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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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Vatican Bemoans Synod Distortions

Cardinal Wilfrid Napier Cardinal Wilfrid Napier

Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS

Thanks to a combination of irresponsible reporting and the vague language contained in the first document released by the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops, the Vatican was forced to issue a statement yesterday reminding the public that this is just a "working document" and reflects no doctrinal changes in Church teaching.

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