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With Gospel realism

· To the conference of the Diocese of Rome the Pope speaks about family ·

It is important to look at the family today with “Gospel realism” that does not stop “at describing situations, problems much less sin”, but manages to see an opportunity, a possibility “behind every face, every story, every situation”. This is the pastoral direction that Pope Francis offered, inaugurating the work of the conference of the Diocese of Rome dedicated to the topic: “The joy of love: the journey of the families of Rome in the light of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

On Thursday evening, 16 June, to the bishops, priests and catechists gathered in the Basilica of St John Lateran, the Pontiff proposed a reading path for the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation: “the life of every person, the life of every family must be treated with great respect and much care”, he said. “Let us be wary of setting up a ministry of the ghetto and for the ghetto; let us give space to the elderly so that they may dream again”. It is a matter of “three images”, he explained, “which remind us that faith does not remove us from the world, but integrates us more deeply in it: not like the perfect and immaculate ones who think they know it all, but as people who know the love that God has for us”.

Later, following several questions, Francis returned to several topics, warning in particular against individualism and calling for “the way of tenderness, of listening, of support”. Regarding the pastoral care of families, the Pope counselled against the pitfalls of “rigorism” and “laxity”, because there are no “mathematical certainties” in the doctrinal field. Morality, he said, “is an act of love, always: love of God, love of neighbour. It is also an act that leaves room for the conversion of the other, it does not condemn straight away”.

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St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 14, 2018

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