I assumed that Friday, April 8, 2016, would start out like every other day that week. It was Spring Break and I had spent the week sharing some major quality time with my 6-year-old son while my wife was in Florida relaxing with some of our other kids. I was wrong. The pope had published his post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, “On Love in the Family,” in Rome while I slept. This document contained his recommendations on how to address the needs of divorced Catholics, and was based on the feedback from the previous two synods held in 2014 and 2015.
I awoke to a barrage of requests from the media to give my thoughts and impressions on what the pope had written. Well, first I had to read it. That was no small feat as it over 230 pages. Knowing that they were asking for my views regarding anything the pope had written regarding divorced Catholics, I quickly scanned the document to find where this topic is addressed. I found it in Chapter 8. What I read I found very encouraging.
In this chapter, our pope goes into detail on how divorced Catholics have long been underserved by the Church, and he offers specific recommendations on how to help as many as possible. If you are a divorced Catholic, you have every reason to be very hopeful. Your pope is issuing a rallying cry to every parish, priest, and lay minister to work hard to help divorced Catholics feel welcomed, wanted, and included.
I shared these sentiments with several news outlets on Friday. Here is an article that CNN wrote after interviewing me. All-in-all, I think they did a really good job of accurately reflecting my views. Let me know what you think.