During the press conference, Cardinal Schönborn had been joined by Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops, and by the Mianos, a married couple from Italy.
Cardinal Schönborn began the event by saying there has been "too much concentration" on the questions regarding the pastoral care of the divorced-and-remarried. "It's a trap to focus everything on this point because you forget the sum total of the situation."
"A key to reading Amoris laetitia is the experience of the poor," he said. "In the families of the poor, little steps on the path of virtue are experienced that can be much greater than those who live in 'comfortable success'."
He added that even after the release of this apostolic exhortation, "there are many questions to continue to discuss, and one of the points is a renovation of sacramental praxis. Fifty years after Vatican II it is good to think about what a sacramental life means, and not only in a particular case."
Several questions focused on the relationship between Amoris laetitia and Familiaris consortio, St. John Paul II's own apostolic exhortation following a Synod on the Family, which was published in 1981.
"I don't see that there is a change," Cardinal Schönborn said, "but certainly there is a development, just as Pope John Paul developed doctrine … John Henry Newman explained to us how the organic development of doctrine works. Pope Francis is developing things in this way."
Cardinal Baldisseri responded to a question regarding "ongoing debate" about pastoral care, saying that "the Church is on the road, so it's the synod question which is important. It's not that it's ever closed. We're moving forward, walking together with certainties: revelation and everything that is the tradition of the Church. The discourse continues."
"But, we're sure of what we have. In this sense, it's not closed. It's open, and for the theologians, it's their task and responsibility to deepen doctrine; so that's why this continues. It's a dynamic form. The Pope also speaks of steps: this is a step. We need to take little steps at all levels, whether in the family or relationships with people, and also in the field of theological research and deepening."
Ann Schneible contributed to this report.