Monday, January 24, 2011

Pope Benedict XVI's 1/22/11 Address to the Roman Rota (an extremely unofficial translation!)

The below translation does seem to be in keeping with Dignitas Connubii, Pope John Paul II's annual addresses to the Roman Rota, and Pope Benedict XVI's earlier addresses to the Roman Roman (i.e., 1/28/06, 1/27/07, 1/26/08, 1/29/09, 1/28/10)....

ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS

Dear Members of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota
I am pleased to meet you to this annual event for the inauguration of the judicial year. A cordial greeting goes to the College of Prelate Auditors, starting with the Dean, Bishop Antoni Stankiewicz, whom I thank for the kind words. I greet the officials, the lawyers and other staff of this Tribunal, as well as all those present. This moment offers me the opportunity to renew my appreciation for the work you do to serve the Church and to encourage a greater commitment in an area as sensitive and important for the pastoral and the salus animarum.

The relationship between law and pastoral care was the focus of the debate on post-conciliar canon law. The well-known statement of the Venerable Servant of God John Paul II, according to which "it is not true that to be more pastoral, the law should become less legal" (Address to the Roman Rota, January 18, 1990, 4: AAS 82 [1990 ], p. 874) expresses the excess of apparent radical opposition. 'The legal dimension and the pastoral - he said - are inseparably united in the pilgrim Church on earth. First, there is a harmony arising from their common goal: the salvation of souls "(ibid.). In my first meeting I had with you in 2006, I tried to highlight the true sense of the pastoral process of nullity of marriage based on love for the truth (cf. Address to the Roman Rota, January 28, 2006: AAS 98 [2006 ], pp. 135-138). Today I would like to consider the legal dimension that is inherent in pastoral preparation and admission to the wedding, trying to highlight the link between such activities and processes legal marriage.

The canonical dimension of marriage preparation is perhaps not an element of immediate perception. In fact, on the one hand it can be seen in the marriage preparation course to canonical issues occupy a very modest, if not insignificant, since they tend to think that the bride and groom have a very low interest for issues reserved for specialists. Second, while not for everyone to see the need for legal work before marriage, aimed at verifying that "there is no obstacle to its valid and licit celebration" (CIC, can. 1066) is a widespread mentality which claims that the ' examination of the spouses, the publication of banns and other appropriate means to carry out the necessary investigations before marriage (cf. ibid., can. 1067), which lie between the courses of preparation for marriage, would be the fulfillment of purely formal. In fact, it is often assumed that, in admitting the couples for marriage, pastors should proceed with width, being in the game the natural right of people to marry.

It is good in that regard, consider the legal dimension of marriage itself. It is a topic that I mentioned in the context of a reflection on the truth of marriage, in which he stated, inter alia: "In front of the subjective and libertarian relativization of the sexual experience, the tradition of the Church clearly affirms the nature course of legal marriage, that it belongs by nature to the field of justice in interpersonal relations. In this respect, the law is truly interwoven with life and love, as an intrinsic need to be "(Address to the Roman Rota, January 27, 2007, AAS 99 [2007], p. 90).

There is, therefore, a marriage of life and another's right: there is only one marriage, which is constitutionally legal bond between a man and a real woman, a constraint on which the true dynamics of married life and love. The marriage of husband and wife, what does the ministry and that focused on the canonical doctrine, are one and saving natural reality, which certainly gives rise to a rich variety of approaches, but without fail it 's essential identity. The legal aspect is intrinsically linked to the essence of marriage. That is understandable in light of a non-positivistic concept of law, but considered from the perspective of relational fairly.

The right to marry, or jus connubii should be viewed in this perspective. It is not, that is, a subjective claim that must be satisfied by mere formal recognition by pastors, regardless of the actual contents of the union.

The right to marry implies that we can and we will celebrate really, in the truth of its essence as taught by the Church. No one has the right to a wedding. Jus connubii, in fact, refers to the right to celebrate a true marriage. Do not deny it, then jus connubii where it was obvious that there are the conditions for its exercise, if you miss, that is, clearly the skills needed to get married, or will be brought to an objective that is contrary to the natural reality of marriage.

In this regard I wish to reiterate what I wrote after the Synod of Bishops on: "Given the complexity of the cultural context in which the Church lives in many countries, the Synod also recommended devoting maximum pastoral attention to training couples preparing for marriage and to ascertaining beforehand their convictions regarding the obligations required for the validity of the Sacrament of Marriage. Serious discernment in this matter will avoid impulsive decisions or superficial reasons lead two young people to take on responsibilities that will then meet (cf. Propositio 40). Too big is good that the Church and society as a whole expect from marriage and the family founded upon it not to work hard in this specific pastoral care. Marriage and family are institutions that must be promoted and defended from every possible misrepresentation of their true nature, since whatever is injurious to them is in fact a wound that is injurious to society as such "(Apostolic Exhortation. Post-synodal exhortation Sacramentum Caritatis, February 22 2007, 29: AAS 99 [2007], p. 130).

