Aparecida 437j: Pastoral Proposals For Unmarried Couples

The Aparecida bishops give their people fourteen proposals for ministries to the family. The tenth addresses unmarried couples living together. The bishops suggest that a casual, brusque, confrontational approach is not optimal. In fact, the opposite:

j) Accompany with care, prudence and compassionate love, following the guidelines of the magisterium,(Familiaris Consortio 84; SCa 29) couples who live together out of wedlock, bearing in mind that those who are divorced and remarried may not receive communion.(Familiaris Consortio 77) There must be ways to assure that the message of salvation reaches everyone. Ecclesial actions must be encouraged with interdisciplinary work in theology and the human sciences to shed light on pastoral ministry and preparation of specialized agents to accompany these brothers and sisters.

Two things I see. First, that maintained contact with the Church and its ministers and communities leaves the door open for our greatest mission, which happens not to be adherence to rules and laws, but the openness to sanctification. And second, not every minister is prepared to serve unmarried or remarried persons well.

For deeper examination, an English translation of the 2007 document from the Aparecida Conference.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in the Pacific Northwest, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
This entry was posted in 2007 Aparecida document, bishops, evangelization and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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