Bring remarried Catholics back to the table


#1

Interesting article found on "uscatholic.org". Good points are made in my opinion in regard to divorced/remarried Catholics and their place at the Lord's table.
Forgiveness and Mercy have always been #1 for our Lord, if He was walking on earth like He did before, the question of the long and painful procedure of an annulment undergone by already wounded victims of divorce, would be irrelevent...
He would say "Who is without sin cast the 1st stone.....Son/Daughter I forgive you, go and sin no more"

Father Paul M. Zulehner

The Austrian bishops have offered remarried Catholics a path to the sacraments for 30 years now. Let’s follow suit.

A number of years ago, during a forum for divorced and remarried Catholics at a Jesuit retreat house in Austria, a woman shared her story: “After my divorce I went through a long period of deep self-doubt and depression. In addition I had difficulties with my two children. When I eventually got to know my new husband, he was the one who returned me back to life.”

As moderator of this forum, I asked her, “And how do you feel before God today?” She responded, “I am totally convinced that he does not judge me, just as he did not judge the adulteress in the gospel. I can stand before him and be myself, with all my faults. Most of all, though, I am thankful to God for bringing this new partner into my life.”

“What about the church?” I asked her hesitantly. “It doesn’t forgive me,” she said.

[edited]

Read more at: uscatholic.org/church/2011/11/bring-remarried-catholics-back-table


#2

“I am totally convinced that he does not judge me, just as he did not judge the adulteress in the gospel."

People really like to leave out the last part of that conversation.


#3

Articles like that make me sad. When I was researching the Eastern Orthodox Church (to see how like Catholicism they were), I was appalled that divorce and remarriage with reception of the sacraments was allowed. The Catholic Church is the only faith I know of where marriage is for life. That is, the Catholic Church outside of Austria.


#4

[quote="anp1215, post:2, topic:292508"]
“I am totally convinced that he does not judge me, just as he did not judge the adulteress in the gospel."

People really like to leave out the last part of that conversation.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:

I have been praying for about 6 years now, thus when I saw this article it was a "Hallelujah" moment! I believe with time my prayer will be completely answered! They are already heading in the right direction ;) This is encouraging me to continue to pray fervently about it!

Visibly our Pope is pondering about this delicate matter and is visibly concerned that if he would extend mercy, people would start to take the sacrament of marriage lightly...But, IMO that would not be the case, those who take the sacrament of marriage lightly do not care about being part of the Church and do not care about the Eucharist...

The divorced/remarried Catholics who desire to go to mass regularly and receive communion are taking things seriously and if for whatever reasons there would be some that would come just for "------" who knows what, without a genuine spiritual desire, I'd say God would not be mocked and it would be between them and Him!
If the leaders of the Church would only trust God to judge the heart of His children... that would simplify everything.

IMO, divorced/remarried Catholics should just have to go see their priest and tell what happened to them and about the fact that they have repented and desire to start fresh without going through a long jurisdictional procedure as it is now. I know of people who have had to wait for years before getting their annulment and others like the brother of a priest I knew who never got his because of a problem with his ex-wife (I don't remember what it was, it's been years now). He like many others was mortified to be cut from the Eucharist, and they should not because for me, they are the ones who are in most need of receiving communion...

Years ago, in the parish I was going to, there was a person who was always leaving before the Eucharist. I was wondering why missing the most important part of Mass until I learned that "X" was a divorced/remarried Catholic and could not bear to remain while not being able to receive communion.

There is useless suffering going on, children of God leaving the flock because they cannot bear going to Mass to miss out on the heart of Mass, while new converts coming from Protestantism end up "punished" for what they were not taught about...We definitely need things to change!


#5

[quote="Hallelujah16, post:1, topic:292508"]
Behind closed doors the Austrian bishops have recently been working on a new pastoral document on divorce. It was prompted by a broad reform dialogue in Austria, which was cut short by an intervention from Rome.

[/quote]

It may be worth noticing that the"broad reform dialogue" was titled "A Call to Disobedience". :eek:

Is it any wonder that the 'dialogue" was "cut short"?


#6

[quote="ExGratia, post:3, topic:292508"]
Articles like that make me sad. When I was researching the Eastern Orthodox Church (to see how like Catholicism they were), I was appalled that divorce and remarriage with reception of the sacraments was allowed. The Catholic Church is the only faith I know of where marriage is for life. That is, the Catholic Church outside of Austria.

[/quote]

I agree marriage should be "for life" and divorce is a horrible thing that leave many people deeply wounded...But allowing people to be forgiven and to be able after that to start fresh and be allowed to receive the Eucharist is a must.

One can be a fervent Catholic without ending up a "21 century Pharisee"...Mercy should be extended to the victims of divorce that have remarried and to those who initiated a divorce "during a spiritual desert time" in their life but have now turned around and live in righteousness...

