On April 8, 2016 Bishop James Conley released the following statement on Amoris Laetitia, the apostolic exhortation "The Joy of Love" released by Pope Francis on the topic of "Love in the Family".
This morning, Pope Francis published Amoris Laetitia, an apostolic exhortation on the gifts of marriage and the family. Apostolic exhortations are letters of support, written to encourage Catholics to understand and live the authentic teachings of the Gospel.
Amoris Laetitia is a pastoral outreach to families across the globe. It encourages faithful, joyful, and loving family life, and offers suggestions for the challenges families face in the modern world. Pope Francis prays that all families experience “the joy of love.”
Amoris Laetitia is also a complex and nuanced theological document, which must be read and studied carefully. It does not change Catholic teaching, instead, it relies on the wisdom and richness of Catholic teaching as the key to its interpretation.
The immediate reactions and interpretations sure to come in the next few days should be treated with caution. Interpreting Amoris Laetitia accurately will require patience and thoughtfulness. I look forward to studying the document carefully, and to discussing it in detail in the months to come.
I am grateful that Pope Francis is working to support and promote family life. I encourage all people to pray with me that our families will know “the joy of love” through Jesus Christ.
Bishop James Conley