Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia (AL) is remarkable in its treatment of marriage and family in personal-relational, biblical, and Christological terms as well as in its deeply appreciative awareness of and sense of empathy for the actual situations of families all over the world. Its base document Relatio Synodi has noted the thoughtful concern of the bishops for all the families of the world. The pope’s apostolic exhortation is marked by the same concern. However, it cannot fully offer a more encompassing and catholic view of the family as the hermeneutics of continuity with essentialist undertone seems to be an underlying concern. From “all the families” under the Church’s solicitous embrace it shifts its focus to the traditional-magisterial view of marriage, the indissoluble union between man and woman, which gives birth to the nuclear family. The essay is a modest attempt to fill in the void by engaging the concept of family not as a metaphysical but as a socially constructed reality in variegated forms each of which may have a potential place in God’s Kingdom here on earth. It recommends a preliminary set of universal norms drawn from the Judeo-Christian Tradition in the discernment of the presence of the Word’s seeds in different family forms, structures and situations under consideration in light of Jesus’ envisioned new family.
The Family, Still in Amoris Laetitia?: Back to Jesus' New Family
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