WASHINGTON, DC - Pope Francis' new apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia ("The Joy of Love"), released April 8, brings "a rich reflection on the mission of the family and on how the Church can equip couples to embrace God's vision for marriage and can offer healing for families who are struggling," said the chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth.
"We welcome this teaching from Pope Francis as the fruit of the synodal process started by him more than two years ago—a process that has inspired in our Church, and indeed all over the world, a renewed attention to the importance of marriage and the family for all of society," said Bishop Richard J. Malone of Buffalo, chairman of the Committee. "I encourage all Catholics, especially those living the vocation of marriage and family life, to take time to read and study the exhortation as a pastoral guide to the great calling of marriage in the Lord."
Bishop Malone called the exhortation "an inspirational aid for the clergy and laity who generously accompany couples as they prepare for marriage and throughout their married life, in both their joys and difficulties."
The post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia is the culmination of a synodal process called for by Pope Francis in 2013. The Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops met in October 2014 on the theme "The pastoral challenges of the family in the context of evangelization." In October 2015, the Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops built on the first synod by examining the theme "The vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world." Bishops, clergy, religious and lay people at both synods, together with Pope Francis, addressed a wide array of topics that concern marriage and family life today.
Bishop Malone is one of three bishops who have been chosen to go to Washington, DC, and respond to the Pope's Exhortation on behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Bishop Malone is the Chairman of USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth.