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Statement from Bishop Deeley on Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation

In the view of the Church, marriage and family are precious gifts. It is for that reason that Pope Francis has written this new letter. In ‘Amoris Laetitia’, he has further emphasized this, teaching us that family life, though facing new and complex challenges and difficulties, is strengthened by the Church and the values it imparts.

Within the heart of the family is love, joy, and the beauty of God, who, in Jesus, chose Himself to enter the world in a human family. Family relationships remind us of our human dependency and are a testimony of faith. As children, we need parents to care for us and teach us love, to be the strength that moves us forward. The dependence goes the other way as we mature, trusting that, as the need arises, the children will offer that care to the parents and grandparents who instilled it in them, creating a continuum of love in the family.

The letter acknowledges beautifully that marriage and family life are not without problems: “No family drops down from heaven perfectly formed.” Pope Francis encourages all to take time to read the letter and reflect on it and “keep walking together” as families, never losing heart “because of our limitations but seeking that fullness of love and communion which God holds out before us.”

May the words of Pope Francis in this new document inspire each husband, wife, and child to cherish their mutual love and to strengthen their relationship. By so doing, they will help each other to grow in appreciation of God’s gift of family and its importance as the foundation of our society.