Amoris Laetitia five years later:
Why the apostolic exhortation remains a danger to souls
8 April 2021
The release of Amoris Laetitia five years ago today (8 April 2016) marked the end of the synodal process that was launched in October 2013 when it was announced that two synods would be held to discuss the pastoral challenges facing the family and the role of the family in the modern world. These two assemblies witnessed serious divisions between synod fathers who upheld Catholic teaching on marriage and the family and those who wished to supplant it.
A team from Voice of the Family was present in Rome at both the Extraordinary Synod in October 2014 and the Ordinary Synod in October 2015. Voice of the Family’s primary intention was to provide assistance to those synod fathers who were striving to defend and promote the Church’s teaching. We also sought to report accurately what was taking place at the synods in order to assist the wider Catholic public make sense of events. To this end Voice of the Family produced in-depth analyses of the most important of the synodal documents from the perspective of pro-life and -family advocates and distributed these to cardinals and bishops throughout the world. Above all, we sought to fulfil our duty which is set out in the Code of Canon Law (1983), 212 §3: “According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, [the faithful] have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.”
Amoris Laetitia, the concluding document, encapsulates some of the most serious problems of the synodal process in its treatment of the teachings of the Church which are central to protecting life and the family. To mark the fifth anniversary of the release of Amoris Laetitia on 8 April 2016, we have republished the concerns we raised at the time. Over the course of five years, sadly, they have deepened rather than been resolved. Furthermore, Pope Francis has dedicated this entire year to Amoris Laetitia, which will conclude on 26 June 2022 with the World Meeting of Families in Rome. Initiatives announced for the year ahead range from strategies for implementing the apostolic exhortation to family witnesses, plus they include Amoris Laetitia inspired pastoral proposals and formation, catechetical materials for youth and families, and preparation for marriage.
In view of the continued promotion of the errors and ambiguities of Amoris Laetitia, we have also gathered in this easily accessible electronic edition the most significant existing criticisms of Amoris Laetitia in the order in which they were published and in their original form. We consider these criticisms, to date all unanswered, to have raised concerns of fundamental importance for the eternal life of individuals and for the moral welfare of families, as well as for the life of the Church and the family of Christian faithful.
Truth cannot co-exist on a par with error and it is out of the love for the Truth of Christ, enshrined in the perennial teaching of His Church, that we wish to raise our voice, once again, in order that this beacon of light will shine brightly for the greater glory of God and salvation of His children, who are often so confused today. We pray that these pages will strengthen you, dear readers, in your love for the Truth.