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For discussion by parishioners of Our Lady of the Way Parishes, North Sydney.
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"Dear Lord,
May we always be mindful of your teaching: Love God & love your neighbour."

Takeaways from “Amoris Laetitia”

Takeaways from “Amoris Laetitia”

 James Martin SJ, America Magazine – 8th April 2016

Pope Francis’s ground breaking new document “Amoris Laetitia”(“The Joy of Love”) asks the church to meet people where they are, to consider the complexities of people’s lives and to respect people’s consciences when it comes to moral decisions. The apostolic exhortation is mainly a document that reflects on family life and encourages families. But it is also the pope’s reminder that the church should avoid simply judging people and imposing rules on them without considering their struggles.  

Using insights from the Synod of Bishops on the Family and from bishops’ conferences from around the world, Pope Francis affirms church teaching on family life and marriage, but strongly emphasizes the role of personal conscience and pastoral discernment. He urges the church to appreciate the context of people’s lives when helping them make good decisions.  The goal is to help families—in fact, everyone—experience God’s love and know that they are welcome members of the church. All this may require what the pope calls “new pastoral methods” (199).

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National Catholic Reporter's Man of the Year

The National Catholic Reporter (USA) on 30 December 2014 announced that it had joined ( although a little later) Rolling Stone, Time Magazine, The New Yorker, and The Advocate in choosing Pope Franci as its Man of the Year.

In one sense, one is prompted to think that , as a prominent Catholic publication, such a nomonation is only to be expected. Niothing exceptional.

But this is a publication different to the others; its editors and journalists are experts on the Church and tend to be knowledgibly critcal of the Church. They are more expert in Church affairs than is the secular press.

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SHOWING REAL LEADERSHIP

All of us, at times, have to deliver important and difficult messages to family and friends, those closest to us, colleagues and workmates, members of the same sporting team. Sometimes we know that the message will disappoint or cause hurt or even anger. It may permanently change a relationship.

Many people duck the responsibility; others wish that someone else would do it or they wish they could be somewhere else. They dont want the confrontation or the risk of losing a friend, being misunderstood or losing popularity.

The attached article shows a Pope who is remarkably brave in facing up to the challenge of delivering difficult messages. The difficulty is not so much in the subject matter of the message. It is more in the close proximity of the audience, their power and opportunity to make his life very hard and the need he has of their support in his wish to take the church back to Christ.

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There are many reasons why I admire Pope Francis

There are many reasons why I admire Pope Francis. One is the clarity, the simplicity of his language.

In my life I have often found that if I could express my thoughts in a few simple words, I was better able to be sure of what i was saying and be more successful in my communication with others. Of course, it usually take much more time to reduce thoughts, ideas, concepts, submissions to a short statement composed of simple words and clear concepts, thus understood by more people. It's like the difference between a well prepared short homily and lengthy waffle which is boring, repetitiious and, ultimately, unconvincing.

But back to FI; here is a link to recent article about the messages which Pope Francis is inviting us to consider with him in Advent. There language is simple and the messages are short.

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