It would be right to describe the publication of Amoris Laetitia by Pope Francis as a minor earthquake, though one preceded by plenty of warning tremors. And while the Catholic Church’s foundations may have been shaken, the walls and roof are still standing. Francis was well aware when he was elected Pope that the basic weakness in the Church’s mission to evangelise was its reputation as a stern and unforgiving teacher in the field of sexual and marital ethics, something that touches people’s lives most intimately. Put simply, it did not sound like the gentle voice of a loving mother. Francis had to respect as far as possible the content of the teaching. But he could change the one thing that may matter more than content for ordinary Catholics – its tone.
Power of conscience puts laity at centre of change
Get Instant Access
Register for free to read this article in full
Subscribe for unlimited access
From just £19.99 quarterly
Complete access to all Tablet website content including all premium content.
The full weekly edition in print and digital including our 179 years archive.
PDF version to view on iPad, iPhone or computer.
Already a subscriber? Login