"Big Four" Highlights


‘Amoris Laetitia’

Quotes from church leaders on papal exhortation

By Catholic News Service

Following is a series of quotes from U.S. Catholic leaders regarding Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (“On Love in the Family”):

Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston
Amoris Laetitia is a joyful invitation for families to live the works of mercy and to receive the gift of God's healing where there is sin and brokenness. As he has done time and again, Pope Francis challenges us to approach the weak with compassion, to “enter into the reality of other people's lives and to know the power of tenderness.”

Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles
Personally, I was encouraged by what the pope has to say about preparing men and women for marriage and about our need to accompany couples, especially during those early years when they are just starting out on the path of their life together. I was also touched by our Holy Father's call for all of us in the church to reach out with compassion to wounded families and persons living in difficult situations.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput of Philadelphia
Amoris Laetitia is a serious and extensive reflection on Christian marriage. While it changes no Church teaching or discipline, it does stress the importance of pastoral sensitivity in dealing with the difficult situations many married couples today face. Pope Francis is skilled at analyzing the cultural forces that make Christian marriage a unique witness, and often a special challenge. His recognition of the importance of children and the value of adoption are great expressions of support for family life. Happily, the kind of pastoral discernment called for in Amoris Laetitia is already happening in many of our parish communities, and the Holy Father's encouragement, coming just months after the World Meeting of Families, is a great gift.

Archbishop Samuel J. Aquila of Denver
With Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis has provided the Church with an in-depth reflection on Christian marriage, the intricacies of relationships, and the struggles that people face in modern society. ... In the introduction, Pope Francis advises everyone to carefully read through the document because of its length and sometimes complex passages on matters of great significance. While many commentators and pundits will make their interpretations known in the media in the coming days, the Holy Father's advice is sound. I will also follow this advice and will offer my own thoughts after careful reflection and consideration.

Archbishop Gustavo Garcia-Siller of San Antonio
This compassionate approach asks the Church to walk with families, to help them navigate the many challenges they face in the world today with the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the truth of Catholic teaching. Our priests, deacons and laity are accompanying these people, staying close to them and reaching out to them. While the journey toward ideal situations might seem slow in coming, God is working in their lives, and we should appreciate that fact. Amoris Laetitia ... is a joyful invitation to families to live the works of mercy and to receive the gift of God's healing where there is sin and brokenness.

Bishop David A. Zubik of Pittsburgh
It is very important to note that Pope Francis is writing to us during the Jubilee Year of Mercy. Everyone is to be an agent of mercy and closeness wherever family life lacks peace and joy. Strong, loving families strengthen the individuals within them and our communities as a whole. The Church must provide pastoral support for families in good times and bad, empowering them to witness that marriage, children and lifelong faithful commitment are a beautiful and fulfilling way to live.

Bishop Thomas J. Paprocki of Springfield, Illinois
There are no changes to canon law or Church doctrine introduced in this document, as Pope Francis explains, “If we consider the immense variety of concrete situations such as those I have mentioned, it is understandable 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.” Rather, the Holy Father says, “In order to avoid all misunderstanding, I would point out that in no way must the Church desist from proposing the full ideal of marriage, God's plan in all its grandeur.

Copyright ©2016 Catholic News Service/US Conference of Catholic Bishops