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Amoris Laetitia: Card. Farrell (Holy See), “Priority” is “preventing failures”. Attention also to “regular couples”

“The pastoral priority identified in Amoris Laetitia for the present time is to prevent wounds, divisions and failures in marriage as much as possible”. The Prefect for the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life, Card. Kevin Farrell, made this point in an interview with SIR news agency, noting that “only few have highlighted that the Pope in Amoris Laetitia – like St Paul in his Letter to the Corinthians – shows the traits of true love (almost a new ‘hymn’ to charity), outlining and applying them to family life: conjugal love is authentic if it shows appreciation for the other spouse and seeks his/her good; it is spiritual; but also understands affection, tenderness, intimacy, passion, pleasure given and received, openness to procreation, and the education of children; it is an absolute friendship, an image of union with God, and a true path to holiness. The four attitudes suggested by the Pope (welcoming, accompanying, discerning, and integrating) give new impetus to the pastoral care of the family and are to be used with everyone, not just in those cases referred to as ‘situations of weakness or imperfection’, but with regular couples too. The whole Church offers them pastoral guidance on their journey”. As regards the specific issue of civilly remarried divorced couples and other unions outside sacramental marriage, for Card. Farrell “not enough emphasis is given to the journey of spiritual growth and ecclesial integration that, with the help of a priest, should be offered to them; a journey that, for penitents and pastoral workers alike, takes time, gradual steps, prudence, patience, and perseverance, starting with the humble recognition that their situation does not correspond to God’s plan, but without losing trust in His mercy and in the closeness of the Church; a journey of maturation that requires difficult and arduous efforts”.

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