Statement of the Most Reverend Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V.
Bishop of Fall River
on Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia
April 8, 2016
In his exhortation, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love: On Love in the Family), Pope Francis has given us today a rich reflection on the importance of family life and marriage. The Pope states, “The welfare of the family is decisive for the future of the world and that of the Church” (paragraph 31). With a pastor’s heart, he writes of the need for the Church to be present to accompany families in all their complexities in contemporary times, and in particular to reach out to those in need of healing.
The document follows two Synods of Bishops held in Rome in 2014 and 2015 both on the topic of marriage and the family and builds upon the history of Church teaching. With over 325 paragraphs, it is lengthy and requires time for careful reading and consideration. As Pope Francis notes in its introduction, it should not be a rushed reading.
It is my intention to give this welcomed teaching from the Holy Father the time it needs for study and reflection, and I encourage all in the Church to do the same. In this way, we can go forward prepared to determine the best ways to strengthen our pastoral service to families drawing on the insights and direction offered by Pope Francis.