Vatican official: Pope's post-synod doc will be released in March

A view of the facade of St Peters Basilica from the Vaticans Apostolic Palace Feb 14 2015 Credit Lauren Cater CNA CNA 2 16 15 A view of the facade of St. Peter's Basilica from the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, Feb. 14, 2015. | Lauren Cater/CNA.

Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation on family life following last year's synod will be published in March, says Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Vatican's Pontifical Council for the Family.

In an interview with the Portuguese Catholic agency Ecclesia, Archbishop Paglia said that the Pope will release the document in March 2016, and that it will "show that the Church is close to families in all stages of their lives."

"I am convinced that the Apostolic Exhortation will be a hymn to love, to a love that will care for the well-being of children, that is open to wounded families who need strength, that wants to be close to the elder, a love that the whole of humanity needs," Paglia said.

The Italian archbishop is leading a week-long conference for the Catholic clergy of Portugal's Southern ecclesiastic provinces under the title "Family: Centrality, Renewal and Continuity."

The apostolic exhortation will be the conclusion of a multi-year synod process. In 2014 the Vatican hosted an Extraordinary Synod which was in preparation for the October 2015 Ordinary Synod. An estimated 190 bishops from around the world participated in each gathering.

The 2015 synod, which the Pope's exhortation is expected to focus on, was themed "the vocation and mission of the family in the church and the modern world."

The synods were surrounded by controversy, with hot-button topics of ministry to homosexuals and the divorced-and-remarried dominating media coverage.

Discussion in the synod hall also touched on such issues as marriage preparation, pornography, and domestic violence and abuse.

The apostolic exhortation is expected to be based on the final report from the synod, which was released Oct. 24. That report reflected collegiality among the bishops, though two of the 94 paragraphs were included by only a slim margin.

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