The Patriarchate of Lisbon made public a letter, this Thursday, from Pope Francis to Patriarch D. Manuel Clemente. This follows the publication by the Patriarch of Lisbon, last February, of a note on the application of chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia
Beloved Brother Cardinal
D. Manuel José Macário do Nascimento Clemente
Patriarch of Lisbon
I am writing to thank you for having sent me, during the past Lent, the Note you addressed to the priests of the Patriarchate concerning the application of the VIII Chapter of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia.
This deep reflection of yours filled me with joy, as I recognised in it the effort of a pastor and father who, aware of the duty to accompany his faithful, wished to begin with his priests so that they can better fulfil their ministry.
Today, the reality of married life is one of the fields where this accompaniment is most delicate and necessary. That is why I wished to call the Bishops to a long synodal path which might prove propitious – despite the inevitable difficulties – to the maturing of shared guidelines which would benefit the entire People of God.
Therefore, in expressing my gratitude, I would like to take advantage of the opportunity to encourage my Brother Cardinal and his collaborators in the pastoral ministry – in primis the priest – to carry on, with wisdom and patience, in their commitment to accompany, discern and integrate the fragility which shows itself in many forms in couples and their ties. A commitment which, on one hand, requires considerable effort on the part of us pastors, but which , on the other, regenerates us and sanctifies us, as everything is animated by the grace of the Holy Spirit which the Risen Lord bestowed on his apostles, for the remission of sins and the solicitous caring of all wounds.
While joyfully sharing with you, beloved Brother, this sweet and demanding mission, I assure you of your presence in my prayers and, asking that you pray for me also, bless you from my heart, together with your priests and the entire diocesan community of the Patriarchate of Lisbon.
Vatican, 26th June 2018