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Jesus Never Imposes: ‘Amoris Laetitia’, discernment, and Christian maturity
“It is important to observe,” writes the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople, “that Amoris Laetitia (AL) reminds us above all of God’s mercy and compassion, rather than solely moral regulations and canonical rules.”

This is a theme that Pope Francis has been repeating since the beginning of his pontificate. In his speech opening the Pastoral Congress of the diocese of Rome, he affirmed “the sensitivity with which God looks at our families helps us to direct our consciences in the same way as his.” He said that “the emphasis placed on mercy puts reality before us in a realistic way, not, however, with just any realism, but with the realism of God,” and that it is necessary to reject the “enclosures” that “shelter us from the maelstrom of human misfortune, and instead enter into the reality of other people’s lives and know the power of tenderness.” He concluded: “this impels us to develop a family ministry designed to welcome, accompany, discern and integrate.

These are the verbs that the pope has resorted to in answering the question: “How do we prevent a double morality from arising in our communities, one demanding and one permissive, one rigorist and one lax?” After stressing that “neither are the truth,” he said that “the Gospel chooses another way. For this, use those four words – welcome, accompany, integrate, discern – without nosing into people’s moral lives.”
© Union of Catholic Asian News 2024
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