An apostolic exhortation is a papal document, usually addressed to the whole Church, concerning certain aspects of Church life and faith. Recent papal documents based on reflections and recommendations from Synods of Bishops have taken the form of apostolic exhortations.
Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation, “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Love) on love in the family will be released on Friday, April 8, 2016. It is the conclusion of a two-year synod process discussing both the beauty and challenges of family life today.
April 2016: Apostolic Exhortation - “Amoris Laetitia” (The Joy of Love)
Amoris Laetitia draws on a long history of Church teaching, and a very intense Synod experience. It draws on both new and old. What’s new above all is an attitude of accompaniment. Pope Francis, like his predecessors, recognizes the complexity of modern family life. But he puts an added emphasis on the need for the Church and her ministers to be close to people no matter what their situation might be or how far from the Church they might feel: to understand, to accompany, to integrate, and to have their arms open especially for anyone who is hurting.
Amoris Laetitia is not simply a theoretical text with no connection to people’s real problems. The very title suggests the positive thrust of the document. It continually offers concrete reminders of the beauty of family life, despite all the challenges this vocation can entail. Pope Francis writes eloquently about how forming a family means being part of God’s dream, joining him in building a world “where no one will feel alone.”
Download: Summary of Amoris Laetitia: On Love in the Family
Download: Infographic with the summary of Amoris Laetitia