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Church must inform consciences on marriage, to counter poor preparation: Archbishop Sample

October 18, 2016

In an interview with Catholic World Report, following up on his pastoral letter on the implementation of Amoris Laetitia, Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland, Oregon, explains his stand that the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage cannot change.

The archbishop says that the prohibitions contained in the Ten Commandments “admit of no exceptions in the objective.” Acknowledging that some cases are difficult, he denies that the solution will be found in breaking divine law. “Generally speaking,” he says, “no one is forced to act in an evil manner against the commandments of God.”

Archbishop Sample encourages pastoral work with Catholics who are divorced and remarried, to help them understand and accept the Church’s teaching. He says: “As difficult as it can be, and as much of a cross it might be for us at a time in our life, God’s grace enables us to overcome our struggles, even with sin.”

In his pastoral letter, the archbishop says, he relied heavily on the teaching of St. John Paul II, especially in Veritatis Splendor, where the Pontiff explained the importance of absolute truth and the necessity of recognizing and avoiding all intrinsically evil acts.

Speaking more generally about the challenge of promoting Church teaching, Archbishop Sample says:

I am afraid that we continue to reap the bad fruit of decades now of poor catechesis on the very nature of marriage and family life. How else can we explain the acceptance of a redefinition of marriage on the part of so many Catholics?


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  • Posted by: [email protected] - Oct. 18, 2016 6:40 PM ET USA

    Church needs to inform the Bishops, priests, as well as the Catholic community as a whole of what marriage is and what it is about. It isn't just those getting married.