"Church must support those whose marriages fail"

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"Church must support those whose marriages fail"

The Church must accompany, not condemn, those whose marriages fail, according to the Holy Father.

Pope Francis said that those who recognise marriage as a sacrament, a divine blessing and a reflection of God’s love for humanity, should have even greater sympathy for husbands and wives whose relationships have failed.

“See how beautiful this love is, how beautiful marriage is, how beautiful the family is and how much love and closeness we must have for our brothers and sisters who have experienced the calamity of a failure in love,” the Pope said .

According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis’s homily focused on marriage as part of God’s plan for man and woman and as a reflection of God’s faithful love. He repeated the Gospel passage: “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

But, the Holy Father added that: “When this love fails—because many times it fails—we must feel the pain of the failure and accompany those who have failed in their love. Not condemn them! Walk alongside them.”

The Pope’s words came as it emerged, a leading German theologian, Cardinal Walter Kasper, had told a meeting of the world’s Cardinals last week that the Church could tolerate some second marriages.

The Catholic Church needs to find a way to help divorced and remarried Catholics who long to participate fully in the life of the Church, Cardinal Kasper told the cardinals. While insisting, for the good of individuals and of the Church, on the need to affirm Jesus’ teaching that sacramental marriage is indissoluble, he allowed for the possibility that in very specific cases the Church could tolerate, though not accept, a second union.

“The indissolubility of a sacramental marriage and the impossibility of a new marriage while the other partner is still alive is part of the binding tradition of the faith of the Church and cannot be abandoned or dissolved by appealing to a superficial understanding of mercy at a discount price.”

At the same time, ‘there is no human situation absolutely without hope or solution,’ he said, as Catholics profess their belief in the forgiveness of sins.

Tue, 03/18/2014 - 13:46
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