Pope Francis writes 256-page document, gives relationship advice to the world

February 17, 2016 - Pope Francis is driven through the thousands of pilgrims as he heads towards the alter to hold mass held at El Punto park in Juarez, Mexico, on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Pope Francis is driven through the thousands of pilgrims as he heads towards the alter to hold mass held at El Punto park in Juarez, Mexico, on Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2016. Photo by Rodolfo Gonzalez

Pope Francis published a 256-page document Friday titled “Amoris Laetitia,” which translates from Latin to “The Joy of Love.”

In his writing, the pope addressed divorce, contraception and gender and sexuality, but not in a way that changes church law or doctrine.

While relationships and love are not the entirety of the document’s subject matter, Pope Francis also gave some relationship advice to the world. NPR helpfully breaks down 14 ideas, highlighting his advice to say “please,” thank you” and “I’m sorry” on the regular.

“Let us not be stingy about using these words, but keep repeating them, day after day,” he wrote.

The pope advises cultivating interests and relationships outside of marriage, to keep life varied and rich.

“For a worthwhile dialogue we have to have something to say,” he wrote. “This can only be the fruit of an interior richness nourished by reading, personal reflection, prayer and openness to the world around us. Otherwise, conversations become boring and trivial. When neither of the spouses works at this, and has little real contact with other people, family life becomes stifling and dialogue impoverished.”

Pope Francis gave some sex advice too: respect each other, and give to each other equally. Marriage is a gift from God, he wrote, and because it is a gift, we need to honor it.

“The ideal of marriage cannot be seen purely as generous donation and self-sacrifice, where each spouse renounces all personal needs and seeks only the other’s good without concern for personal satisfaction,” Pope Francis wrote. “We need to remember that authentic love also needs to be able to receive the other, to accept one’s own vulnerability and needs, and to welcome with sincere and joyful gratitude the physical expressions of love found in a caress, an embrace, a kiss and sexual union.”

h/t NPR


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