Lay leaders urged to be merciful
KUCHING — “The ‘Joy of Love’ experienced by families is also the joy of the church,” wrote the Holy Father Pope Francis in his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris Laetitia”. On 9 July, a Study Day to study this very document was conducted by Dr Jeffrey Goh and attended by 135 parish councillors and lay leaders of the Archdiocese of Kuching.
Bishop Simon Poh opened the Study Day with a Mass. In his opening address, he told all participants that there is “no perfect marriage and no perfect family”. He also said that it was normal for families to face different challenges but the church door is open to all. “’The Church has a place for everyone, the happily married, the divorced, the separated, the widowed’. What we can learn from the Study Day is how can we respond to and help them pastorally,” he said.
During the Study Day, Dr Jeffrey Goh emphasised that “Amoris Laetitia” did not change the Church’s Doctrine. It celebrates love and promotes sanctity, beauty and joy of family life in a real and concrete way, meeting people where they are. He dwelled on St Paul’s hymn of love (1 Cor 13:4-7) and taught at great length on how to foster joy in the family by way of this hymn.
In the afternoon session Dr Jeffrey touched on pastoral conversion. “Our merciful God wants to see a merciful church,” he said. We are asked to accompany and care for the wounded and troubled Catholics and families by restoring in them hope and
Dr Jeffrey Goh will be giving another study session on “Amoris Laetitia” on Saturday, 3 December. Further details will be released nearer the time.
Today’s Catholic Vol.28 No.5 August 2016