25. Nov, 2017

Current Papal Teaching

The Consequence of Amoris Laetitia is Non-Traditional Practice

The following is three paragraphs from an article in L’OSSERVATORE ROMANO. Can you connect the dots? Is this Catholic?

Mercy and law in ‘Amoris Laetitia http://www.osservatoreromano.va/vaticanresources/pdf/ING_2017_045_1011.pdf

Francis proposes that in appropriate cases, partners already in a second marriage may enter a period of discernment, accompanied by an experienced priest, so they can reflect on relevant issues. After a suitable period of time, they may celebrate a sacramental confession in which they accept an appropriate penance and receive absolution. Communion may follow that discernment and penance (AL 305). Such a case may involve, for example, a man who selfishly leaves his wife early in a valid marriage. He obtains a civil divorce and marries another. Years go by. Eventually, the man comes to his senses about the first marriage. He admits his sin and seeks pardon and forgiveness. What does conversion require of him? Must he leave his second wife and their children to return to his first wife? What if his first wife has remarried? Is there no way for the repentant husband to stay in the second “marriage” and still receive Communion?

The traditional response to this unfortunate circumstance requires him and his second wife to live in a “brother - sister” relationship — denying to each other normal conjugal relations. Some circumstances may indeed call for such an arrangement. Some may not. Some couples may want their family to continue to grow, and may recoil at the very idea of simulating the sacrament. Can nothing be done?

…The issue is not whether divorce is permissible. Clearly it is not. The issue is whether a second marriage must be characterized continuously as adultery. That precise question has not been addressed before, not even in Familiaris Consortio.