Amoris Laetitia could be viewed in one sense as a deeply traditional document and in another sense as a document full of surprises, Archbishop Mark Coleridge told Journalist John Cleary during a live discussion on ABC Radio, Sunday Nights program on 10 April.
The Archbishop was also joined by ABC Religion Producer Noel Debien to discuss ‘The Joy of Love’ Exhortation and to unpack its meaning.
Archbishop Coleridge said the document moves between the ideal and the reality of family life. ‘It does so in a very down to earth, deeply spun way. One of the things that’s struck me is that it both affirms much of what we have received, what we have to pass on, but it also opens new doors. It calls for a pastoral conversion.
‘The thing to remember is that this is a document written by a pastor who has mud on his boots, with lots of experience dealing with families with compassion. One of his refrains is that “time is greater than space”, he constantly emphasises the need for patience. Give things time. Pope Francis is not troubled by a bit of mess.
The Archbishop acknowledged that ‘there is a lot of long term stuff in this document. The impact of which we won’t see for a long time’.
Pope Francis highlights the importance of attitude, how we relate to people, ‘he talks about language and how we need a new language. Our attitude has to be different. Pope Francis models this new language’, Archbishop Coleridge pointed out.
‘He has that strange ability to say deep things simply. It’s incisive. We haven’t been used to it in a Pope. From early on, I sensed a different kind of idiom. Pope Francis brings a conversion from the slums of Buenos Aires to the papacy.’
Listen to the full interview on the podcast below.
For ordinary Catholics meeting the challenges of faith in an ever more diverse daily life, what guidance is to be found, and for those with a broader interest in the direction of the church and perhaps the mind of Pope Francis, what insights does it offer.