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Document Details :
Title: Die Annäherung an die 'Wirklichkeit der Familie' in Familiaris Consortio und in Amoris Laetitia
Author(s): HAUSLADEN, Christoph
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 24 Issue: 1 Date: 2018
At the beginning of the second chapter of Amoris laetitia there is a double reference to John Paul II’s Familiaris consortio of 1981. This suggests a close link between the two documents (FC 4-10; AL 31-57) that can be hermeneutically fruitful if the similarities are analyzed. The article follows the principle that new developments in the Church’s magisterial teaching do not result from radical adjustments but from a continuity in which certain changes and shifts happen. By using a comparative approach, what is new can be brought to the fore. In this regard, there are three observations to be made: (1) AL takes a critical look at the failures of human freedom and distinguishes itself by taking a different approach with a less pessimistic tone. (2) A new contribution to the analysis of the situation is its thoroughly self-critical take on the evangelizing efforts of the Church that puts less emphasis on the difference between the Church and the modern world and highlights instead the failure of adequate proclamation and the corresponding need for repentance. (3) Further, the contribution of AL is a thematic expansion of the application of social-ethical themes to the realm of the family. This expansion is relevant to moral evaluation since it allows a more nuanced look at the possibilities and limits of individual responsibility. In this way the second chapter of the apostolic exhortation demonstrates significant changes in the approach to marriage and family. However, the method adopted by Pope Francis could also be seen as a fundamental problem since his social analysis does not follow any sound methodology but at times blends descriptive with normative elements.