God's loving care should be applied to remarriage cases

CNS/Gregory A. Shemitz

A heated discussion and debate continues in Catholic circles since the conclusion of the Synod of Bishops on the family in Rome last October and the publication of Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia ("The Joy of Love").

The synod's final report to Francis left open the case for the divorced and civilly remarried to be integrated into the life of the church, and the life of the church revolves around the sacraments. Though the reception of Communion was not specifically mentioned, the final report from the synod fathers used terms like "discernment" and "internal forum," and cited the circumstance of those not responsible for the divorce. It also avoided the mention of forbidding the reception of sacraments for those who are divorced and remarried without an annulment.

Francis seems to understand the struggles of those who find themselves in the situation of divorce and remarriage. He sympathizes with those who long to participate in the sacramental life of the church, but find themselves divorced. Many in this situation find remarriage the best remedy for the emotional brokenness and instability that resulted from the breakup of their previous marriage. For the good of the children, for emotional and financial stability and for many other reasons, they have in good conscience entered into another marriage.

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A version of this story appeared in the May 20-June 2, 2016 print issue under the headline: "God's loving care should be applied to remarriage cases" .

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