As is well known by now the apostolic exhortation on marriage and the family, Amoris Laetitia, has generated much attention and many commentaries. Although the document deals primarily with the sanctification of family life and culture though holiness in marriage, popular (and excessive?) emphasis has been made on the issues surrounding the question as to whether or when divorced and civilly remarried Catholics may be admitted to the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist. That possibility is alluded to in number 305 and footnote 351 of the document:
305. Because of forms of conditioning and mitigating factors, it is possible that an objective situation of sin, which may not be subjectively culpable, or fully such, a person can be living in God’s grace, can love and can also grow in the life of grace and charity, while receiving the Church’s help to this end.
Footnote 351. “In certain cases, this can include the help of the sacraments. Hence I want to remind priests that the confessional must not be a torture chamber, but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy. I would also point out that the Eucharist is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak”.
Below is a brief bibliography of works related to this pastoral issue. It includes commentaries from the perspectives of theology and canon law. Where possible, links to the articles are given. The entire collection could be read in perhaps one hour.
JIMMY AKIN, Pope Francis’s New Document on Marriage
CODE OF CANON LAW (1983), Canons 915 and 916
CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, 2nd ed., Numbers 1650-51
ROBERT CONNOR, Why the Resistance to Amoris Laetitia?
POPE FRANCIS, Amoris Laetitia
MAGGIE GALLAGHER, Why I’m Still Catholic
ANGEL RODRIGUEZ-LUNO, Amoris laetitia: Doctrinal Guidelines for a Pastoral Discernment
SAINT JOHN PAUL II, Familiaris Consortio, number 84
EDWARD PETERS, On the Buenos Aires Directive
ARCHDIOCESE OF PHILADELPHIA, Pastoral Guidelines for Implementing Amoris Laetitia
ROBERT ROYAL, A Bizarre Papal Move
CLAIRE CHRETIEN, Archbishop Sample Corrects ‘Troublesome Misuses’ of Amoris Laetitia