•Genesis 2:18-24 • Hebrews 2:9-11 • Mark 10:2-16•
Weekly Scripture Readings: 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time
In trying to restore the Council’ vision, Frances asked for and promoted open input and discussion in preparation for the Second Synod on the Family. It meets in Rome this month.
I urge you to be informed about the work of this synod. It has been clear that Francis wants this Synod to reflect the “sensus fidelium” – the faith of we who are the church!
Jesus often was asked his opinion about significant issues, like marriage and divorce. In response he set ideals before us. We know his answer to their question. “What God joins together, no one must divide.” We, and most people agree! That is the ideal to be sought.
However not everyone is capable of the ideal. Many now live together without public sanction. Many divorce and remarry. Many want to speak their vows outside church buildings. Some commit to gay partnerships. Today so them who are Catholic feel unwelcome among us.
Some traditions and laws of our household of faith place obstacles before and burdens upon so many couples and families. It need not be so.
Here is something all of us can do to try to remedy our situation. Invite a group of twenty or so Catholics to meet with you. Read Canon 1108 #1 in the revised Catholic Code of Canon Law. Discuss what would happen if this Canon were abrogated. Decide a common action.
Today in our country, about half of all marriages end in divorce. The abrogation of that Canon for the church in the United States would not make that statistic any worse. The abrogation of that Canon would work pastoral miracles. When any couple requests us to pray for them and bless their union, they would be welcomed– no questions asked. This would open the way for Christ to inspire, strengthen and support more people in their sincere desire to live the ideal.
Francis repeatedly calls us to show the world a face of mercy rather then judgment. I think the abrogation of Canon 1101 #1 would help us do just that. Our primary task is not guarding truth and morality. Our primary task is to live and to set the vision of Christ before all people. Any tradition or law that hinders or prevents us ought to be erased from our books.