Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis' post-synodal exhortation on love in the family, turned out to be one of the most controversial documents of the Magisterium of the Catholic Church in recent decades. It was published in April 2016 following the two "Synods of Bishops on the Family" held in 2014 and 2015. The document brought division amongst the Catholic hierarchy, theologians and pastors and nearly two years after its publication the exact meaning of the document and its implications for the Church are still a matter of dispute. A number of prelates present at the Synods indicated that these gatherings were animated by "the spirit of Vatican II." This work links the notion of "the spirit of Vatican II" with Amoris Laetitia and it argues that a hermeneutics of interpretation of the Second Vatican Council which focuses on following "the spirit of the Council" is the hermeneutics which can be, and in the future most likely will be, the predominant way of interpreting and implementing Amoris Laetitia.
This book aims to provide a contribution to this hotly debated topic in the field of Catholic theology.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Difficulties in interpreting Vatican II
Chapter 2. The spirit and style of the Vatican II
2.1. Ambiguities in the texts – toward "creative fidelity"
2.2. A matter of style (language event)
Chapter 3. Amoris Laetita and the "spirit of Vatican II"
3.1. Ambiguities in the texts - towards "creative fidelity"
3.2. A matter of style (language event)
Mariusz Biliniewicz is Associate Dean and Senior Lecturer in Theology at the University of Notre Dame, Australia.
"In the context of one of contemporary Catholicism’s most contentious debates, this work helpfully presents the differing interpretations of Amoris laetitia. At the same time Biliniewicz successfully argues that these interpretations have a correlate with how the documents of Vatican II were received in differing ways. Highly recommended."
- Paul Morrissey, President of Campion College, Australia
"Sometimes small books, such as this one, are precious. This is not just due to the thoroughly reviewed and carefully presented bibliography concerning theological reactions to Pope Francis’s post-synodal document, Amoris Laetitia (2016). Above all, it is the language in which this book is written—honest and respectful to both sides of the great divide—that characterizes the Catholic Church today. It is about how the author deals with a highly controversial issue for Catholic self-understanding: whether (and possibly, under which conditions) divorced and remarried Catholics could be granted access to sacramental confession and the eucharist.
With Amoris Laetitia and the Spirit of Vatican II: The Source of Controversy, Mariusz Biliniewicz demonstrates to a bickering and dis-functional Catholic community that it is possible to talk to each other, try to understand the perspective of the other party, and above all, to listen to each other."
- Marcello Neri, Professor of Theology and Catholic Studies of Religion and Politics in European Cultures and Society Studies at the Europe-University of Flensburg, Germany, Reading Religion