Thursday, May 25, 2017

Amoris Laetitia - Par. 298

298.  The divorced who have entered a new union, for example, can find themselves in a variety of situations, which should not be pigeonholed or fit into overly rigid classifications leaving no room for a suitable personal and pastoral discernment.  One thing is a second union consolidated over time, with new children, proven fidelity, generous self giving, Christian commitment, a consciousness of its irregularity and of the great difficulty of going back without feeling in conscience that one would fall into new sins.  The Church acknowledges situations "where, for serious reasons, such as the children's upbringing, a man and woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate".329  There are also the cases of those who made every effort to save their first marriage and were unjustly abandoned, or of "those who have entered into a second union for the sake of the children's upbringing, and are sometimes subjectively certain in conscience that their previous and irreparably broken marriage has never been valid.".330  Another thing is a new union arising from a recent divorce, with all the suffering and confusion which this entails for children and entire families, or the case of someone who has consistently failed in his obligations to the family.  It must remain clear that this is not the ideal which the Gospel proposes for marriage and the family.  The Synod Fathers stated that the discernment of pastors must always take place "by adequately distinguishing",331 with an approach which "carefully discerns situations".332  We know that no "easy recipes" exist.333

329  John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consorto (22 November 1981), 84: AAS 74 (1982), 186.  In such situations, many people knowing and accepting the possibility of living "as brothers and sisters" which the Church offers them, point out that if certain expressions of intimacy are lacking, "it often happens that faithfulness is endangered and the good of the children suffers" (Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 51).
330  Ibid.
331  Relatio Synodi 2014, 26.
332  Ibid., 445.
333  Benedict XVI, Address to the Seventh World Meeting of Families in Milan (2 June 2010), Response n. 5: Insegnamenti VIII/1 (2012), 691.


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