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Pope Francis to mark fifth anniversary of ‘Amoris laetitia’ with year dedicated to family

The pope’s announcement follows his proclamation of a year dedicated to St. Joseph, which began on Dec. 8 and will conclude on Dec. 8, 2021.

Pope Francis gives an address in the library of the Apostolic Palace. (Credit: Vatican Media)

Vatican City, Dec 27, 2020 / 04:16 am (CNA).- Pope Francis announced Sunday a special year dedicated to the family, marking the fifth anniversary of the publication of his apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia.

In his Angelus address Dec. 27, the feast of the Holy Family, the pope noted that March 19, 2021, would mark five years since the signing of Amoris laetitia following synods on the family in 2014 and 2015.

He said: “In order to continue the synodal journey that led to its publication, I have decided to call a special Year dedicated to the Family Amoris laetitia, to be inaugurated on the forthcoming Solemnity of St. Joseph and to conclude with the celebration of the 10th World Meeting of Families, to be held here in Rome in June 2022.”

“This special Year will be an opportunity to deepen further the content of the document Amoris laetitia, through proposals and pastoral tools. These will be made available to ecclesial communities and families, to accompany them on their journey.”

“As of now, I invite everyone to take part in the initiatives that will be promoted during the Year and that will be coordinated by the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life. Let us entrust this journey, with families all over the world, to the Holy Family of Nazareth, in particular to St. Joseph, the devoted spouse and father.”

The pope’s announcement follows his proclamation of a year dedicated to St. Joseph, which began on Dec. 8 and will conclude on Dec. 8, 2021.

Pope Francis released the apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia (“The Joy of Love”) on April 8, 2016, though it was signed on March 19 that year. One of the longest documents in papal history, it consists of an introduction and nine chapters, reflecting on challenges to marriage and family life.

A Dec. 27 press release from the Dicastery for Laity, Family, and Life said that the newly proclaimed year would be known officially as the Year “Amoris Laetitia Family.”

It said: “The pandemic experience has highlighted the central role of the family as the domestic Church and has shown the importance of community ties between families, which make the Church an authentic ‘family of families.’”

“Through the spiritual, pastoral, and cultural initiatives planned in the Year ‘Amoris Laetitia Family,’ Pope Francis intends to address all ecclesial communities throughout the world, exhorting each person to be a witness of family love.”

“Resources will be shared within parishes, dioceses, universities, and in the context of ecclesial movements and family associations, on: family spirituality, formation and pastoral activity for marriage preparation, young people education in affective maturity, and on the holiness of married couples and families who live out the grace of the sacrament in their daily life.”

“International academic symposiums will also be organized to examine in-depth the contents and implications of the apostolic exhortation in relation to highly topical issues that affect families around the world.”

The dicastery also announced the creation of a new website,, dedicated to the year, which will begin on March 19, 2021, and end on June 26, 2022.

It explained that an “informational brochure” would be available on the site, which currently redirects to the dicastery’s homepage.

It said that the website’s aims included “spreading the Christian message on the family in light of the challenges of our time; promoting a deeper understanding of the text of the apostolic exhortation and of the magisterium of Pope Francis; inviting episcopal conferences, dioceses, and parishes, together with ecclesial movements, associations, and families, to devote themselves enthusiastically to the pastoral care of the family by implementing Amoris laetitia.”

The dicastery said that the site would be presented in five languages — English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian — and would be “updated with the proposals and initiatives that will gradually develop over the course of the year.”

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  1. Sooooooooooooooo….is it the year of the family or the year of St. Joseph?

    If it’s the year of Amoris Laetitia does that include it’s footnotes?

  2. Today marks day 1556 since the Pontiff received the Cardinals’ Dubia on Amoris Laetitia without issuing a response and divorced and civilly married couples are still receiving Communion.

    • It would seem that the dubia unfortunately straitjacket Church teaching to all ‘irregular’ situations. That is probably why it has not been answered.

      Check out:

      1 of 3: The Sarah case:

      2 of 3: The case for absolution:

      3 of 3: A possible reply to the dubia:

        • It seems that the nuances being argued by the author of those posts are being missed.

