Major panel this week



Pope Francis on Marriage and the Family:
Faithful Continuity or Departure from Tradition?

EWTN News Director, Anchor to Moderate Lively Panel Discussion at Assumption College

WORCESTER, MA (October 24, 2016)—Assumption College will host a unique discussion on Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love), featuring renowned Catholic scholars and Church leaders on Thursday, Oct. 27 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in Hagan Hall, located in the Hagan Campus Center, on the Assumption College Campus, 500 Salisbury St. in Worcester. EWTN News Director and Anchor Raymond Arroyo will moderate the lively panel discussion.

Amoris Laetitia was released on April 8, 2016 and encourages a comprehensive examination of the family and the many challenges posed to family life in our contemporary society. Many have debated whether Pope Francis’s teaching in this Apostolic Exhortation is a radical break from long-standing teachings on the family and marriage or if it is indeed a reflection of authentic Church teachings.

“Pope Francis’ statements and writings are often misunderstood when observers apply their own interpretation of what the Holy Father is attempting to communicate,” said Assumption College President Francesco C. Cesareo, Ph.D., who is also a Papal scholar. “Assumption College is pleased to host this thought-provoking discussion on what has emerged in the analysis of the Apostolic Exhortation that has generated a number of different conclusions on the intent of the Holy Father. The purpose of this gathering of prominent Catholic scholars and Church leaders is to provide a greater understanding of the messages contained in Amoris Laetitia.”

The discussion will feature a panel representing a wide breadth of Catholic thought and perspectives, and will offer unique commentary on Amoris Laetitia. The panel includes:

• Archbishop Edward Kurtz, D.D., of Louisville, KY, serves as president of the USCCB. Archbishop Kurtz participated in the Synod on the Family in October 2015, and will offer an insider’s perspective on the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and in the contemporary world, which was the theme of the Synod.

• Bishop Robert McManus, S.T.D., representing the Diocese of Worcester, is a member of the USCCB’s Doctrine Committee and will offer his thoughts on the pastoral implications and challenges facing bishops and the clergy in regard to implementation of Amoris Laetitia.

• Mary Jo Anderson, Catholic journalist and participant in the Synod on the Family, will share her thoughts as an insider and from the perspective of a laywoman.

• Margaret Harper McCarthy, S.T.D., S.T.L., theologian and assistant professor of theological anthropology at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for the Studies on Marriage and Family at Catholic University in Washington, D.C., will offer an understanding of Amoris Laetitia within the context of earlier teachings on marriage and family.

• Robert Royal, Ph.D., president of the Faith and Reason Institute in Washington, D.C., will provide a layman’s perspective on the Synod.

Panelists will explore a number of aspects in regard to Amoris Laetitia, specifically the key arguments offered in regard to family and marriage. Additionally, the panel will discuss some of the controversial issues raised in the Apostolic Exhortation within the context of Church teaching. Each panelist will provide his or her interpretation of Pope Francis’s primary goal of Amoris Laetitia and whether it has generated more confusion than positive change of thought.

The panel discussion will be followed by a question and answer period.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit, or call 508.767.7321.

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Founded in 1904 by the Augustinians of the Assumption in Worcester, MA, Assumption College offers undergraduate students 43 majors and 48 minors in the liberal arts, sciences, business, and professional studies; as well as master’s and continuing education degrees and professional certificate programs—each through an educational experience that grounded in the rich Catholic intellectual tradition. The curriculum enables students to gain a depth and breadth of knowledge that leads to professional success and personal fulfillment. Students—whether on the Worcester campus or at the College’s Rome, Italy, campus—become engaged participants in Assumption’s classic liberal arts education, exploring new ideas and making connections across disciplines. To prepare for the workforce, students learn cutting-edge theory and best practices, conduct innovative research, and develop excellent communication and critical-analysis skills. Assumption graduates are also known for their thoughtful citizenship and compassionate service to their community.

Kimberly Dunbar
Director of Public Affairs
Assumption College
508.767.7173 (O); 508.340.6620 (C)