In his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis has reminded the Church that it should “make room for the consciences of the faithful, who very often respond as best they can to the Gospel amid their limitations, and are capable of carrying out their own discernment in complex situations” (AL, 35).
Respect for personal conscience and pastoral discernment should also guide the Church’s theological stance and pastoral attitude toward contemporary forms of living together, especially those that do not conform to the ideal of exclusive and lifelong marriage.
The Symposium taking place in October 2016 explores the implications of this vision, with particular regard to those whose first marriage has failed and who have entered a second union.
Is admission to the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist the goal of such a personal and pastoral discernment?
Does Amoris Laetitia open up new possibilities in the pastoral care of the divorced and remarried, or is it just a belated legitimation of practices that have long been established in many places? How does it affect the Church’s understanding of the indissolubility of marriage?
A special focus will be on the reception of the synod process and of Amoris Laetitia by marriage and family care services in various local churches throughout Europe.
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