by Thomas Reese, S.J., NCR
Amoris Laetitia, the much anticipated apostolic exhortation written by Pope Francis in response to the synod on the family, will be released Friday morning.
Here are six things to look for when the exhortation is published.
First, remember that most Catholics live in the global South, so what does this document say to them? Is the exhortation concerned only about European and North American issues, or does it have something to say to the millions of Catholics in the South.
In Africa, for example, the church has been struggling to figure out how to mesh the sacramental life of the church, especially marriage, with African traditions.
Thus, while the West, following Roman law, sees marriage as a legal contract between a man and a woman that takes place when the words of consent are spoken, in Africa, marriage is often an agreement involving two families that takes place gradually over time. There is no magic moment.…