Sunday, May 21, 2017

Amoris Laetitia - Par. 294

294.  "The choice of a civil marriage or, in many cases, of simple cohabitation, is often not motivated by prejudice or resistance to a sacramental union, but by cultural or contingent situations".319  In such cases, respect also can be shown for those signs of love which in some way reflect God's own love.320  We know that there is "a continual increase in the number of those who, after having lived together for a long period, request the celebration of marriage in Church.  Simply to live together is often a choice based on a general attitude opposed to anything institutional or definitive; it can also be done while awaiting more security in life (a steady job and steady income).  In some countries, de facto unions are very numerous, not only because celebrating a marriage is considered too expensive in the social circumstances.  As a result, material poverty drives people into de facto unions".321 Whatever the case, "all these situations require a constructive response seeking to transform them into opportunities that can lead to the full reality of marriage and family in conformity with the Gospel.  These couples need to be welcomed and guided patiently and discreetly".322  That is how Jesus treated the Samaritan woman (cf. Jn 4:1-26):  he addressed her desire for true love, in order to free her from the darkness in her life and to bring her to the full joy of the Gospel.

319 Relatio Finalis 2015, 71.
320 Cf. ibid.
321 Relatio Synodi 2014, 42.
322 Ibid., 43.