24 October 2015

Cupich Triumphant

What follows is a machine translation of §§84-86 of the Final Relatio from the 2015 Synod of Bishops.  The original text is available here.

84. The faithful who are divorced and civilly remarried need to be more integrated in the Christian communities in different ways as possible, avoiding any chance of scandal. The logic of integration is the key to their pastoral care, because they only know that they belong to the Body of Christ which is the Church, but it can have a joyful and fruitful experience. Are baptized, are brothers and sisters, the Holy Spirit pours into their gifts and talents for the good of all. Their participation can be expressed in different ecclesial services: it is therefore necessary to discern which of the various forms of exclusion currently practiced in the liturgy, pastoral, educational and institutional framework can be overcome. They not only do not have to feel excommunicated, but can live and grow as living members of the Church, feeling like a mother who welcomes them always, he takes care of them with affection and encourages them in the path of life and of the Gospel. This integration is also needed for the care and Christian education of their children, who must be considered the most important. For the Christian community, take care of these people is not a weakening of their faith and testimony about the indissolubility of marriage: rather, the Church expresses in this very carefully his charity.

85. St. John Paul II offered a comprehensive policy, which remains the basis for the evaluation of these situations: "Pastors must know that, for the sake of truth, are obliged to discern situations. There is indeed a difference between those who have sincerely tried to save their first marriage and have been unjustly abandoned, and those who through their own grave fault have destroyed a canonically valid marriage. Finally, there are those who have contracted a second marriage for the sake of the children, and are sometimes subjectively certain in conscience that their previous marriage, irreparably broken, had never been valid "( FC , ​​84). It is therefore the duty of priests to accompany the people concerned on the way of understanding according to the teaching of the Church and the guidelines of the Bishop. This process will be useful to make an examination of conscience, by moments of reflection and repentance. The divorced and remarried should ask themselves how they have behaved towards their children when the conjugal union has entered into crisis; Though there have been attempts at reconciliation; as is the situation of the partners abandoned; what effect has the new report on the rest of the family and the community of the faithful; as such it offers to young people who are preparing for marriage. A sincere reflection can strengthen trust in the mercy of God that is not denied to anyone.

Moreover, one can not deny that in some circumstances "imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or nullified" ( CCC , 1735) due to several constraints. Accordingly, the judgment of an objective situation should not lead to a judgment on the 'subjective culpability "(Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Declaration of June 24, 2000, 2a). Under certain circumstances people find it very difficult to act differently. Therefore, while supporting a general rule, it must recognize that the responsibility with respect to certain actions or decisions is not the same in all cases. The pastoral discernment, while taking account of a properly formed conscience of the people, must take responsibility for these situations. The consequences of acts are not necessarily the same in all cases.

86. The process of discernment and directs these faithful to an awareness of their situation before God. The interview with the priest, in the internal forum, contributes to the formation of a correct judgment on what hinders the possibility of a fuller participation in the life of the Church and the steps that can foster it and make it grow. Given that the same law no gradation (cf. FC , ​​34), this discernment will never consider the needs of truth and charity of the Gospel proposed by the Church. For this to happen, are guaranteed the necessary conditions of humility, confidence, love for the Church and its teaching, in the sincere search for God's will and the desire to achieve a more perfect answer to it.