(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has written a letter to the bishops of the Buenos Aires region of Argentina, praising them for their document which spells out ways in which priests should apply the teachings of his apostolic exhortation ‘Amoris Laetitia’.
Listen to Philippa Hitchen's report:
The Pope was responding to a document by the bishops entitled ‘Basic criteria for the application of chapter 8 of ‘Amoris Laetitia’ which details ways of ‘accompanying, discerning and integrating weakness’ for Catholics living in irregular family situations. That chapter focuses on the need to support and integrate divorcees into the life of the Church, specifying that “in certain cases, this can include the help of the sacraments”.
In his letter the Pope underlines the urgency of formation of priests for the practice of discernment, stressing that this is central to the task of accompanying families in difficulty. He calls for in-depth catechesis on the exhortation which he says will “certainly help the growth, consolidation and holiness of family life”.
Expressing his appreciation for the ‘pastoral charity’ contained in the bishops’ document, Pope Francis insists “there are no other interpretations” of the apostolic exhortation which he wrote at the conclusion of the two synods on the family in 2014 and 2015.