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Think like pastors, Pope urges tribunal judges

Catholic World News - January 24, 2014

Speaking on January 24 to judges and other officials of the Roman Rota, Pope Francis urged them: “do not forget that you are pastors.”

The Roman Rota, the Vatican’s top appellate court for marriage cases, is “a service peculiar to the God of Love,” the Pope said. Pope Francis was making his first formal address to the staff of the tribunal; the Pope traditionally speaks to the Roman Rota at the opening of its judicial year.

In his remarks the Pope said that the canonical judgment of the court should be accompanied by pastoral wisdom. He emphasized that “the legal dimension and the pastoral dimension of ecclesial ministry are not opposed to one another, as both contribute to the aims and the unity of action proper to the Church.”

On this tribunal, the Pope continued, judges should display a calm detachment from personal views, expertise in the law, objectivity, and a genuine spirit of service to the people whose cases they hear.

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  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Jan. 27, 2014 2:23 PM ET USA

    Brownjudith: Your comment is a bit confusing. How could it be "truly pastoral" to not uphold the truth, any truth? And if it is indeed truth that undergirds Canon Law -- I suspect it is -- then what is the problem? Beyond that, the pope's counsel to the judges seems reasonable and wise. What does not seem either reasonable or wise is for individual Catholics to presume they somehow know more than the Church's appointed judges about appeals for a declaration of nullity.

  • Posted by: brownjudith2930 - Jan. 27, 2014 12:57 AM ET USA

    Justice comes from upholding God's plan for marriage. God's will is our happiness,even if it is difficult for us to see this. What is truly pastoral is not uphlding the truth which under-girds Canon Law.

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