Press Release

Diocese-Green-Bay-LogoGREEN BAY, Wis. (April 8, 2016) -- Today, Pope Francis released his apostolic exhortation entitled "Amoris Laetitia; On Love in the Family." Amoris Laetitia, which in Latin means "The Joy of Love," is the document written by the pope following synods hosted by the Vatican in 2014 and 2015. These synods were attended by Catholic bishops and laity invited from around the world, and addressed issues and pastoral challenges concerning family life.

"'The Joy of Love,' what a beautiful name for such an important and intimate letter to the Catholic faithful throughout the world," said Bishop David L. Ricken, Diocese of Green Bay. "And how fortunate we are in the Diocese of Green Bay to be well poised to answer the call put forth by our Holy Father to examine and accompany those walking with joys and challenges in their everyday lives."

Pope: Understand People

Throughout the exhortation, Pope Francis continues to reiterate that the church and its ministers need to understand people regardless of where they are in life and accompany them without judgment, integrating them into the life of the church.

The overarching tone of the document is positive and hopeful. "The pope has given us a love letter to families -- a love letter inviting all of us, and especially married couples and families, to never stop growing in love," said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D., Archdiocese of Louisville, KY, and president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). "It is also a love letter calling the Church, the family of God, to realize more and more her mission to live and love as a family."

Diocese Accompanies Couples, Families

In the Diocese of Green Bay we have been striving for years to accompany couples and families. We have revised our marriage preparation program over the last several years, seeing great results from these ongoing sessions. Due to overwhelming success we will introduce the program in Spanish beginning this May. We also recognize the unique circumstances of couples as they journey to the altar, and have developed an online option for completing marriage preparation components.

Using online tools has proven invaluable to young couples familiar with and present in social media. In answer to this call to be mobile responsive and connect where couples are, we recently developed a robust natural family planning (NFP) website that affords couples the ability to research the five methods of NFP currently taught in the diocese, find instructors in each of the methods and sign up for classes or individual instruction in their method of choice.

All Encouraged to Read 'Amoris Laetitia'

In the coming weeks and months, the key components of the exhortation will be reflected on, with pastors and ministers of the church developing strategies for continuing to accompany families in this journey of love. All the faithful of the diocese are encouraged to read Amoris Laetitia to experience more deeply the incredible love of Jesus Christ. Click here for the full document.

A post-synodal apostolic exhortation is a formal papal pronouncement on an important aspect of the Catholic faith. This document, signed by the Holy Father himself, provides a summation of and pastoral direction from the two recent synods of bishops. These two synods reflected on the family and provided Pope Francis with the wisdom of bishops and laity from around the world. This document is the result of this process and provides a pastoral roadmap for the Church and its ministry to families.


Who We Are

The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay works to bring the Good News of Jesus Christ by helping people in need and by providing academic, leadership and spiritual formation opportunities to parish and school leaders. Established in 1868, the Diocese is composed of 324,000 Catholics in 16 counties: Brown, Calumet, Door, Florence, Forest, Kewaunee, Langlade, Manitowoc, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara and Winnebago.


Justine Lodl
Director of Communications
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Sarah Bradford
Communications Coordinator
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