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What Pope Francis expects from the pastors of the Church:

(Amoris Laetitia; Chap. 35 – 37; 305 – 312)

 

In every situation, when dealing with those who have difficulties in living God’s law to the full, the invitation to pursue the via caritatis must be clearly heard. (306)


(Always to take into account) the weight of mitigating circumstances – psychological, historical and even biological. (308)

 

“Without detracting from the evangelical ideal, … to accompany with mercy and patience the eventual stages of personal growth as these progressively appear”, making room for “the Lord’s mercy, which spurs us on to do our best”. (308)

 

To be attentive to the goodness which the Holy Spirit sows in the midst of human weakness. (308)

To be like a Mother who, while clearly expressing her objective teaching, “always does what good she can, even if in the process, her shoes get soiled by the mud of the street”.356  (308)

 

To propose to the faithful the full ideal of the Gospel and the Church’s teaching. (308)


To treat the weak with compassion, avoiding aggravation or unduly harsh or hasty judgements. (308)

 

To consider, that the Gospel itself tells us not to judge or condemn. (cf. Mt 7:1; Lk 6:37). (308)

To stop looking for those personal or communal niches which shelter us from the maelstrom of human misfortune. (308)

 

To enter into the reality of other people’s lives. (308)

 

To pattern the behavior after the Son of God who goes out to everyone with358out exception”. (309)

 

To show, that “mercy is the very foundation of the Church’s life. (310)

 

All of the pastoral activity of the Church should be caught up in the tenderness which she shows to believers. (310)

 

To act as arbiters of grace rather than its facilitators. (310)

To show the Church as the house of the Father, where there is a place for everyone, with all their problems. (310)

To make room for God’s unconditional love in the pastoral activity.364  (311)


Not to put so many conditions on mercy that we empty it of its concrete meaning and real significance. (311)

 

To create a framework and a setting which help us avoid a cold bureaucratic morality in dealing with more sensitive issues.(312)

 

To practice a pastoral discernment filled with merciful love, which is ever ready to understand, forgive, accompany, hope, and above all integrate. (3Chur12)

 

To “open the heart to those living on the outermost fringes of society”.366 (312)

 

To listen to the faithful with sensitivity and serenity, with a sincere desire to understand their plight and their point of view, in order to help them live better lives and to recognize their proper place in the Church.

 

Not to remain in simply decrying present-day evils …nor to try to impose rules by sheer authority. (35)

 

Not to present marriage in such a way that its unitive meaning, its call to grow in love and its ideal of mutual assistance are overshadowed by an almost exclusive insistence on the duty of procreation. (36)

 

To provide solid guidance to young married couples, understanding their timetables, their way of thinking and their concrete concerns. (36)

 

Not to propose a far too abstract and almost artificial theological ideal of marriage, far removed from the concrete situations and practical possibilities of real families. (36)

To present marriage more as a dynamic path to personal development and fulfilment than as a lifelong burden. (37)

 

To make room for the consciences of the faithful.
To form consciences, not to replace them. (37)

 

(351) To consider, that the Eucharist “is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak”.

 

Not only to apply moral laws, as if they were stones to throw at people’s lives. (305)

 

Not to judge with superiority and superficiality difficult cases and wounded families”. (305)

 

Not by thinking that everything is black and white, sometimes to close off the way of grace and of growth, and to discourage paths of sanctification which give glory to God. (305)

 

Selection and formatting by M.Hanglberger
 (www.hanglberger-manfred.de )

 

In German >>>

>>> To the complete document "Amoris Laetitia"

 

 

What should be obscure and confusing about these statements,
as some cardinals claim?
For shepherds who are pastoral in the spirit of Jesus, these statements are groundbreaking, clear and helpful - albeit very demanding.

 

 

The key question:

What is "typically Christian"?

 

If there must be no failure of a marriage for faithful Christians
and if they are excluded from the sacraments in case of failure and remarriage?

 

Or

If the church leadership

- is pioneer in researching the causes of partnership conflicts and their solutions,

- conveys the found information in marriage preparation, marriage guidance and in the proclamation,

- provides qualified counseling and therapy options for marriage problems,

- provides spiritual support for the design of married life and marriage conflicts through contemporary doctrine of faith and contemporary prayer language,

 

and at the same time calls on the believers

-  to be above-average informed about the causes and solutions of partnership conflicts – also in order to be available to friends, acquaintances and fellow Christians as sensitive and helpful conversation partners,

-  In case of conflict, to be willing to receive timely qualified external help,

-  by renouncing accusation to perceive one's own (possibly unconscious) share of the endangerment of the marriage,

-  In the case of separation, to try to limit damage and to seek equitable solutions,

-  to keep existing children out of the conflict of the parents with the help of qualified counseling,

-  after the failure of a marriage, to be ready to bear the fair following burdens and to learn from one's own mistakes,

-  In the case of marriage conflicts, the sources of power, responsibility and consolation offered by the Christian faith must be taken into account.

 

"Typically Christian":

So if there is above-average competence and above-average efforts on the part of the church leadership as well as on the part of the believers

-  to maintain partnership relationships,

-  for the quality of partnership relationships

-  and for dealing with failed marriages

 

Jesus' moral proclamation
is not legalism and not liberalism,

but demands comprehensive responsibility,

mental-spiritual alertness and creativity for loving cooperation
for the New World promised by God!

 

Jesus fights both attitudes:

The soul-killing legal-thinking of the "scribes" of all times and

the liberalistic and narrow–minded attitude
of the indifferent, the egoists and the comfortable.

 

Jesus' concern is always growth:

For mental and spiritual growth of man and

for the growth of the "Kingdom of God".

 

Manfred Hanglberger (www.hanglberger-manfred.de )

 

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