Pope Francis opened the door for divorce and remarried Catholics with the document released on Friday 8th. More tolerance is being asked to Catholics around the world, yet the church is not changing its beliefs on same-sex marriage.
Pope Francis has been the leader of the Catholic church since 2013 and it has been characterized as a more ‘open and liberal’ pope. His thoughts and opinions on subjects such as divorce and same-sex marriage have come as a surprise into the Vatican.
In October 2014 the Pope released his very first “apostolic exhortation”, these papers are official statements from the Pope that set the path for Catholics all over the world, urging them to follow the values and guidelines set by the pope.
Since 2015, the pope has been working on the recently released apostolic exhortation that carries the title “Amoris Laetitia” or “On Love in the Family”. The released paper has over 260 pages and discusses the model of modern catholic family, divorce, remarriage and same-sex couples.
The Joy of Love experienced by families is also the joy of the Church.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 8, 2016
Amoris Laetitia document
“On Love in The Family” has been a highly expected paper, since Pope Francis has made throughout his time as pope- a series of what many might consider, liberal statements when it comes to Christian beliefs and values. In one occasion the pope answered, “Who am I to judge?” When being asked about homosexuals and gay marriage.
Jesus Christ is risen! Love has triumphed over hatred, life has conquered death, light has dispelled the darkness!
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) March 27, 2016
In the document, the Pope urges the catholic community to have a more open view on modern families and values. He also urges priests around the world to accept in a bigger way gay men and lesbians, divorced Catholics and other people that are living ‘under sin’ according to the church’s belief.
“By thinking that everything is black and white, we sometimes close off the way of grace and growth,” writes the Argentinian Pope in the paper.
He states that unjust discrimination against the gay community is not acceptable in the church, he also suggests that local priests should use their own thought into the divorced Catholics subjects.
The catholic church, originally states that divorced Catholics that remarried are ‘living in sin’, given the fact that you could only marry once in the eye’s of god. This issue doesn’t allow divorced and remarried Catholics to take the communion, one of the catholic’s most symbolics act.
In the paper, the Pope lets local priests take this matter into its own hands according to their community, values and culture.
“I understand those who prefer a more rigorous pastoral care which leaves no room for confusion. But I sincerely believe that Jesus wants a Church attentive to the goodness which the Holy Spirit shows in the midst of human weakness,” writes the Pope
The paper opens the door for people previously considered ‘sinners’ in the church and gives a wider approach to this sensitive matters for the religious. Even though the church is still not recognizing divorce it accepts it in a bigger matter.
Another subject touched in the paper is abortion and preventive sex care, in which the church’s position remains the same.
The Ideal Catholic Family
Pope Francis has made marriage annulment an easier subject than his predecessors, allowing them to fully participate in the church’s daily life even after they remarry.
The word of God is a source of comfort for every family that experiences difficulty or suffering.
— Pope Francis (@Pontifex) April 8, 2016
Even though the Pope asks for more acceptance for gay men and lesbians, the church’s view on the matter remains the same. He assures that the union between a man and women is the catholic ideal.
“In order to avoid all misunderstanding, I would point out that in no way must the church desist from proposing the full idea of marriage. A great variety of family situations. Can offer a certain stability, but de facto o same-sex unions, for example, may not be equated with marriage,” wrote the pope
The published document satisfies both liberal and conservative opinions and maintains the widest view that characterizes Pope Francis.