          The following put paid to any assertions of moral relativism:

          1) In ‘1 of 3: The Sarah case’, the response to FAQ E) >> Isn´t situational ethics being promoted?

          2) In ‘1 of 3: The Sarah case’, the response to FAQ F) >> Isn´t Sarah´s action akin to a woman prostituting herself out of poverty / to feed her children?

          3) This passage from ‘2 of 3 – the case for absolution’ :

          ‘…Imagine you are a prisoner in a concentration camp where your rights are being violated. You can escape and no longer have to endure that. But you fear that if you do so, the other camp inmates may have to endure more severe violations of rights by the guards or even be shot in batches. If you ´decide´ not to escape out of anxiety and concern for your fellow camp inmates, does that equate to your deliberately and willingly choosing the evil that continues to come upon you? Is your ´choice´ to stay really ´free´ such as to make you morally culpable? Would it be fair to accuse you of wanting to be violated? Does Scripture…or Church teaching compel you – under pain of mortal sin – to escape and simply trust God with regard to the fate of the other prisoners?…’

          4) From ‘2 of 3 – the case for absolution’: the last three paragraphs are also noteworthy, (i.e., the one comparing a ‘Gianna’ to ‘Sarah’, as well as the reference to CCC 1447.)

          So no, this is not a case of promotion of moral relativism.

  3. Error in Amoris Laetitia, a false interpretation of Saint Thomas Aquinas on natural law universal principles underlies the dissolution of marriage itself. If Francis’ major premise is the mistaken interpretation that defect is inevitable, the logical conclusion is that consummated, sacramental marriage is not indissoluble. “In matters of action, truth or practical rectitude is not the same for all, as to matters of detail, but only as to the general principles; and where there is the same rectitude in matters of detail, it is not equally known to all. The principle will be found to fail, according as we descend further into detail” (ST 1a2ae 94, 4 as mistakenly translated by Pope Francis AL 304). He adds, “It is true that general rules set forth a good which can never be disregarded or neglected, but in their formulation they cannot provide absolutely for all particular situations” (AL 304). If the principle is “found to fail” there are no “particular situations” free of a presumed nullifying defect. That, “The principle will be found to fail, according as we descend further into detail” is clearly not what Aquinas says. “Sed ratio practica negotiatur circa contingentia, in quibus sunt operationes humanae: et ideo, etsi in communibus sit aliqua necessitas, quanto magis ad propria descenditur, tanto magis invenitur defectus” (1a2ae 94, 4). Translated, “The practical reason, on the other hand, is occupied with contingent matters, about which human actions are concerned; and consequently, although there is necessity in the general principles, the more we descend to matters of detail the more frequently we encounter defects”. Greater frequency of defects then does not say the principle “is found to fail”. This is a summary of what Aquinas actually says, in that natural law is not the same for all men, “to be understood of things that are naturally just not as common principles, but as conclusions drawn from them, having rectitude in the majority of cases, but failing in a few” (ST 1a2ae 94, 4 Ad 2). There is an apparent purposeful, falsifying deviation of Aquinas’ text in order to change Apostolic Tradition on marriage, and in effect all moral doctrine. Finally, Aquinas contends there are negative universals such as murder, false witness, adultery that can never be justified, that a virtuous mean between excess and defect is impossible. On this false premise Francis encourages clergy to discern whether a marriage is valid, leaving the priest with the false narrative that there are inevitable defects. That the benefit of the doubt must then be given to the divorced and remarried, and Holy Communion permitted. Amoris Laetitia is the gospel for the blind leading the blind.

  4. The sacrament of marriage between biological male and biological female, and the sacredness of the family comprised of father, mother and children, should always be a focus of the Church, without any need for a special “year dedicated to the family.” The only reason why there appears to be a need for a special year is because of the Church’s failure to preserve and promote the sacredness of marriage and the family, and its failure to take a stand against all those forces that attack the sacredness of marriage and the family, including gay marriage, gender transitions, gay adoption, gay families, and even liberal theology, modernism, and socialism/Marxism/communism. May God be merciful on those leading the Church who have failed in their duties to lead as ambassadors of Christ, the Head of the Church, Who does not compromise Truth.

