Saturday, April 7, 2007

re: Pope Benedict XVI’s 1/27/07 Address to the Roman Rota (i.e., a 2/11/07 letter to the Catholic Standard & Times)

Society has been plagued by the liberalization of divorce laws. In “The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: The 25 Year Landmark Study,” Judith Wallerstein (2000) documented how divorce always leaves indelible scars on children. Fostering marital reconciliation should be our foremost concern. Page 9 of your January 25th edition announced “information sessions” on annulments. Might such announcements subtly undermine the respect owed to the Sacrament of Marriage? We never read of “information sessions” on clerical laicization or on dispensation from vows.

Each January, the Holy Father addresses the Roman Rota - the “supreme court” of Church tribunals. Reviewing his quarter century of addresses, it appears that John Paul II had growing concern about the possible misuse of marriage tribunal processes (cf., <>). Last year, Benedict XVI seemed to continue in that vane, when he reminded the Rota that “pastoral sensitivity must be directed to avoiding matrimonial nullity when the couple seeks to marry and to striving to help the spouses solve their possible problems and find the path to reconciliation” <>.

On January 27th of this year, Benedict XVI discussed certain grave confusions: “the conviction that the pastoral good of the person in an irregular marital situation requires a sort of canonical regularization, independently of the validity or nullity of his/her marriage, independently, that is, of the ‘truth’ of his/her personal status, has also spread in certain ecclesiastical milieus….the relativistic mindset, in more or less open or subtle ways, can also insinuate itself into the ecclesial community”

(Click image to enlarge)

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