Assumption Panel Discussion Featured on Global Catholic Network Show

Jan 03, 2019

In October, Assumption hosted a unique discussion on Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), featuring renowned Catholic scholars and Church leaders. EWTN News Director and Anchor Raymond Arroyo, who moderated the lively panel discussion, included highlights of the event on the global Catholic network’s show, The World Over, on Dec. 8. 

Amoris Laetitia was released on April 8, 2016 and encourages a comprehensive examination of the family and the many challenges posed to family life in our contemporary society. Many have debated whether Pope Francis’s teaching in this Apostolic Exhortation is a radical break from long-standing teachings on the family and marriage or if it is indeed a reflection of authentic Church teachings. 

“Pope Francis’ statements and writings are often misunderstood when observers apply their own interpretation of what the Holy Father is attempting to communicate,” said Assumption President Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D., who is also a Papal scholar. “Assumption was pleased to host this thought-provoking discussion on what has emerged in the analysis of the Apostolic Exhortation that has generated a number of different conclusions on the intent of the Holy Father. The purpose of this gathering of prominent Catholic scholars and Church leaders was to provide a greater understanding of the messages contained in Amoris Laetitia.”

The evening’s panel represented a wide breadth of Catholic thought and perspectives, and offered unique commentary on Amoris Laetitia. The panel included:

• Archbishop Joseph Kurtz, D.D., of Louisville, KY, serves as president of the USCCB. Archbishop Kurtz participated in the Synod on the Family in October 2015, and will offer an insider’s perspective on the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world, which was the theme of the Synod.

• Bishop Robert McManus, S.T.D., representing the Diocese of Worcester, is a member of the USCCB’s Doctrine Committee and will offer his thoughts on the pastoral implications and challenges facing bishops and the clergy in regard to implementation of Amoris Laetitia.

• Margaret Harper McCarthy, S.T.D., S.T.L., theologian and assistant professor of theological anthropology at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for the Studies on Marriage and Family at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., will offer an understanding of Amoris Laetitia within the context of earlier teachings on marriage and family.

• Robert Royal, Ph.D., president of the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington, D.C., will provide a layman’s perspective on the Synod.

Panelists explored a number of aspects in regard to Amoris Laetitia, specifically the key arguments offered in regard to family and marriage. Additionally, the panel discussed some of the controversial issues raised in the Apostolic Exhortation within the context of Church teaching.