Pope Francis holds up the holy host as he celebrates Mass at the Santa Marta residence, at the Vatican, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Santa Marta residence at the Vatican, Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool Photo via AP)
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 12:30 pm
Pope overhauls key institute to reflect his vision of family
ROME – Pope Francis has overhauled the Vatican institute most closely associated with the conservative sexual morals promoted by St. John Paul II, saying it was necessary to adapt and expand its mission to address the reality of today's Catholics.
Officials said Tuesday the revamped John Paul II Theological Institute for the Marriage and Family Sciences will include courses in all social sciences – sociology, anthropology, psychology – as well as biology, reflecting a vision of the family that goes well beyond theology.
The new mission is taking its inspirational cue from the vision of marriage and family life contained in Francis' controversial 2016 document "The Joy of Love." That document called for the church to accompany Catholics living in "imperfect" family situations, including cases of divorce, cohabitation and gay children.