The following comes from an April 11 Christian Newswire news release:
Pope Francis’ papal exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, was unveiled last week, and a vast number of pundits and journalists throughout the world have been dissecting the document. Ignatius Press, one of the largest religious publishers in the country, the primary English-language publisher of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s writings and the publisher of Pope Francis’ encyclicals and several of his books, as well as Catholic World Report, has released a video that provides expert analysis of Amoris Laetitia from Ignatius Press president Mark Brumley; Fr. Joseph Fessio, S.J., founder of Ignatius Press and, like Francis, a Jesuit priest; senior editor Vivian Dudro; and marketing professional Marianna Pedrelli.
“There is so much good in this document,” says Fessio in the video. “There are things to read here, reflect on and discuss for young married people. There is a strong affirmation of mercy and the Church’s teaching, but, at least for me … [Pope Francis] makes statements [on topics pertaining to marriage] that are kind of outrageous, so I’m afraid it may discredit some of the good things he says among reasonable people who might say, ‘What’s he saying here?'”
Fessio also examines the positive aspects of Amoris Laetitia in the video, especially Francis’ reaffirmation of the Church’s teachings on key (and controversial) issues.
“The real controversy has to do with whether or not people who are validly married and yet divorced and civilly remarried may receive communion,” Fessio says. “The overall statement to make is, there is no change in this document of authentic Church teachings, nor, interestingly, a change in sound, pastoral practice. What the document has done, in its own way, has been to reaffirm what has been a traditional teaching of the Church and pastoral, careful, discerning practices of priests and bishops.”
“While I believe the secular media will focus on what looks like major change [in the document], they probably will not focus as much on the beginning of the document, where [Francis] reaffirms, in quite strong terms, the Church’s teaching on abortion, contraception, same-sex marriage, gender theory and a few other items,” added Fessio.