Family Synod 2015

The Vatican has published Pope Francis’ eagerly-awaited Apostolic Exhortation on the family, drawing together almost three years of consultations with Catholics around the world. The comprehensive document comprises 325 paragraphs over nine chapters and draws on the fruit of the 2014 and 2015 Family Synods, church documents, the teachings of Pope Francis' predecessors and his own numerous catecheses on the family. Amoris Laetitia or 'The Joy of Love' was prepared by the Holy Father as an 'aid to reflection, dialogue and pastoral practice' and has been unanimously welcomed by the Bishops of England and Wales in a Post-Plenary Resolution: 'It offers great help and encouragement to families in their daily commitments and challenges. We are inspired by the Pope’s portrayal of God's love present in the daily and often messy realities of family life.' (15 April 2016)

Click on the link below to download the full text of Amoris Laetitia, the official summary of the document and a simple Q&A document from the Holy See

AMORIS LAETITIA FULL FEATURE

XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops

The 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops took place from 4 - 25 October 2015. Bishop Peter Doyle, Northampton, Chair of the Bishops' Committee for Marriage and Family Life attended as a Synod Father alongside Cardinal Vincent Nichols, President of the Bishops' Conference. At the close of the General Assembly the Synod Fathers presented the fruits of their discussions to the Holy Father for his consideration in a document or relatio finalis entitled: "The Vocation and Mission of the Family in the Church and in the Contemporary World" .

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE REPORT
Family Synod
In his closing address, the Holy Father thanked all those involved and said that the Synod had not been about settling issues but attempting to see them in the light of the Gospel and the Church's history and traditions. Without falling into relativism or demonising others, he said that the Synod had sought "to embrace, fully and courageously, the goodness and mercy of God who transcends our every human reckonings and desires." It was now time to "return to our true 'journeying together' in bringing to every part of the world, every diocese, to every community and every situation, the light of the Gospel, the embrace of the Church and the support of God's mercy!"

READ THE FULL TEXT OF POPE FRANCIS' CLOSING ADDRESS

Post-Synod Press Conference in London

On their return from Rome, Cardinal Vincent Nichols and Bishop Peter Doyle called a press conference to recall their experiences at the Family Synod. They told those gathered that the Synod had set a pathway for the Church to find new ways of accompanying families and individuals at all stages of their lives. In developing fresh ways of thinking about the family, much could be learned from them: a point reflected by the Cardinal in a Pastoral Letter (1 November 2015) and in his Synod intervention, ’Most families never withdraw a loving welcome home, even when dismayed by certain behaviour. We, the entire Church, must learn this pathway of “tough love”, a love that is compassionate, honest, and always seeking to find and nurture all that is good, as illuminated by the Gospel.'

READ CARDINAL NICHOLS' SYNOD INTERVENTION AND PASTORAL LETTER IN FULL

LISTEN TO THE PRESS CONFERENCE IN FULL

III Extraordinary General Assembly 2014

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The Call, The Journey and The Mission: Summary of Responses
On the Feast of the Holy Family 2014, the Bishops of England and Wales invited parishes to reflect, with true spiritual discernment as requested by Pope Francis, on the themes emerging from the III Extraordinary Synod on the Family. The Call, The Journey and The Mission aimed 'to help people celebrate marriage and family life, whilst recognising the difficulties that families often encounter.' Click on the link below to read a summary report compiled by the Marriage and Family Life Project Office which offers a flavour of the feedback from dioceses, individuals and groups to that reflection document:

A SUMMARY OF RESPONSES TO THE CALL, THE JOURNEY AND THE MISSION