More of a brainstorming thing here. Amoris Laetitia opened up a sore spot with some people, but the truth of the matter is there a lot of people living in irregular situations who do not feel welcome at Church. There are many Catholics and Catholic websites that vilify and condemn these people. How do we respond as the hands and feet of Christ ?
Most could be made right with the Church with just a little work.
But first they need to feel there’s a reason to, that the Church is a place they want to come home to.
I think the first step is to welcome people. You’re not going to be able to do anything if they can’t even get inside the door. A note in the bulletin or on the parish website would let people know that they’re not going to be condemned for their mistakes.
There should be someone in the parish they can talk with about their issues and how to resolve them. That person may be the pastor, it may be an advocate of some kind. Ultimately the goal will be to help them bring their marriage into the Church.
It might be helpful if a parish (or region or diocese) had some sort of support group, whether that’s an actual group that meets or an individual who can be there to support people as they deal with the tribunal. The best person might be someone who has been through the process and can be very sympathetic.
We need to love them. If we love them, we are going to tell them (out of charity) that they must fix their state ASAP in order to get back into the Church.
We act just like Christ. Love them, forgive them, and tell them to go and sin no more.
Since they can’t have the Eucharist, we can give them coffee and donuts after Mass.
Our Pastor has helped and is continuing to help many couples in our Parish to get this right with the Church.
I’ve yet to see a parish with a “no sinners allowed” or “we don’t admit people in irregular marriages” sign.
How to welcome people back? Tell them the truth lovingly and with sincerity. Anything else will either be lying or pandering.
I agree that there should be an active ministry dedicated to such a thing!
There’s a scripture that says “ a hurt brother is like a fortified city” I take this to mean a person who feels wounded and hurt by us is hard to reach. Jesus always showed love before he instructed to them what to do. Love has to be the precursor to truth. It is the catalyst.
That is why a loving truthful response is needed.
You don’t just say, “Well, you messed up big time, idiot.”
You say, “I’m so sorry about what has happened. Let’s try to fix everything.”
IDK…this weekends lesson was about making sure your daughter finds a Catholic boyfriend…he’ll respect her, don’t let her date this “others” they think she’s only there for their personal needs and enjoyment. That totally totally wasn’t awkward for us.
I definitely think that some parishes really don’t welcome all who aren’t Catholic are married to a Catholic or the couple as a whole. We’ve had our issues there before, I think this may have been the last straw.
I know this isn’t every case, but I would think many feel this way because the people know what the Church teaches. If they don’t feel welcome it could be because they, rightly, perceive they are living a life contrary to Church teaching. And their ability to participate is limited. It isn’t limited by some arbitrary rule but by their active choice to remain in a lifestyle contrary to Church teaching.
I say that because the welcome some people want is for the Church to abandon her rules. We can’t accommodate that of course.
I don’t know what all you can do other than be a loving witness to the truth and help guide these people to repentance or in regularizing any irregularity.
First we have to meet them where they are, and show them Christ’s love in a way they can feel and understand. Then they will become more open to dealing with the issues.
Starting out right away with the finger wagging in their faces will only drive them away.
I never said anything about finger wagging.
“they must fix their state ASAP in order to get back into the Church.”
I guarantee you that language will sound like finger-wagging.
Is what I said wrong?
A Catholic must be uncrompising in the Faith since Our goal is to help people get to Heaven
Sometimes Tough love is required