5 Responses to Divorced and remarried, the perils of a discussion run by the media

  1. [...] Crd. Dolan It’s Keeping the Faith that Deserves a “Bravo” – Rorate Cæli Perils of Media Run Discussion: Divorced & Remarried – A. Gagliarducci 3 Steps to Understand How Humanity Participates in Natural Law – HHA [...]

  2. [...] (Dijelom preuzeto sa Monday Vatican. Za opširniju analizu vidite ovdje) [...]

  3. Peter scrive:

    Familiaris Consortio (nn. 29-35, and 84)!

  4. Charles Lewis scrive:

    This has been an issue that has puzzled me. Look at what Jesus said about divorce:
    “He saith to them: Because Moses by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.”
    Notice that he clearly is talking about men leaving their wives. It sounds to me that He was talking about men who simply got bored with their wives or wanted a younger, prettier model. Those with a “hardness of heart.”
    I’m assuming the woman today could easily get an annulment. That would seem just and merciful. But who knows. Maybe in some parts of the world she can and others it could take years. Shouldn’t it be easier for that woman to get a divorce.
    Or what about a marriage that went on for 25 years and was an emotional disaster for both husband and wife. They tried everything from prayer to counselling. Shouldn’t that situation be treated with more understanding?
    If this is what Francis is talking about, then Bravo. An annulment would be required but maybe it should be a lot easier to obtain.
    Last thought: divorce is a sin. But it seems one of the only sins that we find harder to forgive. Something seems out of balance on that.

  5. Daniel scrive:

    Cardinal K’s thought is oscure and borderline to put it positively and I agree his idea of “tolerating” is perhaps too vague to be helpful for bringing people back to Christ. However I can imagine an extension of the present pastoral tolerance that he might be alluding to. Specific examples might help illuminate vague conjecture.
    Presently, a divorced person in a union which began in adultery can be admitted to Holy Communion under certain circumstances: in particular if the couple repent of and commit to abandoning adulterous acts (the politically correct phrase is “living as brother and sister”!) Although this pastoral solution seems open to abuse and misinterpretation, there are genuine couples for whom it is a generous means of God’s loving mercy, and it attempts to guard against scandal.
    However, one problem with this solution is that it leaves reception of Holy Communion by a repentant member of the faithful at the mercy of an unrepentant partner. Consider a genuine penitent in a union, where the partner refuses to abandon adultery, but which is otherwise much the same as the couple who genuinely repent of adultery but continue their union, now as “brother and sister” for the sake of children etc. If a person genuinely repents of adultery and determines to put all the means possible to live as brother or sister, it is not clear to me that it is just to refuse this penitent Holy Communion while granting sacramental union with our Divine Spouse to the “brother and sister” couple. If “brother and sister” fall, before being admitted to Holy Communion again they must confess and do penance not only for adultery, but an adultery with the additional evil of breaking the solemn commitment made to live as “brother and sister”, as well as renewing the firm determination to avoid adultery in the future.
    Consider possible parallels. If one recalls the old discipline regarding marriage to a non-Catholic, the non-Catholic had to promise that the children be brought up in the Catholic faith. The present discipline merely requires that the non-Catholic be aware of and not oppose the Catholic’s obligation to live and raise children as Catholics. A parallel solution for the current dilemma would be to require that the non-repentant partner be made aware of the repentent partner’s obligation to live as brother and sister. At this point, one can see that the parallel would also require that the partner agree to not oppose living as brother and sister: ie commit to live as brother and sister. However this is not a true parallel, since this is the requirement before a marriage is entered into.
    A closer parallel might be the pastoral solution for a situation where only one spouse in a pagan marriage converts. Here the Christian convert makes known the requirements of Christian marriage, and if the pagan is happy to continue, then the Christian is not required to abandon the pagan or their children, even though the pagan may pressure the Christian to acts incompatible with Christian faith. It is interesting that behind Saint Paul’s pastoral solution here (1 Cor 7) lies both the hope of conversion of the pagan, and the “holiness” of the children. The parallel for the current dilemma would then be that the unrepentant partner be informed of the repentant partner’s determination: to “live as brother and sister” (and of the conviction that acts between them would be adulterous!) and to use all the means possible in the circumstances to avoid adultery and educate the children in the faith etc. If the adulterer chooses to continue in the union, then perhaps the repentant adulterer could struggle on in the hope of converting the partner as well and for the sake of the children.
    It seems to me that many unions where the “brother and sister” solution is genuinely lived would have passed through this phase of one repentant partner converting the other, through a life of self-giving love and truly seeking to live as brother or sister with graces won from our merciful Saviour. Can we not grant the much needed graces of Holy Communion to our brothers and sisters, repentant of adultery, who convince us that they are genuinely living this struggle and who (for example) continue a union because they need the help of their partner to carry out the obligations that their adulterous union has given rise to (raising their children)?

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