Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis

Amoris Laetitia

Official Vatican text


Learn more about the new Apostolic Exhortation by Pope Francis.


Amoris Laetitia brings together the results of the two Synods on the family convoked by Pope Francis in 2014 & 2015.


Amoris Laetitia draws on a long history of Church teaching, and a very intense Synod experience.


Video, blogs, and other commentary on Amoris Laetitia from multiple news sources.


This brief guide introduces you to the approach and style of the Exhortation, which is first & foremost a pastoral teaching.


An important source for the Exhortation are the teachings of Saint John Paul II on the theology of the body (1980) and on the language of the body (1984).


From the year of catecheses by Pope Francis on the family, here are a dozen passages selected for their importance in the Exhortation.

2014-2015 Synods of Bishops on the Family

The Synod is an assembly of bishops from around the world who assist the Holy Father by providing counsel on important questions facing the Church in a manner that preserves the Church's teaching and strengthens her internal discipline.

(For more information, please see the Vatican website and Code of Canon Law, canon 342.)

  • October 8, 2013

    Pope Francis announces an Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for October 2014 on topics related to the family and evangelization. Subsequent communications made clear that the Extraordinary General Assembly would be followed by an Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2015, on the same topics.

  • November 6, 2013

    The Vatican releases a preparatory document entitled Pastoral Challenges to the Family in the Context of Evangelization . To allow the particular Churches to participate actively in the preparation of the Extraordinary Synod, this document includes a questionnaire addressing topics such as the knowledge of Church Doctrine among Catholics, the percentage of unmarried couples living together, addressing the spiritual needs of divorced couples and gays, and how to best foster a culture of life.

  • June 24, 2014

    Over 90% of the episcopal conferences around the send responses to the initial preparatory document, which forms the basis for the document known as the Instrumentum Laboris. This document provides a substantive reflection on the major challenges facing the family today, and outlines the topics of discussion at the Extraordinary General Assembly.

  • October 5-19, 2014

    253 participants gather in Vatican City to participate in the synod, including 114 presidents of Bishops' Conferences, 13 heads of Eastern Catholic Churches sui iuris, 25 heads of the dicasteries of the Roman Curia, nine members of the Ordinary Council for the Secretariat, and 38 auditors (including 13 married couples, and 16 experts). At the outset, Pope Francis encouraged the Synod fathers to speak openly, even if they had an opinion they were worried would conflict with those of the Holy Father (“It is necessary to say with parrhesia all that one feels.”).

  • October 19, 2014

    Pope Francis releases the Relatio Synodi (final report) of the Extraordinary Synod. According to the conclusion of the document: “These proposed reflections, the fruit of the synodal work that took place in great freedom and with a spirit of reciprocal listening, are intended to raise questions and indicate points of view that will later be developed and clarified through reflection in the local Churches in the intervening year leading to the XIV Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops” (n. 62)

  • December 11, 2014

    The Synod Secretariat releases the Lineamenta, which includes both the Relatio as well as a series of questions to generate an in-depth examination of the work initiated during the Extraordinary Assembly. The episcopal conferences are asked to choose a suitable manner of involving all components of the particular churches and academic institutions, organizations, lay movements and other ecclesial associations. The Catholic Diocese of Dallas participates in this questionnaire by collecting answers via an online survey.

  • June 23, 2015

    The Instrumentum Laboris is released to serve as the "working document" for the Ordinary Synod. It contains the Relatio Synodi from the conclusion of the III Extraordinary Synod, as well as a summary of the responses to the questions in the Lineamenta. As explained by Cardinal Baldisseri in the Presentation of the Instrumentum Laboris, the three sections of the document "illustrate the continuity between the two Assembles".

  • October 4-25, 2015

    The Fourteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, commonly known as the Synod on the Family, takes place at the Synod Hall in the Paul VI Audience Hall in Vatican City. Vatican officials announced a few days before the opening Mass that the 2015 assembly of the Synod would be run with three mini-Synods, one a week, for the three week duration. In week one, the bishops discuss challenges facing the family, in week two the bishops address the vocation of the family, and the final week is devoted to the mission of the family today. The final mini-Synod contains some of the most controversial issues, and small group sessions are conducted throughout the final week.

  • October 24, 2015

    The Final Report of the Synod of Bishops to the Holy Father, Pope Francis is published. The conclusion of the document states: “We hope that the result of this work, now delivered into the hands of the Successor of Peter, might give hope and joy to many families in the world, guidance to pastors and pastoral workers, and a stimulus to the work of evangelization. In concluding this report, we humbly ask the Holy Father to consider the possibility of issuing a document on the family, so that the family, the domestic Church, might increasingly radiate Christ, who is the light of the world.”

  • April 8, 2016

    The Vatican releases a postsynodal apostolic exhortation titled 'Amoris Laetitia: On Love in the Family'.