Pope gives marriage tips

The Vatican published the apostolic exhortation "Amoris Laetitia" (The Joy of Love) on Friday. Commentators see the document, which deals with marriage and the family, as breaking with a number of Catholic taboos and showing that the Vatican is capable of modernising.

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Neue Zürcher Zeitung (CH) /

Francis speaks on taboo topics

Although Pope Francis's treatise may not propose a change of course on controversial marital and sexual issues its implications should not be underestimated, the centre-right daily Neue Zürcher Zeitung believes:

“The Church is beginning to find a voice on this topic. The Pope has a knack for addressing subjects such as passion and eroticism that have been taboo in the past. What's more, he has opened up new areas for discussion: not all controversial topics must be decided by an intervention by the Magisterium, he writes explicitly. In so doing he is also acknowledging the varying cultural circumstances in which the world's more than 1.2 billion Catholics live. The Pope demands more respect for each individual's questions of conscience. ... Francis makes it very clear that he prefers devotion to instruction. The days of Roman rigour appear to be over.”

Irish Examiner (IE) /

Irish Church stubborn and unbending

Unlike the Irish Catholic Church the Vatican has shown with this treatise that it is ready for change, the liberal daily Irish Examiner comments:

“This position is in stark contrast to the absolutism, dogma and anti-democratic bullying used by the Irish Catholic Church to oppose so much of the social legislation introduced through the Dáil over recent decades. That the Sodom-and-Gomorrah predictions made by the hierarchy to oppose those initiatives have turned out to be utterly, screamingly hollow offers our political leaders another lesson - change will come whether you embrace it or not - but it is far better to be part of it than not.”