Amoris Laetitia 243: “Not Excommunicated”

amoris laetitia memeHow do we work with people who have divorced and remarried? A word from the Holy Father:

243. It is important that the divorced who have entered a new union should be made to 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.(Catechesis (5 August 2015))

Words from the synod bishops:

These situations “require careful discernment and respectful accompaniment. Language or conduct that might lead them to feel discriminated against should be avoided, and they should be encouraged to participate in the life of the community. The Christian community’s care of such persons is not to be considered a weakening of its faith and testimony to the indissolubility of marriage; rather, such care is a particular expression of its charity”.(Relatio Synodi 2014, 51; cf. Relatio Finalis 2015, 84.)

It occurs to me that many elements of community life lie outside of sacramental Communion. Works of mercy, charity, and justice. The faith formation of children. Liturgy. Particularly if a divorced person was abandoned by a spouse, or wronged by abuse, I wouldn’t see any obstacle to involvement or even leadership in the local parish community. Particular reasons are best left to the discernment and judgment of divorced and remarried persons and their pastor.

For your reference, remember that Amoris Laetitia is online here.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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