Statement on Amoris Laetitia: “Called To Form Consciences”
Immediate Release | April 8, 2016
Contact: Ryan Hoffmann, 574.675.6726
Call To Action releases the following statement on Pope Francis’ exhortation Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love).
Today’s exhortation by Pope Francis demands clergy shift away from evaluating people’s morality based on rigid doctrinal norms and calls all of us to see Grace at work in all life’s complicated and complex forms. Francis once again demonstrates his pastoral prowess, openness to the experiential dimension of believers’ lives, and insists on a Church of compassion and mercy. A welcome departure from staunch allegiance to rigid orthodoxy, these values, often conveyed with moving eloquence and real sincerity, offer some new ground in which to think about and approach the challenges facing modern families.
Yet, at a time when the majority of Catholics in the U.S. support inclusion of the LGBT community, equality for women, and a direct path for divorced & remarried Catholics to find full acceptance back in the Church, we’re deeply concerned this document results in an institutional and ecclesial status quo that does not make real substantive changes in Catholic structures and practices (e.g., an end to the unjust firings of LGBT Church Workers and discrimination against women, to name only a few examples).
Hierarchical leaders must go further in advancing the Gospel values Catholics today embody so well: radical welcome and openness, expansive and inclusive values, equality and justice for all, and unconditional love for the amazing diversity of God’s people.
In the absence of such, it rests on us – everyday Catholics who love their Church and know it can be better – to cultivate the Church we know is possible. It is our right and duty, as Francis himself implores in this exhortation, to inform and operate out of our God-given conscience. Guided by the Spirit, we will continue our call and action for institutional and ecclesial reform and renewal.