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Title: From Familiaris Consortio to Amoris Laetitia
Subtitle: Continuity of the Pastoral Attitude and a Step Forward
Author(s): PETRÀ, Basilio
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 22    Issue: 2   Date: 2016   
Pages: 202-216
DOI: 10.2143/INT.22.2.3194501

Abstract :
The article reads chapter 8 of Amoris laetitia from the perspective of the confessor and concludes that Pope Francis responds more adequately to the requirement that the confessor is to take on a greater personal responsibility in evaluating the good of the penitent – with a merciful heart and a therapeutic intent. Familiaris consortio had supplied for many years an authoritative frame of reference in which the confessor was more an applier of the norm. With Amoris laetitia, however, the confessor’s task is that of a pastor and father with a personal stake in the good of the penitent and in the path of his/her Christian life. The article argues that Familiaris consortio had legitimately followed, but at the same time unduly absolutized, the traditional moral-theological principle according to which one who lives in objective contradiction to what is signified by the eucharist can never be allowed to receive communion. Amoris laetitia does not deny this principle but relativizes it and subordinates it to the good of the person(s), since there are in fact circumstances in which every norm must be connected to its own proper goal, which is the salus animarum, the good of persons.

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