Monday, April 3, 2017

Amoris Laetitia - Par. 246

246.  The Church, while appreciating the situations of conflict that are part of marriage, cannot fail to speak out on behalf of those who are most vulnerable: the children who often suffer in silence. Today, "despite our seemingly evolved sensibilities and all our refined psychological analyses, I ask myself if we are not becoming numb to the hurt in children's souls... Do we feel the immense psychological burden borne by children in families where the members mistreat and hurt one another, to the point of breaking the bonds of marital fidelity?"269  Such harmful experiences do not help children to grow in the maturity needed to make definitive commitments.  For this reason, Christian communities must not abandon divorced parents who have entered a new union, but should include and support them in their efforts to bring up their children.  "How can we encourage those parents to do everything possible to raise their children in the Christian life, to give them an example of committed and practical faith, if we keep them at arm's length from the life of the community, as if they were somehow excommunicated?  We must keep from acting in a way that adds even more to the burdens that children in these situations already have to bear!"270  Helping heal the wounds of parents and supporting them spiritually is also beneficial for children, who need the familiar face of the church to see them through this traumatic experience.  Divorce is an evil and the increasing number of divorces is very troubling.  Hence, our most important pastoral task with regard to families is to strengthen their love, helping to heal wounds and working to prevent the spread of this drama of our times.

269 Catechesis (24 June 2015): L'Osservatore Romano, 25 June 2015, p.8.
270 Catechesis (5 August 2015): L'Osservatore Romano, 6 August 2015, p. 7.