The Discernment of "Irregular" Situations 325
296. The Synod addressed various situations of weakness or imperfection. Here I would like to reiterate something I sought to make clear to the whole Church, lest we take the wrong path: "There are two ways of thinking which recur throughout the Church's history: casting off and reinstating. The Church's way, from the time of the Council of Jerusalem, has always always been the way of Jesus, the way of mercy and reinstatement... The way of the Church is not to condemn anyone for ever; it is to pour out the balm of God's mercy on all those who ask for it with a sincere heart... For truly charity is always unmerited, unconditional and gratuitous".326 Consequently, there is a need "to avoid judgements which do not take into account the complexity of various situations" and "to be attentive, by necessity, to how people experience distress because of their condition".327
325 Cf. Catechesis (24 June 2015): L'Osservatore Romano, 25 June 2015, p.8.
326 Homily at Mass Celebrated with the New Cardinals (15 February 2015): AAS 107 (2015), 257.
327 Relatio Finalis 2015, 51.
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