Monthly Archives: August 2015

Pope Francis: Caring for the divorced

Important excerpts from Pope France’s address at the general audience held August 05, 2015 in St. Peter’s Square (highlighting added):

Dear Brothers and Sisters, good morning!

With this catechesis we take up again our reflection on the family…. Today I would like to focus our attention on … how to take care of those that, following the irreversible failure of their marital bond, have undertaken a new union.

The Church knows well that such a situation contradicts the Christian Sacrament. However, her look of teacher draws always from her heart of mother; a heart that, animated by the Holy Spirit, always seeks the good and salvation of persons. See why she feels the duty, “for the sake of truth,” to “exercise careful discernment.” Saint John Paul II expressed himself thus in the Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris consortio (n. 84), pointing out, for instance, the difference between one who has suffered the separation and one who has caused it. This discernment must be made….

In these decades, in truth, the Church has not been either insensitive or slow. Thanks to the reflection carried out by Pastors, guided and confirmed by my Predecessors, the awareness has greatly grown that a fraternal and attentive acceptance is necessary, in love and in truth, of the baptized that have established a new coexistence after the failure of their sacramental marriage; in fact, these people are not at all excommunicated, they are not excommunicated! And they are absolutely not treated as such: they are always part of the Church….

Hence the repeated invitations of Pastors to manifest openly and consistently the community’s willingness to receive and encourage them, so that they live and develop increasingly their belonging to Christ and to the Church with prayer, with listening to the Word of God, with frequenting of the liturgy, with the Christian education of the children, with charity and service to the poor, with commitment to justice and peace….

“The Church is called to be the House of the Father, with doors always wide open […]” No closed doors! No closed doors! “Everyone can share in some way in the life of the Church; everyone can be part of the community. The Church […] is the house of the Father, where there is a place for everyone, with all their problems” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii gaudium, n. 47).

In the same way all Christians are called to imitate the Good Shepherd. … May each one do his part in assuming the attitude of the Good Shepherd, who knows each one of his sheep and excludes no one from his infinite love!

To read the full message, go to zenit.org/en/articles/general-audience-on-wounded-families.