In attempting to craft his Apostolic Exhortation, Pope Francis was faced with impossibly conflicting demands: intense pressure from the reformists to introduce changes to pastoral practice (if not actual doctrine) on some hot-button topics, competing with equally intense pressure from the conservative side to reaffirm both doctrine and the rules on pastoral practice. We should also remember, that any direct change in doctrine was never in fact on the cards: that was not the purpose of the family synods, and is not the nature of an apostolic exhortation, which traditionally, is purely pastoral.
This is why it is very much a compromise, and reading the full text is very much an ambidextrous exercise: any fair assessment of the Exhortation must repeatedly assert, “On the one hand….. , on the other hand”. For every disappointment, especially for LGBT Catholics, there is a more optimistic qualification. For every sign of hope, there is a matching disappointment.
- African Theologian Expects LGBT Welcome, Inclusion to Follow from “Amoris Laetitia”
- “The Joy of Love”: Also for Lesbian and Gay Catholics?
- Amoris Laetitia – Goodbye to “Objectively Disordered”?
- Francis Proposes Better Psychosexual Training for Priests
- Pope Francis’ Blistering Attack on Catholic Marriage Discourse.
- If the door is still not unlocked, maybe the key is under the mat? (Global Network of Rainbow Catholics)
- Amoris Laetitia” Is a Step in Process that Is Far From Over, Say Commentators (Bondings 2.0)
- Some Hope But Not Much Joy for LGBT Catholics in Pope’s ‘Joy of Love’ Document (Bondings 2.0)
- Amoris Laetitia: Reaction from the Catholic Community (The Tablet)