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From Diane Montagna:
Pope Francis’ highly anticipated post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation on the family will be released on Friday, April 8, the Vatican announced today. In a statement issued just before midday in Rome, the Vatican announced the document is entitled “Amoris Laetitia” [Latin for “The Joy of Love”], on the love of the family. The text, said to be some 200-pages, will be presented by Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, and Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, at a press conference on Friday, April 8 at 11:30 a.m. (Rome-time), in the John Paul II Hall of the Holy See Press Office. The panel will also include a married couple from Italy: Professor Francesco Miano, lecturer in moral philosophy at the University of Rome at Tor Vergata, and Professor Giuseppina De Simone in Miano, lecturer in philosophy at the Theological Facutly of Southern Italy in Naples.
Francis’ exhortation is expected to be based largely on the final report from the synod, which was released Oct. 24. That report reflected collegiality among the bishops, though two of the 94 paragraphs were included by only a slim margin. Rumors have consistently circulated as to what the Pope will say regarding the issues of communion and homosexuality. However, in a recent book-length interview with Italian journalist Andrea Tornielli titled “The Name of God is Mercy,” Francis dropped a few hints that there will be no eyebrow raisers, and that not much will change in terms of Church teaching and current pastoral practice.
John Allen, meantime, has this interesting context:
In a move possibly hinting that Pope Francis will side with progressives on some contentious matters regarding family life, the Vatican announced Thursday that a keenly anticipated document from the pontiff will be released April 8 and presented by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna, Austria. The document, technically known as an “apostolic exhortation,” is designed to draw conclusions from two tumultuous summits of Catholic bishops from around the world, called “synods,” on issues pertaining to the family held in October 2014 and October 2015. …During the two synods, Schönborn was seen as a leading exponent of the moderate-to-progressive position on those issues. He was part of a German-language group, for instance, which proposed an “internal forum” solution to the question about Communion for those Catholics who divorce and remarry outside the Church. The “internal forum” refers to private exchanges between believers and priests or bishops, generally in the context of the sacrament of confession. Although canon lawyers debate whether, and how, it could be applied to the divorced and remarried, advocates of allowing them to return to Communion generally see it as way to accomplish that on a private, case-by-case basis. During an Oct. 26 press conference last year, Schönborn, whose own parents were divorced when he was a teenager, told reporters he felt that the synod could not recommend a clear yes or no to Communion for the divorced and remarried. “There is no black and white, a simple yes or no,” he said, arguing that situations vary widely and so too must the Church’s response. On the issue of how the Church talks about gays and lesbians, Schönborn also has been a champion of more inclusive approach.