; instead, it surveys the “families, births, love stories, and family crises” that fill the Bible and then moves on to “the experiences and challenges of families” today. It begins, in other words, not with abstract theological ideals, but attentiveness to the concrete hopes and sorrows, joys and messiness, of actual family life. It starts with examples and complexity, not pat formulations.

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