On Monday next we pray for 24 hours for our Parish Prayer Day for Marriage and Family Life
Proposed Theme: Married people who are separated or divorced
The Joy of Love: Pope Francis
In some cases, respect for one’s own dignity and the good of the children requires not giving in to excessive demands or preventing a grave injustice, violence or chronic ill-treatment. In such cases, separation becomes inevitable. At times, it even becomes morally necessary, precisely when it is a matter of removing the more vulnerable spouse or young children from serious injury due to abuse and from humiliation and exploitation, and from disregard and indifference. (241)
Divorced people, who have not remarried, and often bear witness to marital fidelity, ought to be encouraged to find in the Eucharist the nourishment they need to sustain them in their present state of life. The local community and pastors should accompany them with solicitude, particularly when children are involved or when they are in serious financial difficulty. (242)
It is important that the divorced who have entered a new union should be made feel part of the Church. They are not excommunicated, and they should not be treated as such, since they remain part of the ecclesial community. (243)
- In our Catholic tradition the Sacrament of Marriage is the marriage of a woman and man who pledge their love for each other exclusively and permanently within the community of the Church.
- Just as the couple pledges their love for each other for the rest of their lives, so the Community of the Church at all levels promises to support them on their journey of love.
- Couples get married with high expectations of success. Thank God most couples achieve this to one degree or another. However, the active support of the parish community is often missing, a support that would mean even greater success for those who set out with such great ambitions.
- Unfortunately many couples do have to go through the trauma of separation and/or divorce in their lives.
- Two of the major causes of separation are: sexual infidelity on the part of one or other of the spouses; and violence from one or other of the spouses that becomes intolerable.
- When these happen decisions have to be made for the sake of the offended spouse and/or the children. These decisions to separate or divorce are never taken lightly but often with great pain. It is in these situations that the active support of the community of faith is also so necessary.
- The Catholic Church does not recognise divorce. This creates huge problems for many married people. Now the decision is often about whether to try and remain faithful to the vows that were made and face a life alone or whether to remarry.
- These are not easy decisions. Those involved in making these decisions need the support of their community. The Beginning Experience is a wonderful group within the Catholic Church to help at this point.