Pope Francis’ long-awaited statement on marriage and family life, Amoris Laetitia, “The Joy of Love,” was released this morning. I was able to find a full text—all 260 some pages-- at the Vatican’s own website and began to read it from my own computer terminal, at least till I came to Paragraph 7. There the Pope himself comments on its length and comments “consequently, I do not recommend a rushed reading of the text.” (Amoris Laetitia, para. 7)
It will be a while till convenient versions arrive through Amazon and other outlets (mid-May is a deadline I noted on several marketers’ sites.) I decided that I would pass today’s baton to the best-connected Catholic blogger in Rome, the legendary Rocco Palmo, whose “Whispers in the Loggia” is required clerical reading. Rocco has a splendid summary of the document for immediate perusal that is far superior than anything I can offer on short notice.
I would say two things. I am in total agreement with Rocco that the footnoting of sources is remarkable—from the ancient Hebrew Scripture to the minutes of last year’s Synod of Bishops. And second, for the first time in my life I have seen an encyclical that can be placed directly into a believer’s hands as a combination of magnificent catechetics and personal spiritual reflection.
I have a song in my heart tonight.
For Folks Who Can't Read Everything