    • Let us please start with contraception.
      “Gay marriage” would not be a thing unless contracepted “Christian marriage” had not become a thing.
      And neither would transgenderism. Women spend much of their reproductive lives chemically castrated, and then in their latter years, physically castrated.
      Blame needs to be put at those who started it this rotten game, not those who have been wrecked by it.

      • Agreed – but even in respect of contraception, the roots vary and are deeper. Dismal catechesis / poor formation / as Amoris Laetitia # 301 citing Familiaris Consortio puts it: ‘…A subject may know full well the rule, yet have great difficulty in understanding “its inherent values”…’

        But of course, if one digs deeper, we would have to account for the influence of the factors mentioned in the last two paragraphs of

    • There is a principal compatible with natural law in which the issue of a second marriage might follow without the annulment of the first, e.g.the case of a husband that has been missing in action and presumed dead only to return several years later alive and finds that the wife has undertaken a new spouse in a Catholic marriage perhaps with several children in tow…
      Might the church now invoke the power of the keys at the highest level of the church to determine the applicability of Doctrine?

      But it is not the intention of Amoris laetitia to strengthen the marriage bond. It is said that Satan almost always attacks with the truth and, where there might be an exception in marriage, this will be taken as an opening for an attack on the permanency of sacrament. The Blessed Virgin Mary said that the final battle will be between Satan and the family.

      Francis’ “accompaniment” furthers divorce and concomitant impoverishment and instability that follows, a point not lost on the architects of the former Sovie Union. Satan hates the family because of its almost never ending fountain of souls with the potential of enjoying eternity with God, something denied Satin. Francis’s hatred of the family stems from its feature of subsidiarity, its teaching of love of God and country, definite threats to the global one world order to which Francis is committed. The year of the family will spread (Gramsci style) AL gaslighting and acceptance of same sex parenting at every conceivable level. The Immaculata has stated that in the end her Immaculate Heart will triumph.

  5. The game is to frame truth as one bookend, and to then recognized falsehood as simply the other bookend, or extreme, and then to propose/enable/anoint a middle ground. The “new paradigm” of double-speak. The Commandments (here and there, a jot and a tittle!) are replaced by the Beatitudes.

    With undivided heart, St. John Paul II clearly explained, already, the irreducible (!) difference and therefore the complementarity between the Commandments and the Beatitudes: “…the commandment of love of God and neighbor does not have in its dynamic any higher limit, but it does have a lower limit, beneath which the commandment is broken” (Veritatis Splendor, n. 52; and the Catechism; and the non-demonstrable first principle of non-contradiction).

    • An excellent point, and true enough, but not by itself. There is also an irreducible reason why the Catholic Social Teaching (CST) is articulated into mutual-but-distinct dimensions–all centered on the “transcendent dignity of the human person” (e.g., prior to even sustainable world-building or possibly global-ISM [?], per se, but offering “enormous potential for a healthy and sustainable” world, and not excluding such).

      The CST is about created reality, not utopia, and as such is the “negation of [all] ideology”. Protecting the transcendent human person from subordination to any ideological movement are the multiple foci of CST: first the (central) Human Person as such, then within the Family, then the pairing of Solidarity with Subsidiarity (never one without the other), then Rights and Responsibilities (both), Informed Conscience and Faithful Citizenship (patriotism within, yes, the world), the Option for the “poor” (note also a spiritual poverty), Dignity of work, and of course care for God’s Creation.

  6. Pope Francis uses a lot of sentimental loving sounding language that. Lacks a reality proving basis in Thomistic Philosophy. This is why he is so open to criticism because his writings lack the reality of prove truth as affirmed by Thomistic Philosophy. It is so obvious His Holiness has spent so much more of his time in pastoral matters in giving people a sense of their own goodness no matter how contrary to the true teaching of the Church they may be living their lives. An example of the afore mentioned is his moral justification of a divorced Catholic now in a civil union to be able, nonetheless less to receive Holu Communion. Mere sentimentality is not a substitution for the moral teaching of the Church esp. when both Jesus, Himself,as well as St. Paul, use the authentic teaching of Marriage to explain the very nature of the Mystical Body! Pastoral sentimentality is NEVER a substitute for Divine Revelation but only a politicized substitute for it. It is only the Truth, as Jesus said emphatically, must set you free!

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