Amoris Laetitia 299: Looking At Integration

amoris laetitia memeThis paragraph has a lengthy quote from the final document of the synod bishops:

299. I am in agreement with the many Synod Fathers who observed that “the baptized who are divorced and civilly remarried need to be more fully integrated into Christian communities in the variety of ways possible, while avoiding any occasion of scandal.

I think there is an important distinction between persons who have been outed by nosy neighbors and those who choose to keep a high profile. Either way, neither ministers nor neighbors can abdicate their effort of companionship.

The logic of integration is the key to their pastoral care, a care which would allow them not only to realize that they belong to the Church as the body of Christ, but also to know that they can have a joyful and fruitful experience in it. They are baptized; they are brothers and sisters; the Holy Spirit pours into their hearts gifts and talents for the good of all. Their participation can be expressed in different ecclesial services, which necessarily requires discerning which of the various forms of exclusion currently practiced in the liturgical, pastoral, educational and institutional framework, can be surmounted. Such persons need to feel not as excommunicated members of the Church, but instead as living members, able to live and grow in the Church and experience her as a mother who welcomes them always, who takes care of them with affection and encourages them along the path of life and the Gospel.

Policies in some particular parish schools may be rightly called into question:

This integration is also needed in the care and Christian upbringing of their children, who ought to be considered most important”.(Relatio Finalis 2015, 84)

My sense is that we can discount the occasional practices like using parental status to bar children from sacraments, school enrollment, and the like.

For your reference Amoris Laetitia is online here.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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