Pope Francis has requested for full participation of divorced and remarried Catholics in church life but shut the door on gay marriage. Quoting Jesus Christ and Jorge Luis Borges extensively in his Amoris Laetitia or ‘The Joy of Love’, Francis the transformer revelled conventional marriage while pointing out that life isn’t always perfect.
“At times we have also proposed a far too abstract and almost artificial theological ideal of marriage, far removed from the concrete situations and practical possibilities of real families. This excessive idealization, especially when we have failed to inspire trust in God’s grace, has not helped to make marriage more desirable and attractive, but quite the opposite,” he wrote.
Rather than rebuking, Pope Francis details the challenges of modern families- viz: a lack of quality sex education, the way electronic devices feed the need for instant gratification, migration, lack of housing, pornography, child abuse, lack of respect for the elderly and violence against women. He sees burdens in “the ideological denial of differences between the sexes” and the “impact of biotechnology in the field of procreation.”
He encourages people to nurture romance with “a morning kiss, an evening blessing, waiting at the door to welcome each other home, taking trips together and sharing household chores. Yet it also helps to break the routine with a party, and to enjoy family celebrations of anniversaries and special events.”
Instead of pontificating, the Pope says people’s day-to-day realities should take priority over any teaching or dogma, and that pastors should not place boxes of rules atop real life situations.
On the topic of gay, Pope Francis reiterated: “same-sex unions are no in way similar or even remotely analogous to God’s plan for marriage and family.”
The 256 page document, however, is highly nuanced in parts, even the pope advised: “I do not recommend a rushed reading of the text.”