Vatican guide says Francis’ family document puts doctrine ‘at service of pastoral mission’ / National Catholic Reporter

A Vatican reading guide sent to Catholic bishops globally ahead of the release of Pope Francis’ widely anticipated document on family life says the pontiff wants the church to adopt a new stance of inclusion towards society and to ensure its doctrines are ‘at the service of the pastoral mission.’

“The guide — sent by the Vatican’s office for the Synod of Bishops in preparation for Friday’s (Apr. 8) release of ‘Amoris Laetitia; On Love in the Family’ — explains that Francis ‘encourages not just a ‘renewal’ but even more, a real ‘conversion’ of language.

“‘The Gospel must not be merely theoretical, not detached from people’s real lives,’ states the guide. ‘To talk about the family and to families, the challenge is not to change doctrine but to inculturate the general principles in ways that they can be understood and practiced.’

“‘Our language should encourage and reassure every positive step taken by every real family,’ it continues.

“Amoris Laetitia, which in Latin means ‘The Joy of Love,’ is a document written by the pope following two back-to-back meetings of Catholic bishops at the Vatican in 2014 and 2015 on issues of family life.”

By Joshua J. McElwee, National Catholic Reporter — Click here to read the rest of this story.

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