(WKRG, MOBILE, ALABAMA)
Pope Francis’s Joy of Love is an exhaustive treatise on love, marriage, and faith. It’s getting generally favorable reactions. One of the faithful, Archbishop Thomas Rodi, can boil down this massive manifesto in a few words.
“Let’s not focus on rules, let’s focus on the person,” said Rodi. He says the Pope is speaking not as the pontiff but as a pastor to help guide a new dialogue in the Church.
“This document is not about rules it’s about a discussion,” said Rodi. Pope Francis offers a lot of compassion for divorced or remarried Catholics. Rodi said the church family can offer love and support to men and women who fail in marriage.
“And none of us is perfect, we all fail, and for those who fail in a marriage how do we effectively minister to them, walk with them?” asked Rodi. Not surprisingly the pope also sticks up for traditional marriage and reaffirms that society shouldn’t redefine it–at the same time the joy of love says the church shouldn’t discriminate against homosexuals and should welcome them into the Catholic Church.
“They have a goodness that is within them also that is beautiful to god and that needs to be strengthened and enhanced we just are not to cast them away,” said Rodi. The Pope has given churches around the world a lot to analyze and discuss. The archbishop says they’ll work with churches around mobile to incorporate these new words on love and marriage into lessons and counseling.