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Pope’s exhortation will focus on ‘dialogue’, says Vatican

Pope Francis arrives for a weekly general audience (AP)

Pope Francis’s document on the family, published on Friday, will be a call to dialogue, according to a Vatican “reading guide” sent to bishops around the world.

The apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, follows two synods on the family. It is expected to discuss the question of whether divorced and remarried couples should be invited to take communion.

The reading guide, issued by the Vatican’s office for the Synod of Bishops, says that the exhortation will be “first and foremost a pastoral document”.

The document, which has been obtained by the National Catholic Reporter and Italian news sources, says: “To talk about the family and to families, the challenge is not to change doctrine but to inculturate the general principles in ways that they can be understood and practiced.”

In one of several references to “dialogue”, the document says: “The Pope’s vision of society is inclusive. Such inclusion involves the effort to accept diversity, to dialogue with those who think differently, to encourage the participation of those with different abilities.”

The document was sent to bishops along with summaries of the Pope’s recent Wednesday audiences on the family, and of John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, described as an “important source” for Amoris Laetitia.

Follow the Catholic Herald’s coverage of the apostolic exhortation from Friday at noon.