Saturday, 26 July 2014

Clear thinking from Dominicans on divorce and remarriage

Nova et Vetera has published an outstanding article by a team of American Dominicans: "Recent Proposals for the Pastoral Care of the Divorced and Remarried: A Theological Assessment" looks at General Principles, proposals for Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried (drawing particularly from Cardinal Kasper's Consistory address), and proposals for changing the nullity process.

The article is clear, concise, and theologically robust. Although it refers frequently to recent Popes, Vatican II and the Catechism to reinforce the points made, I recognise the common corpus of the perennial Catholic theological approach, with a solid understanding of the teaching of Trent - and its all-important context.

With commendable clarity, the authors analyse the pastoral problem of the current despair over chastity, as well as the historical-doctrinal question of the teaching of the Council of Nicea on the subject of second marriages. On the subject of the canonical process for nullity, the crucial point is made that a canonical approach is pastoral in essence, while the abandonment of law has serious negative pastoral consequences.

Those who are highly competent in any area requiring in-depth technical knowledge show their expertise best by writing in a way that the non-expert can understand. This superb article is a good example. I pray that all of the Bishops taking part in the forthcoming Synod pay careful attention to it.
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