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As our contributors study the newly-released papal exhortation following the Synod on the Family, we've gathered several reports on what the document contains. We invite you to prayerfully consider what Amoris Laetitia means and to read and study the whole document if possible.

You can download the full document in PDF format at

Courtesy of Salt & Light TV. Used with permission. All rights reserved. Pope Francis' personal, handwritten message to the Bishops and Cardinals receiving the document. Courtesy of Salt & Light TV. Used with permission. All rights reserved.

This post will be updated throughout the day with links to commentary from trusted Catholic sources.

From Catholic News Agency: No Doctrine Change from Pope Francis but a Call for Better Pastoral Care

From Vatican Radio: Pope Francis' Apostolic Exhortation on The Joy of Love including the official summary of the text

From Vatican Radio: Pope Francis: Children are always gifts, even in tough circumstances

From Deacon William T. Ditewig, Ph.D. at Aleteia: Amoris Laetitia Overview: We Advance Together, the Strong Helping the Weak

From CatholicMom contributor Karee Santos at Aleteia: The "Multi-Faceted Gem" of Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia

From Rocco Palmo: Francis' Feast: Pope's Hymn to Family "Is a Matter of Reaching Out to Everyone"

From Father Thomas Rosica of Salt and Light TV:

“Having served at both Synods of 2014 and 2015 in an official capacity, the Apostolic Exhortation is a very comprehensive, accurate portrait of what both intense Synods discussed and studied.  The exhortation is striking for its breadth and detail. Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) is a rich, bold, courageous pastoral document that reflects the very positive and encouraging direction that Pope Francis sets for the Church.  Firmly rooted in the Catholic Tradition, this major teaching document offers the Church and the world many concrete reminders of the beauty of family life, despite all the challenges this life entails. Readers of this document will be pleasantly surprised at how vivid, concrete and personal this major document is. We have a Pope with a deeply pastoral heart who enters into the everyday realities of family life.

Pope Francis cautions that “not all discussions of doctrinal, moral or pastoral issues need to be settled by interventions of the magisterium”. Indeed, for some questions, “each country or region … can seek solutions better suited to its culture and sensitive to its traditions and local needs. For ‘cultures are in fact quite diverse and every general principle… needs to be inculturated, if it is to be respected and applied’” (AL 3).

In the final paragraph of the Exhortation, the Pope affirms: “No family drops down from heaven perfectly formed; families need constantly to grow and mature in the ability to love …All of us are called to keep striving towards something greater than ourselves and our families, and every family must feel this constant impulse. Let us make this journey as families, let us keep walking together.”  The Exhortation is positive, hopeful, realistic, encouraging, inspiring and deeply edifying.  What a great gift to us all during the Jubilee Year of Mercy.”

Fr. Thomas Rosica, CSB, CEO, Salt and Light Catholic Media Foundation in Canada; English language assistant, Holy See Press Office

From Sister Marianne Lorraine Trouve, fsp, at Thomas for Today: Pope Francis on Marriage

From Catholic News Agency: Interpreting Amoris Laetitia through the Lens of Catholic Tradition

From CatholicMom contributor Pat Gohn, a reminder to begin with prayer: A Prayer to the Holy Family, from Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia

Here are a few articles on the Synod, marriage, divorce, annulment, and sexuality that may be useful as you consider this document:

Copyright 2016 Barb Szyszkiewicz, OFS