Amoris Letitia

Here is a link to the document.

A more recent article can be found here from the National Catholic reporter.

Here are some initial articles from The Tablet & The Guardian:


Some initial reactions from Martin Prendergast & Michael Brinkschroeder (Coordinator of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics)


The document clearly focuses on heterosexual marriage and family life issues. 

The specific references to same-sex relationships  (Paragraphs 52, 250-251) are disappointing insofar as they simply repeat much of what was said in the October 2015 Synod Final Report. However, It would be simplistic, if not somewhat fundamentalist to focus on these statements alone. Can we use the 'particularly any form of aggression and violence' phrase (250) to support rejection of criminalisation and death penaties? What does 'respectful pastoral guidance' entail?

The first 2 sentences of Paragraph 3 are important principles, as is Paragraph 36

Paragraph 52, while it could interpreted in a very negative sense, shows an acknowledgment of various family situations, even if not equating these with a marriage-norm. There are other references to 'gradualness' (293), ' internal forum' (300-306), cultural influences etc, (3) which provide a broader context, as does the section on the logic of pastoral mercy (307-312)

The discussion in Paragraph 56 about 'gender ideology' strikes me as being slightly more intelligent than the kind of statements we have seen, even if they still don't ring true. However, Paragraph 286 on masculinity/femininity not being 'rigid categories' is interesting.

Paragraphs 296-7 also offer a more positive context for pastoral provision. Also 76-79 on 'Imperfect Situations'.

Paragraph 122 is interesting, if its implications are drawn out further!



Here are comments from Michael Brinkschroeder (Coordinator of the Global Network of Rainbow Catholics)

I think that Amoris laetitia gives priority to pastoral concerns over moral laws and norms of the church. This is the challenge of ch. VIII for everyone in the church (cf. Nr. 7) and ch. VIII is the heart of the whole document (but I still haven’t read it fully).
It will lead to a less centralized (Nr. 3) and a less moralistic attitude of the church. It gives preference to the concrete details over the general rule in case of doubt. With this approach, an important impulse from the II Vatican Council, that wanted to be a pastoral council and included Gaudium et spes as a "pastoral constitution" of the church, is revitalized.
It also gives very high attention to the subjective condition of the people. Pastors need to understand the subjective conditions why people can’t follow the rules of the church instead of condemning them because they don’t follow the rules.
These renewed principles of a pastoral church have to be applied to the pastoral work with LGBT people as well. Nr. 250 opens the door for these new pastoral approaches, even though the wording is very cautious.

The criticism of the „excessive idealization“ of marriage (in Nr. 36) in the past, is very helpful for us. It will open up the chance to see and value other forms of partnership than marriage, including rainbow families, in the future, even though nothing is said about them in Amoris laetitia.

The reference to „aggression and violence“ can be read as reference to homophobic violence all over the world, but I think it refers especially to the situation in South America. If we want to squeeze it a little more, we could interpret it as a signal against criminalization, as well.

The paragraph 56 on gender ideology is definitively bad, but at least leaves open the door for a theological use of „gender theory“ in difference to „gender ideology“. As it doesn’t refer to trans people explicitly, we don’t have to read it that way.
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