Well, my dears, it's not Aquinas, but it's public. So here is a link to the Small Group Reports.
Four of the groups are English-speaking . The one I found most interesting was Group D, which does a relatively careful critique of Instrumentum Laboris instead of waxing lyrical about "God's dream", etc.
Glad you had a nice wedding trip to Poland! And that the Polish sufficed (most of the time) to get you where you needed to go... And your article on the gay priest ambush was most informative - he was 'talkative' wasn't he? Hopefully God kicks him in the pants and guides him back into the faith (though Fr Charamsa probably doesn't think he has left it!).
FYI - the link to the Synod Small Groups appears to be broken - it is giving a lengthy quote as the link web address.
Thank you! I'll see if I can fix that.ReplyDelete
Link fixed, thank you. You were right, all the English interventions were good, but D was best - clear and explicit. Surprised to find I liked +Nichols one too :)ReplyDelete
Only thing missing from them was the need to *promote* marriage & family. They spoke a lot about recognising and valuing existing faithful families, and dealing with the many negative family related issues (divorce, annulments, abortion, etc), but the missing link is the need to 'bridge' between the witness of good Catholic families and the promotion of marriage by the Church.
That can be done by highlighting these 'good family' witnesses and bringing marriageable Catholics together with them in some way; it virtually doesn't happen now. If single Catholics cannot meet each other within the Church, they cannot date and marry, so no new faithful families! Yet numbers of single adult Catholics are now so thin, and there are so few opportunities to talk to other Catholics outside Mass (and we should be praying in the Mass, right?) that we see virtually no new marriages between 2 Catholic spouses. I know of 2 in my adult life (over a decade). Just 2.
Not a surprise really; I have never heard a sermon say 'marriage is a good thing, have *you* thought about it? Do *you* have questions about it? Ask me (the priest)'.
Anyway, thanks for the link, and travelogues. More than just your Mum enjoyed them :)
Thanks for the link; I was curious. I agree that D is very direct, which is no surprise with Abp. Chaput on board. I used to work for Abp. Kurtz and love him - such a man of faith and wisdom - and so I read his group's (A) carefully. I thought it made excellent points, including encouragement of the Church putting forward the witness of faithful families more. But I guess they didn't really talk about promoting marriage in the concrete ways/terms Southern Bloke suggests.ReplyDelete
Southern Bloke, I imagine your experiences of not seeing Catholics marrying Catholics depends on location. I have been to several weddings over the past 5 years, and know of some others, of faithful Catholics marrying other faithful Catholics - both in trad and 'regular' parish settings. Now they aren't as common as mixed faith marriages, but they are happening. These are not in super Catholic locales, just faithful parishes.ReplyDelete
You're right Domestic Diva, group A's intervention was more subtle and gentle, but it was great they were positive about marriage!ReplyDelete
Truthfinder, so true, I am in a very liberal western country and it has its impact on the Church... Not that I'm against mixed faith marriages; I have friends in a Catholic-agnostic marriage and they are very happy together (but it has undercut her practice of the faith).
But the Church teaches it is best for Catholics to marry Catholics for a reason, and the recent breakup of a (different to above) Catholic-agnostic marriage is at least partly due to (agnostic) him not understanding the significance of Catholic marriage. She is now stuck in a broken, yet apparently valid marriage for life (she is in her late 20s), which is incredibly hard. Doesn't affect her ability to receive communion as he was at fault, but still...
Which is why I feel the Church desperately needs stronger teaching efforts on the importance of marriage, and how best to achieve a marriage that will last. Cue the witness of faithful Catholic spouses :)
Hopefully the Synod can work towards this; they seem to be much more hopeful than last time round. Hope these comments haven't been too gloomy ;)
Given your friend's situation, it would be prudent for her to subject her marriage to the examination of an ecclesiastical tribunal. If she is not truly bound to the obligations of marriage, then it would be a grave injustice for her to live as she were (she may want children, for instance). I'd say, it's too important a matter to leave up to any mere opinion as to the validity of the marriage (her own, her friends', even those of pastors or priest friends). The only people qualified to adjudicate the question are the members of a college of ecclesiastical judges, experts in the law and matrimonial jurisprudence, having access to all the facts. Hopefully, if cost is an issue, many tribunals will be moving toward offering the service at no cost.Delete
I live in a predominantly Protestant city, but most of the Catholics I know are married to other Catholics. Quite a few are converts, mostly both spouses in those cases, but sometimes only one. These are mostly people we meet at the post-mass social hour, aka coffee and donuts, at a regular but vibrant parish. So these marriages are happening, even if more can be done to encourage them.Delete
Thanks RJV & Anamaria,Delete
My friends situation is so recent I don't think she wants to go to a tribunal just yet. And I reckon you always gotta hope & pray for reconciliation, even though it sounds extremely unlikely in this case.
The reason I didn't suggest a marriage tribunal to her is she went through a marriage prep course with her agnostic husband with a good priest who then married them in a Catholic church. But it is possible the marriage was defective in some way (apart from his actions), so will try to raise it at an appropriate time with her. Cost isn't an issue. Thank you for the advice :)
Anamaria, that is good news! The converts seem to be quite focused in their faith, don't they? We have mostly cradle Catholics who drift off in their teens. And there isn't a post-Mass social minute, let alone a whole hour! You're more likely to get crushed by the stampede through the doors at the start of Mass (or after) and the outgoing tide at the recessional hymn (or after communion)... Hence my comments.
The faithful are bizarrely complacent here, ignoring falling numbers and minimal numbers of marriages, just ticking the box for Mass on Sundays. But there are some genuinely deeply faithful people in the pews, so we gotta hope for a turn around sometime soon, right? :)
Anyway, glad to hear things are better further north...
The fact of marriage preparation, even good quality marriage preparation, would typically only matter were the invalidity of a marriage examined on the ground of so-called "determining error". That is if one's error concerning unity, indissolubly, or sacramentality is so fixed as to amount to a condition sine qua non ("marriage is dissoluble, if it weren't I wouldn't be getting married"). Simple error (an opinion, but not all that determinative of my will) does not vitiate consent.Delete
The overwhelming majority of cases handled by North American tribunals are not examined on this ground but on the so-called psychological grounds that take many other elements into account that really do vary substantially from case to case.
I would never say that the termination of conjugal life is sufficient to prove the nullity of the marriage (as I have some minimal acquaintance with logic), I would say that it is sufficient to occasion a reasonable doubt in anyone (a suspension of the mind before two contradictory judgments) as to its validity.
Thank you RJV, that is very helpful! You clearly have a very useful background in canon law ;) Thanks, SB.Delete
The Synod Fathers--the ones in the English groups at very least--have been asking for more hopeful language. Despite what the press has been told by official channels, they seem to be most interested in shoring up the traditional, believing, truly Catholic family. Archbishop Gadecki's notes revealed that bishops were more interested in the sufferings that come to families with poverty, war and migration than they were in western lifestyle choices.ReplyDelete