Saturday, May 20, 2017

Amoris Laetitia - Par. 293

Gradualness in Pastoral Care

293.  The Fathers also considered the specific situation of a merely civil marriage or, with due distinction, even simple cohabitation, noting that "when such unions attain a particular stability, legally recognized, are characterized by deep affection and responsibility for their offspring, and demonstrate an ability to overcome trials, they can provide occasions for pastoral care with a view to the eventual celebration of the sacrament of marriage".315  On the other hand, it is a source of concern that many young people today distrust marriage and live together, putting off indefinitely the commitment of marriage, while yet others break a commitment already made and immediately assume a new one.  "As members of the Church, they too need pastoral care that is merciful and helpful".316  For the Church's pastors are not only responsible for promoting Christian marriage, but also the "pastoral discernment of the situations of a great many who no longer live this reality. Entering into pastoral dialogue with these persons is needed to distinguish elements in their lives that can lead to a greater openness to the Gospel of marriage in its fullness".317  In this pastoral discernment, there is a need "to identify elements that can foster evangelization and human and spiritual growth".318

315 Ibid., 27.
316 Ibid., 26.
317 Ibid., 41.
318 Ibid.