What? Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis’ recent apostolic exhortation, suggests new ways for Catholics to approach family and love. The document emphasizes the importance of discernment and personal conscience in discussions about marriage, divorce, and fertility.
So what? Amoris Laetitia emphasizes the role of personal context in issues that have traditionally been closely controlled by Vatican teaching. By doing so, it could shift the middle ground for many Catholics on issues of family and love. More broadly, Amoris Laetitia recognizes that locality is essential for the Catholic Church to prosper in a globalized world. It could be part of Francis’ attempt to empower individuals, recognize different personal and cultural contexts, and gradually shift the structure of authority in the church away from the Vatican. The Catholic Church is one of the world’s major faiths and one that inhabits both temporal and spiritual issues. Such a shift could impact the nature of religious discourse over the coming decade.
Source: America Magazine – Discernment: A Key to “Amoris Laetitia”