The new body replaces the one founded by John Paul II. The goal is to adapt to the journey undertaken by the Church with the Synods of 2014 and 2015 and with the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia of 2016.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis has decided to close the Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences set up by John Paul II and replace it with the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Matrimonial and Family Sciences.
Francis explains his decision with the desire to "look, with the intellect of love and with wise realism, at the reality of the family today in all its complexity, with its lights and its shadows."
The pontiff made the announcement in an apostolic letter Motu Proprio Datae summa familiae cura, which sets up the new institute in association with the Pontifical Lateran University. This replaces and shuts down John Paul II’s institute.
Dated 8 September 2017, the letter was made public today. It says that compared to what John Paul II intended in setting up Theological Institute (1982), "the Church has taken a further Synodal journey" in the 2014 and 2015 assemblies. "The climax of this intense journey was the post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, published on 19 March 2016."
Thus, according to Francis, the journey “has led the Church towards a renewed awareness . . . The centrality of the family in the paths of ‘pastoral conversion’ of our communities and of ‘missionary transformation of the Church’ demands that – also at the level of academic formation – in reflection on marriage and on the family the pastoral perspective and attention to the wounds of humanity must never be lacking. If a fruitful examination of pastoral theology cannot be conducted neglecting the special ecclesial profile of the family, likewise that same pastoral sensibility must be aware of the valuable contribution of thought and reflection that research, in the deepest and most rigorous way, the truth of the revelation and wisdom of the tradition of faith, in view of its better comprehension at the present time.”
“The welfare of the family is decisive for the future of the world and that of the Church . . . We do well to focus on concrete realities, since ‘the calls and the demands of the Spirit resound in the events of history’, and through these the Church can also be guided to a more profound understanding of the inexhaustible mystery of marriage and the family."