The Orthodoxy of Amoris Laetitia


When Amoris Laetitia was published in 2016, it became the most controversial papal document since Humanae Vitae. Many said that Amoris Laetitia was “confusing” and “required clarification.” Others claimed that it was heterodox, while comparing it unfavorably with other church documents. But is this really the case?

In this book, Pedro Gabriel sets out to explore Amoris Laetitia’s controversial eighth chapter. What does the document actually teach as it pertains to the access of divorced and civilly remarried people to the Eucharist, and how can it constitute a legitimate development? As Pedro Gabriel tries to answer these questions, he will also cover the most common arguments being leveled against Amoris Laetitia, and show how this exhortation can be reconciled with Catholic orthodoxy.

Date of publication: February 18th, 2022

Publisher: Wipf and Stock

Available platforms: Wipf and Stock, Amazon,

Editions: 1 (2022)

Language: English

Available formats: Ebook, Paperback, Hard Cover

No. pages: 318


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“A most compelling and passionate defense of perhaps the most controversial and debated magisterial document of recent times. . . . Pedro Gabriel provides a forensic-like approach in which he amply demonstrates how Amoris Laetitia can and must be read in a hermeneutic of continuity with past magisterial documents. I strongly recommend this profound work to all who seek to understand not only Amoris Laetitia itself but also the magisterium of Pope Francis.”

Stephen Walford, author of Pope Francis, the Family, and Divorce: In Defense of Truth and Mercy

“With great depth, Pedro Gabriel examines the rich heritage that we have received from Saint John Paul II and the true perennial doctrine of the church and connects them with the theological-pastoral accents that Pope Francis has introduced in his pontificate—accents that educate us to always affirm the truth with mercy, without sacrificing one for the other.”

Rodrigo Guerra, Secretary, the Pontifical Commission for Latin America (Vatican)

The response to Amoris Laetitia was a confused misunderstanding based on bad assumptions. This book is a desperately needed response to the false claims people still believe about it.”

David Wanat, Blogger, If I Might Interject

In this refreshingly enlightening book, Gabriel explains the magisterium of Pope Francis as presented in Amoris Laetitia, demonstrates the consistency of the Holy Father’s teachings with the full tradition of the Catholic Church, and firmly but charitably refutes the criticisms of those who have questioned the soundness and the authority of these magisterial pronouncements. He also clarifies certain basic principles of the church’s moral teaching that for some time have often been overlooked or misunderstood.”

Patrick J. Travers, Vicar General, Archdiocese of Anchorage-Juneau

Pedro Gabriel’s definitive defense of Pope Francis’s teaching on marriage and the family is clear, concise, and compelling. He takes the critics seriously and engages them on their own terms, while showing that Amoris Laetitia is a profoundly traditional, orthodox teaching. This is essential reading for catechists, teachers, pastors, students, and anyone who cares about the true development of doctrine.”

Austen Ivereigh, Fellow, Campion Hall, University of Oxford


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