Inauguration of the
"Amoris Laetitia Family Year"
Author: Heinrich Brehm
In Rome, on the fifth anniversary of the publication of The Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, the inauguration of the “Amoris Laetitia Family year” took place with a message to participants in a webinar on the topic “Our Daily Love” organized by the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, the Roman Diocese, and the John Paul II Theological Institute.
Taking loving care of frailties and wounds
In his message to the webinar participants, Pope Francis reiterated the invitation to reread and reflect on his Amoris Laetitia apostolic exhortation published five years ago, and to draw conclusions. “The main intention of the document”’, said the Pope, “is to communicate, in a profoundly changed time and culture, the need for a new look at the family by today’s Church: it is not enough to affirm the value and the importance of doctrine if we do not become custodians of the beauty of the family and take care of its frailties and wounds with compassion”.
He explained that “On the one hand, we proclaim to couples, spouses and families a word that helps them grasp the authentic meaning of their union and love, the sign and image of Trinitarian love and of the covenant between Christ and the Church. It is through the ever-new Word of the Gospel that every teaching, including the teaching of families, can take form”.
“It is a demanding word”, he said, “since it seeks to free human relationships from everything that may disfigure its image and make them unstable: the dictatorship of feelings, the exaltation of the temporary which discourages lifetime commitments, the preponderance of individualism, the fear of what is to come”.
“By distinguishing the value of marriage as God’s plan and as a vocation”, he said, “the aim is to show that even a path marked by failure, downfalls and change, can lead to human fulfillment and become a leaven of fraternity and love in society”.
The Church must immerse itself in real life
“This message cannot and must not be given from above or from outside”, continued Pope Francis. “The Church is incarnated in historic reality, as was her Master. So, when it proclaims the Gospel of the family, it does so by immersing itself in real life, knowing firsthand the daily struggles of couples and parents, their problems, their suffering, all those small and large situations that weigh down and sometimes hinder their journey”.
“The Church is called to accompany the journey of families,” said the Pope. “Not only to chart the direction, but to make the journey with them. This is especially important in times of the pandemic, with its psychological, economic, and health difficulties. We have seen that the family ties have been and will be put to the test, but at the same time it has been clear that they are the strongest point of reference, the greatest support, the irreplaceable guardian of the stability of the entire human and social community”.
Father Alexandre Awi Melo, Schoenstatt father and Secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life together with Dr. Gabriella Gambino, undersecretary, presented a brief video in which they encouraged the faithful all over the world to join in the celebration of the Amoris Laetitia Family Year, deepening family ties and participating in the pastoral initiatives organized by their communities, parishes, and dioceses to enhance the values and the profound richness of the family.