The post-synodal exhortation from the Synod on the Family has finally been released and it contains, well, not very much.
Rules are rules, and reality is reality, and Truth is Truth - and we should all be kinder to other people.
My only quibble (well, apart from Amoris Laetitia being released in the annoying PDF format, rather than a nice web page)?
A short, solitary little word, (emphasis supplied.)
I understand those who prefer a more rigorous pastoral care which leaves no room for confusion. But I sincerely believe that Jesus wants a Church attentive to the goodness which the Holy Spirit sows in the midst of human weakness, a Mother who, while clearly expressing her objective teaching, “always does what good she can, even if in the process, her shoes get soiled by the mud of the street.”It's about that "but."*
Surely Pope Francis cannot be saying that he prefers making statements to the Faithful which do leave room for confusion?
(That ain't merciful.)
Surely he meant to say, "I understand those who prefer a more rigorous pastoral care which leaves no room for confusion AND SO I sincerely believe that Jesus wants a Church attentive to the goodness which the Holy Spirit sows in the midst of human weakness."
Because it is precisely the presence of this "room for confusion," in what they have been told, what they have been exposed to, what they have seen, what the world teaches them, that allows us who, (yes, I agree with Anne Frank,) are basically good to be lured into actions that are basically sinful.
It is not just weakness, it's believing that regardless of circumstances or consequences I "deserve to be happy," and the drumbeat of It's no big deal, it's no big deal, it's no big deal, that leaves me in the situation where I need the Church's help to find goodness.
The Good Shepherd does not come out to join me in the wilderness, but to disentangle me from the brambles and sling me over His shoulder and carry me home, and the good shepherd knows it is his job, (note the lower case "g", "s" and "h",) to do likewise.
*(And no, it's not a big "but", Peewee.)