Preparation for marriage in its various stages described by Pope John Paul II in his Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio has certainly purposes that transcend the legal dimension, as its horizon is the integral good of human and Christian, their spouses and their future children (cf. n. 66: AAS 73 [1981], pp. 159-162), which aims ultimately to the sanctity of life (cf. CIC, can. 1063.2 °). Never forget, however, that the immediate objective of the training is to promote the free celebration of a true marriage, namely the establishment of a relationship of justice and love between the spouses, with the features and indissoluble unity, ordered to the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of children, and that between the baptized is one of the sacraments of the New Covenant. This is not the couple is facing an ideological message extrinsic However, there is imposed a cultural model, but rather, the engaged couple are in a position to discover the truth of a natural inclination and capacity to undertake that they are inscribed in their be male-female relationships. That's where the law comes as an essential component of the marriage relationship, rooted in a natural potential of the couple that the donation consensual updates. Reason and faith combine to illuminate this truth of life, having to stay clear however that, even as he taught the Venerable John Paul II, "the Church does not refuse to celebrate a marriage who is well disposed, even if imperfectly prepared from the point of view supernatural, provided they have the right intention to marry according to the natural reality of niugalit√† c @ "(Address to the Roman Rota, January 30, 2003, 8: AAS 95 [2003], p. 397). In this perspective, special care must be taken in assisting the preparation for marriage is remote, is next, is immediate (cf. John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation. Ap. Familiaris Consortio, November 22, 1981, n. 66: AAS 73 [1981 ], pp. 159-162)

Among the means to ensure that the project is actually married couples preparing for marriage stands the test before marriage. This examination is primarily a legal purpose: ensure that there is no impediment to the valid and licit celebration of marriage.

Formalistic legal does not mean, however, like a bureaucratic step which is to fill out a form on the basis of ritual questions. It is rather unique ministry opportunity - to be developed with all the seriousness and attention it requires - in which, through a box full of respect and cordiality, the pastor tries to help the person to make a serious attempt before the truth about itself and its own human and Christian vocation to marriage. In this sense, the dialogue, always conducted separately with each of the two lovers - without detracting from the convenience of other interviews with the couple - it requires a climate of complete sincerity, which will have to rely on the fact that the same contractors are primarily concerned and first obliged in conscience to celebrate a marriage.

In this way, the various means available for thorough preparation and verification, we can develop an effective pastoral action aimed at preventing the marriage void. We must ensure that you stop, to the extent possible, the vicious cycle that often occurs between the admission granted to marriage, without adequate preparation and a serious examination of the requirements for its celebration, and a judicial declaration that sometimes just as easy but of opposite sign, in which the marriage is considered invalid solely on the basis of the finding of his failure.

It is true that not all reasons for a possible declaration of nullity can be detected or occurred in preparation for marriage, but, equally, it would be wrong to hinder access to marriage on the basis of unfounded assumptions, such as believing that, Nowadays, people would generally be unable or will apparently have a double. In this perspective it is important that there is an even more effective awareness of the responsibility in this regard to those who have the care of souls. Canon law in general, and especially the bed and the case, certainly requires special preparation, but the knowledge of basic and of those immediately practical canon law relating to its functions, constitute a training of primary importance for all pastoral workers, especially those acting in family ministry.

All this also requires that the work of ecclesiastical courts send a unique message about what is essential in marriage, in harmony with the Magisterium and the canon law, speaking with one voice. Given the need for unity of jurisprudence, and curated by this Tribunal, the other ecclesiastical courts must adapt to the Rota Court (John Paul II, Address to the Roman Rota, January 17, 1998, 4: AAS 90 [1998] p. 783). I have recently stressed the need to make correct judgments about the causes for the inability consensus (cf. Address to the Roman Rota, January 29, 2009: AAS 101 [2009], pp. 124-128). The question continues to be very timely, and unfortunately there are still poor posture, how to identify the discretionary judgment request for marriage (cf. CIC, can. 1095, No. 2) with the desired prudence in the decision to marry, thereby treating a question of ability with one that does not affect the validity, as regards the degree of practical wisdom with which he has taken a decision, however, is really double. Even more serious was the misunderstanding if we wanted to give effective incapacitating imprudent choices made during the marriage.

As part of nullity for the exclusion of essential goods of marriage (cf. ibid., Can. 1101, § 2) should also be a serious commitment because the judicial decisions reflect the truth about marriage, which must illuminate the same time of ' admission to the wedding. I am thinking in particular, the issue of exclusion of the bonum coniugum. In relation to this exclusion seems to be repeating the same danger that threatens the proper application of rules relating to incapacity, that is to seek the grounds for invalidity in behaviors that do not concern the establishment of the marriage bond but its fulfillment in life. We must resist the temptation to transform the simple lack of husband and wife in their married life in defects of consent. The real foreclosure can occur only when it affected his order to the good of the spouses (cf. ibid., Can. 1055, § 1), except with a positive act of will. Certainly are very exceptional cases in which there is no recognition of the other as spouse, or is excluded the ordination of married life of the community is essential to the welfare of others. The clarification of these grounds for exclusion of the bonum coniugum should be carefully considered by the Court of the Roman Rota.

In concluding these reflections, I return to consider the relationship between law and pastoral care. It is subject to misunderstanding, to the detriment of the law but also of pastoral care. It should instead assist in all areas, and particularly in the field of marriage and family dynamics to the contrary, the profound harmony between pastoral and juridical, which certainly will prove fruitful in the service provided to people who are approaching marriage.

Dear Members of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, I commend you all the powerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, so that there will never be lacking divine assistance in carrying out faithfully, the spirit of service and capitalize on your daily work, and I gladly impart to all a special Apostolic Blessing.

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About Me

I am an enormously blessed husband and dad. In regard to my Catholic theological background, I have a certificate in social ministry & a master's degree (moral theology concentration), as well as a catechetical diploma from the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Clergy (Nope, I am not now - nor have I have ever been - a seminarian, deacon, or priest.). I feel particularly proud to have a mandatum. I also have a doctorate in Christian counseling psychology.

And yup, that's me!

And yup, that's me!
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