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Layman gives perspective on the marriage game

Catholics are being rather deliberately prodded toward frenzy by media coverage of Pope Francis’ desire for more effective pastoral care of those who are divorced and remarried.  Here is an excerpt from Dr Jeff Mirus’ brief examination on the pastoral-doctrinal issue:

“A high-ranking Churchman has emphasised that the status of divorced and remarried Catholics ‘should be looked at with a merciful eye’, which means changing the pastoral practice which bars couples in this ‘status’ from receiving Communion.

If the Church creates a rite of reconciliation for people who are sorry but unwilling or unable to break from each other, then the full truth about marriage will be obscured, and the commitment necessary for marriage will in some measure be sapped from every other couple. If the Church offers groundless annulments to solve the problem, exactly the same thing will happen.

Some suggest that modern culture so conditions us that most or even all couples are incapable of entering meaningfully into the commitment of lifelong marriage.  But if that is true—so that annulments can become essentially automatic—then it would seem that the Church should never witness a marriage.

Once again, the great problem is that one of these things is not like the others. And that one thing is Matrimony. The media would have us believe that the problem discussed here will be the central point of the upcoming Synod on the Family. That is unlikely to be the case, but it is one obvious concern, and it may be an intractable concern. Truly, then, we must do as Pope Francis asked. We must pray “that the Spirit may illumine the Synodal Fathers and guide them in their important task.” –

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