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Papal teaching on contraception has developed since Humanae Vitae (1968). In “The Joy of Love” Pope Francis does not label contraception as going against natural law or being intrinsically evil. He seems to acknowledge that exceptional circumstances can make contraceptives licit.
The main achievement of “The Joy of Love” is that it officially re-affirms conscience as as the ultimate judge for the individual on what is right and what is wrong. This he also applies to contraception.
It remains regrettable that Pope Francis could not take the final step and abolish the official total ban of contraception.
"FOR THIS POPE, Christianity is not a museum piece but is something dynamic, alive. There is a phrase often heard in Rome that Francis dislikes more than any other: “But it’s always been done this way.”"
writing in The Tablet, 30 September 2017
“Francis is amiracle of humility in an era of vanity.”
commenting to Vanity Fair (Italian Edition) summer 2013
Edited by Cindy Wooden and Joshua J. McElwee
To be published on 15 March 2018, available for pre-order from:
A Pope Francis Lexicon is a collection of over fifty essays by an impressive set of insightful contributors from around the globe, each writing on a specific word that has become important in the ministry of Pope Francis. Writers such as Sr. Simone Campbell, Cardinal Blase Cupich, Cardinal Óscar Rodríguez Maradiaga, Fr. James Martin, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby, and Carolyn Woo explore the Pope's use of words like joy, clericalism, money, family, and tears. Together, they reveal what Francis's use of these words says about him, his ministry and priorities, and their significance to the church, the world, and the lives of individual Christians. The entire collection is introduced by a foreword by Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians worldwide, and a preface by one of Francis's closest advisors, Cardinal Seán O'Malley.
This is no set of encyclopedia entries. It's a reflective, inspiring, and often heartfelt book that offers engaging answers to the question "What is this surprising Pope up to?"
(God) is the loving Father who always forgives, who has that heart of mercy for all of us. And let us also learn to be merciful with everyone. Let us call upon the intercession of the Madonna who has held in her arms the Mercy of God made human.