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Cardinal Farrell: focus of Amoris Laetitia is preventing marriage divisions

March 22, 2017

Cardinal Kevin Farrell has told the Italian news agency SIR that “the pastoral priority identified in Amoris Laetitia for the present time is to prevent wounds, divisions, and failures in marriage as much as possible.”

The prefect of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life said that “the four attitudes suggested by the Pope (welcoming, accompanying, discerning, and integrating) give new impetus to the pastoral care of the family and are to be used with everyone, not just in those cases referred to as ‘situations of weakness or imperfection,’ but with regular couples, too.”

Referring to those who have remarried outside the Church, he added:

Not enough emphasis is given to the journey of spiritual growth and ecclesial integration that, with the help of a priest, should be offered to them; a journey that, for penitents and pastoral workers alike, takes time, gradual steps, prudence, patience, and perseverance, starting with the humble recognition that their situation does not correspond to God’s plan, but without losing trust in His mercy and in the closeness of the Church; a journey of maturation that requires difficult and arduous efforts.


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  • Posted by: feedback - Mar. 22, 2017 11:40 AM ET USA

    Talking about "journey that takes time, gradual steps, prudence, patience, and perseverance" and even getting a priest involved, does not change at all the nature of an adulterous union ("The one you have now is not your husband" - John 4:18). Instead, why not teach permanence of marriage and encourage Catholic couples to be more loving, committed to each other, and faithful, even to the point of heroism and sainthood? Why assume that it is not possible, and think of that as "being pastoral"?