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Vatican Canon Lawyer Explains Confusing Texts in Amoris Laetitia

marriage ringsCardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the pontifical council charged with interpreting canon law, issued a short booklet explaining what the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia is saying about admittance of divorced and civilly remarried couples to the Sacraments.

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The Two Synods and the Exhortation that Followed Them

Amoris Laetitia is very much a document of the two synods from which it sprung. Mary Jo Anderson

In this Oct. 20, 2014, file photo, cardinals gather in the Synod Hall at the Vatican. Church experts say synods should get more input from lay faithful. (CNS photo/Maria Grazia Picciarella, Pool) See SYNOD-BISHOPS-LAY Feb. 18, 2016. In this Oct. 20, 2014, file photo, cardinals gather in the Synod Hall at the Vatican. Church experts say synods should get more input from lay faithful. (CNS photo/Maria Grazia Picciarella, Pool)

There has been great frenzy the last several days following the presentation of Amoris Laetitia (“The Joy of Love”), Pope Francis’ post-synodal exhortation on the family. The quick take is this: it’s a draw. That collective exhale heard around the world last Friday was the sound of a pause before the next round—maybe in the next pontificate. The orthodox and progressive camps are looking at a glass half-full but also half-empty. Meanwhile, canon lawyers have a collective headache. 

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Understanding the Pope’s New Apostolic Exhortation

family sunsetCommentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

Even though some of the passages in the Pope’s new exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), are somewhat unclear and area already being distorted by the mainstream media, Catholics should read the document for themselves with the understanding that no Church teaching has been changed.

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