Springfield bishop discusses to Pope's document

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Local Roman Catholic leaders responded Friday to a newly-released document by Pope Francis on family life.

In the document, called Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis reiterated traditional Catholic teachings that marriage is permanent, that marriages should be open to children and that marriage can only involve one man and one woman. At the same time, he also called for the church to show greater care for divorced Catholics, nontraditional families and gays and lesbians.

The document, which is referred to as an Apostolic Exhortation, came after two global meetings of bishops called synods. The full text of the document can be found here.

Speaking after the document’s release, Springfield Bishop Thomas Paprocki said Pope Francis had attempted to both highlight church ideals of family life and to offer help to those who fall short of those ideals.

“He’s saying there’s an ideal for marriage according to Catholic teaching,” Paprocki said. “That ideal is marriage between a man and a woman, raising a family with children. He recognizes that not everybody is there at that ideal, so he says that we have to kind of take people where they are at and try to help them move toward that ideal.”

At more than 230 pages, different parts of the document may appeal to different people, Paprocki said.

“It’s vintage Pope Francis, and it’s also very Catholic, in that Catholic teachings try to encompass many different perspectives and address them,” Paprocki said.

Paprocki also recommended people interested in the document read it carefully and in its entirety.

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