Pope announces new Church focus on family and conjugal love

Pope Francis speaks during a meeting with Jesuits and laypeople associated with Jesuit institutions in Cartagena, Colombia, Sept. 10. While replying to questions, the pope said that seeking to understand people's real lives does not "bastardize" theology. In the background is Jesuit Father Antonio Spadaro, editor of the Rome-based Jesuit journal, La Civilta Cattolica. (CNS photo/courtesy La Civilta Cattolica) See POPE-MORALITY-AMORIS-JESUITS Sept. 28, 2017.

VATICAN CITY (CNS) – As the fifth anniversary of his apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” approaches, Pope Francis announced that the Catholic Church will dedicate more than a year to focusing on the family and conjugal love.

During his Sunday Angelus address on December 27, the Pope commemorated the feast of the Holy Family, and said that it served as a reminder “of the example of evangelising with the family” as highlighted in his exhortation.

Beginning on March 19, he said, the year of reflection on “Amoris Laetitia” will be an opportunity “to focus more closely on the contents of the document”.

“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, the Family and Life,” he added. “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.”

According to the dicastery’s website, the “Amoris Laetitia Family” year “aims to reach every family around the world through several spiritual, pastoral and cultural proposals that can be implemented within parishes, dioceses, universities, ecclesial movements and family associations”.

The dicastery said that the goals of the celebration include sharing the contents of the apostolic exhortation more widely, proclaiming the gift of the sacrament of marriage and enabling families to “become active agents of the family apostolate”.

The “Amoris Laetitia Family” year will include forums, symposiums, video projects and catechesis, as well as providing resources for family spirituality, pastoral formation and marriage preparation.

The commemoration will conclude on June 26, 2022, “on the occasion of the World Meeting of Families in Rome,” the dicastery said.

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