Cardinal John Dew has said he thinks parishes and communities need to start looking at how people can be helped to know Pope Francis’s latest document on the family.

Wellington Cardinal John Dew
Wellington Cardinal John Dew

The cardinal, writing in an April 20 newsletter, noted the Pope’s emphasis in Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) on “accompaniment” for those people who are hurt or who have placed themselves apart from the Church.

“Francis speaks much about welcoming, caring and integrating such people, in their present situation, into the Church’s loving environment,” Cardinal Dew wrote.

“He also calls on us to help each person find his or her path for continuous conversion and to gradually open themselves to the mission entrusted to them through Baptism.

“That’s why I believe we need in our parishes and communities to start looking at how we can assist people to know this document,” the cardinal said.

“Maybe family discussion groups, groups in parishes looking at various parts of the document and sharing it with others, individuals looking for the small practical and helpful suggestions that will enrich their own family relationships,” he said.

“This exhortation is a document to be studied and reflected upon by every Christian.”

Cardinal Dew said the document should be read with “the same spirit of joy and love with which it was written: with an open mind, fidelity to the truth and a sincerely compassionate attitude, as shown by
Pope Francis”.

Amoris Laetitia, which Cardinal Dew described as “a pastoral document far beyond our expectations” is “easy to read” and the Pope “wants us all to read and study it”.

“It is clear that it draws on Church teachings from the Scriptures, the Magisterium and on the texts from previous popes.

“It is a Pope Francis document. He teaches, he is compassionate and understanding,” said Cardinal Dew.

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