Again, our Lord would say "who is without sin, cast the first stone"....none of us is without sin....
Being merciful doesn't mean that we welcome "sin" neither that we say "it is ok to divorce"; our Lord was criticized by the Pharisees because He was not going by "the book", because He was even going against the "commandments" like in the case of the adulterous woman..."the Law of God" was demanding that she'd be stone to death...Still, our Lord extended mercy, and out of His compassion He didn't stone her (Him, the One without sin could have rightfully casted the 1st stone....) neither did He condemn her!

Should we not follow in His footsteps?


#7

#8

[quote="Hallelujah16, post:6, topic:292508"]
I agree marriage should be "for life" and divorce is a horrible thing that leave many people deeply wounded...But allowing people to be forgiven and to be able after that to start fresh and be allowed to receive the Eucharist is a must.

One can be a fervent Catholic without ending up a "21 century Pharisee"...Mercy should be extended to the victims of divorce that have remarried and to those who initiated a divorce "during a spiritual desert time" in their life but have now turned around and live in righteousness...

Again, our Lord would say "who is without sin, cast the first stone"....none of us is without sin....
Being merciful doesn't mean that we welcome "sin" neither that we say "it is ok to divorce"; our Lord was criticized by the Pharisees because He was not going by "the book", because He was even going against the "commandments" like in the case of the adulterous woman..."the Law of God" was demanding that she'd be stone to death...Still, our Lord extended mercy, and out of His compassion He didn't stone her (Him, the One without sin could have rightfully casted the 1st stone....) neither did He condemn her!

Should we not follow in His footsteps?

[/quote]

See post #2. There is ABSOLUTELY a way for the divorced and remarried people to return to the Sacraments. They can most easily be forgiven. But please read the portion of Scripture that you are paraphrasing. [BIBLEDRB]John 8:10-11[/BIBLEDRB]

One cannot logically expect to be forgiven if one has no intention of ammending their life and avoiding the sin.


#9

[quote="Corki, post:5, topic:292508"]
It may be worth noticing that the"broad reform dialogue" was titled "A Call to Disobedience". :eek:

Is it any wonder that the 'dialogue" was "cut short"?

[/quote]

You might want to know that our Pope is actually pondering about the matter of divorced/remaried Catholics. He is taking everything in consideration and didn't make a decision yet...therefore he might end up agreeing with the plea to let divorced/remarried Catholics receive the Eucharist...

I hope you won't be too disappointed when this happens and that you will find out that Mercy is the way to go ;)


#10

[quote="Hallelujah16, post:9, topic:292508"]
You might want to know that our Pope is actually pondering about the matter of divorced/remaried Catholics. He is taking everything in consideration and didn't make a decision yet...therefore he might end up agreeing with the plea to let divorced/remarried Catholics receive the Eucharist...

I hope you won't be too disappointed when this happens and that you will find out that Mercy is the way to go ;)

[/quote]

Yes, we know, as there was a whole discussion on this here.


#11

The solution is simple. They can always get an -]ecclesiastical divorce/-] annulment.


#12

[quote="Corki, post:8, topic:292508"]
See post #2. There is ABSOLUTELY a way for the divorced and remarried people to return to the Sacraments. They can most easily be forgiven. But please read the portion of Scripture that you are paraphrasing. [BIBLEDRB]John 8:10-11[/BIBLEDRB]

One cannot logically expect to be forgiven if one has no intention of ammending their life and avoiding the sin.

[/quote]

I agree, I have never said that people should not express repentance...I actually said that it was for "those who actually were now living a righteous life"...

If one has repented and is now living righteously where is the problem? And that doesn't mean that these children of God must now divorce their actual spouse to make it right in the eyes of men... Being remarried doesn't mean they are not living a righteous life "of faithfulness to their spouse and obediance to God..."
Thus, they should be accepted just like they are "divorced/remarried" because they have repented and like Jesus said they "sin no more"

Mercy and forgiveness to the point of letting them receive the Eucharist is the godly way to deal with this matter.


#13

[quote="TrueLight, post:10, topic:292508"]
Yes, we know, as there was a whole discussion on this here.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:

For ease of reference, let me quote one small section (bolding mine):

Benedict XVI affirmed that "this is one of the the great causes of suffering for the Church today, and we do not have simple solutions. ... Parishes and other Catholic communities "must do everything possible so that such people feel loved and accepted, that they are not 'outsiders' even if they cannot receive absolution and the Eucharist."


#14

Benedict XVI affirmed that "this is one of the the great causes of suffering for the Church today, and we do not have simple solutions. ... Parishes and other Catholic communities "must do everything possible so that such people feel loved and accepted, that they are not 'outsiders' even if they cannot receive absolution and the Eucharist."

