Here’s something you don’t see every day: a big story in The New York Times about the papal document scheduled for release tomorrow.
In what could be an important moment for his leadership of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis is scheduled to issue a major document on Friday regarding family issues. It is titled “Amoris Laetitia,” Latin for “The Joy of Love.”
In the document, known as an apostolic exhortation, the pope could change church practice on thorny subjects like whether divorced Catholics who remarry without having obtained annulments can receive holy communion. He might address debates over same-sex relationships, cohabitation and polygamy, an issue in Africa. Or, he could sidestep such divisive topics and stick to broader philosophical statements.
Having led Catholics into such delicate terrain, Francis has stirred hope and fear. Some religious conservatives warn he could destabilize the church and undermine Catholic doctrine. Some liberals, though, are hoping Francis will directly address same-sex marriage and contraception in a way that would make the church more responsive to today’s realities.
“I’m sure he knew he would touch some nerves,” said John Thavis, a longtime Vatican analyst and the author of “The Vatican Diaries.” “He may not have appreciated how much opposition there could be.”
But both sides might be disappointed.
Read on. Also of note is a link on the Times website to a survey they are undertaking on this document:
Tell Us Your Views on the Family and the Roman Catholic Church
We’re hoping to hear from Roman Catholics before the release of Pope Francis’s highly anticipated document on the family. We may publish a selection of the responses.