:hmmm:


#15

[quote="Hallelujah16, post:12, topic:292508"]
I agree, I have never said that people should not express repentance...I actually said that it was for "those who actually were now living a righteous life"...

If one has repented and is now living righteously where is the problem?

[/quote]

If that was the case, then no problem. But for the group of people we are talking about they are not "now living righteously". The sin they committed, marrying outside the Church while still Sacramentally married to another, is unresolved. Until they resolve that, they aren't really living righteously.


#16

[quote="Hallelujah16, post:9, topic:292508"]
You might want to know that our Pope is actually pondering about the matter of divorced/remaried Catholics. He is taking everything in consideration and didn't make a decision yet...therefore he might end up agreeing with the plea to let divorced/remarried Catholics receive the Eucharist...

I hope you won't be too disappointed when this happens and that you will find out that Mercy is the way to go ;)

[/quote]

:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
Three thumbs up for what you say here, and for the Pope's pondering!


#17

[quote="Hallelujah16, post:6, topic:292508"]
I agree marriage should be "for life" and divorce is a horrible thing that leave many people deeply wounded...But allowing people to be forgiven and to be able after that to start fresh and be allowed to receive the Eucharist is a must.

One can be a fervent Catholic without ending up a "21 century Pharisee"...Mercy should be extended to the victims of divorce that have remarried and to those who initiated a divorce "during a spiritual desert time" in their life but have now turned around and live in righteousness...

Again, our Lord would say "who is without sin, cast the first stone"....none of us is without sin....
Being merciful doesn't mean that we welcome "sin" neither that we say "it is ok to divorce"; our Lord was criticized by the Pharisees because He was not going by "the book", because He was even going against the "commandments" like in the case of the adulterous woman..."the Law of God" was demanding that she'd be stone to death...Still, our Lord extended mercy, and out of His compassion He didn't stone her (Him, the One without sin could have rightfully casted the 1st stone....) neither did He condemn her!

Should we not follow in His footsteps?

[/quote]

Articles and posts like this make me both sad and a bit angry...

Yes, our dear Lord forgave the woman caught in the act of adultery; but most people ignore the last part: "Go and sin no more." He called her to repentance. He didn't say, "Hey I understand. You can't help it. Go and keep sleeping with that man who isn't your husband." :eek:

The gospel was not meant to be a touchy-feely happy little self-help book. Consider these words of our Lord:

*"34 Do not think that I came to send peace upon earth: I came not to send peace, but the sword. 35 For I came to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. 36 And a man's enemies shall be they of his own household. 37 He that loves father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loves son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me. 38 And he that takes not up his cross, and follows me, is not worthy of me. 39 He that finds his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for me, shall find it." *

Following Christ certainly is not for pansies!

Marriage is not a right, it's a vocation. Those who divorce and remarry outside the Church are making their own choices -- nobody is forcing them.

I have a friend who is the single mom of three teenage children. She wouldn't even consider dating until and unless she received a decree of nullity. It took about two years. And guess what? Waiting didn't kill her! She devoted herself to the raising of her children, and to healing from her ex-husband's abandonment of the familly.

My decree of nullity was a simple matter of paperwork (it's called "lack of form") and only took a couple weeks. That was over five years ago, but I've only been on a couple dates. Why? Because I can see that what my eight-year-old son needs is a relationship with his mom and his dad, and no step-parents. And guess what? Celibacy hasn't killed me!

People don't "accidentally" fall in love and then "have to" get married. They make a choice, and then another, and then another.

Please stop treating divorced people as if they are so weak and helpless that they couldn't possibly follow the true teachings of the gospel. :mad: Sometimes the events of this life totally stink. But God's grace is enough for each person to keep following Him. We must not use the hardships of this life as an excuse for throwing down our crosses and following the ways of the world instead of God's ways.

As for those who have already divorced and remarried... Of course they should be treated with love and respect. At the same time we should not mince the teachings of our Church to make things easier in this life at the risk of an eternity of separation from God. I pleaded and joked with a good friend for years to "get right with God" and this summer she and her husband are finally getting their marriage convalidated in the Church :extrahappy:

We must encourage each other to cleave to Christ in every situation. We must remind each other that this life is short. We must point each other to our eternity, offering up the difficulties of this life for the hope of eternity in the love of God.

Gertie


#18

OP, I believe you misunderstood my post. The last part of the conversation I was referring to is the part where Jesus says "go and sin no more," as Corki pointed out.


#19

[quote="ConstantineTG, post:11, topic:292508"]
The solution is simple. They can always get an -]ecclesiastical divorce/-] annulment.

[/quote]

This is insulting and offensive.


#20

[quote="anp1215, post:19, topic:292508"]
This is insulting and offensive.

[/quote]

The truth hurts.


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