This was an interesting but rather depressing presentation

243This was one of the stories I covered at the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) plenary in Beaupré, Quebec last week that I found most interesting, but sad in what it revealed about the state of Catholic faithful regarding the Church’s teachings on marriage and family.

Here’s an excerpt. Go read it all over at B.C. Catholic.

Canada’s bishops meeting in plenary here Sept. 15-19 heard differing perspectives from four dioceses on the working document, or Instrumentum Laboris, for the upcoming Synod on the Family.

Representing a rural francophone diocese, Moncton Bishop Valery Vienneau said when he was asked how the synod’s Instrumentum Laboris would be read in his diocese, he thought, “it would be quite easy to do because the document will not be read by the people in my diocese, or even by most of the clergy in my diocese.”

However even among those who didn’t read the document, the upcoming synod has aroused a level of interest, he said.

Most people in his diocese would like to find in the document and the synod “an openness, a change of attitude, and a genuine note of hope,” he said. “Those aspirations are inspired and supported by the way of doing things by our new Pope Francis.”

“People expect changes in way things are presented and will be disappointed if things don’t change,” he said, noting serious changes are expected, not the status quo.

“The document recognizes clearly the reality of the non-reception of a large number of faithful of Catholic teachings on marriage and the family,” Vienneau said. “This is unheard of in an official document of the Church: a recognition of a genuine gap between teachings of the Church and the reception of the faithful.”

Though the faithful know Biblical teachings, they do not know Vatican documents or about natural law, he said.

Among the pending questions for his people: the role of the “genders,” the possibility of same-sex marriage, the fact of people living together outside marriage, he said. “People have many opinions, but they are not too concerned about our positions.”

There’s a lot more at the link.

 

 

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to This was an interesting but rather depressing presentation

  1. Thomas Torck says:

    Even during the times of Moses, the people complained, and God sent serpents to kill them for their blasphemy.

  2. EPMS says:

    The almost universal disregard for the Church’s position on artificial birth control among practising Catholics of reproductive age has been effectively ignored because it is a private matter which can be handled by “don’t ask, don’t tell”. But divorce is public. The divorce rate among Catholics is more or less identical to that of the general population, and the Church’s response inadequate to prevent the creation of a large group of divorced Catholics “remarried” outside the Church, a significant number of whom nevertheless wish to continue as practising members. Why do people not take advantage of the Church’s annulment process, with its 97% success rate? Too slow and too expensive, perhaps, but no doubt many also reject the whole infantilising exercise of being coached through the paperwork to present themselves as too ignorant and heedless to form consent, so that a group of strangers can declare that after all the love, the loss, the pain, the failure, they were never married anyway—just like the group of strangers, in that respect. Clearly sweeping this problem iunder the carpet is going to be more challenging than the birth control issue.

    • William Tighe says:

      Well, on the face of it, such Catholics as you characterize in the penultimate sentence of your comment, seem to believe (if it can be termed “belief”) in a “nice guy Jesus” among whose teachings and precepts one can pick and choose ad libitum, taking what they like and ignoring the rest, who is far from the Saviour and Lord whom the Catholic Church (his Body on Earth) exists to proclaim ans glorify, but seem to function as a kind of symbolic talisman who exists to “affirm” the “I’m okay; all will turn out okay” views of such people.

      They seem, in other words, to resemble sentimentally “Christian” Unitatians of old, or liberal Anglicans nowadays.

    • Rev22:17 says:

      EPMS,

      You wrote: The almost universal disregard for the Church’s position on artificial birth control among practising Catholics of reproductive age has been effectively ignored because it is a private matter which can be handled by “don’t ask, don’t tell”. But divorce is public.

      Yes, and the public verses private character is a very significant difference indeed!

      You wrote: The divorce rate among Catholics is more or less identical to that of the general population, and the Church’s response inadequate to prevent the creation of a large group of divorced Catholics “remarried” outside the Church, a significant number of whom nevertheless wish to continue as practising members.

      Rather, what’s really inadequate here is the church’s discernment as guardian of the sacraments of the readiness of those who present themselves for the sacrament of marriage. Indeed, nearly all of the attempts at marriage within the church that have failed should have been stopped long before the couple got to the altar to profess their vows. The signs that the relationship was not healthy, or that the prospective spouses were not sufficiently mature, were present, but too often ignored or, worse yet, swept under the rug.

      You wrote: Why do people not take advantage of the Church’s annulment process, with its 97% success rate?

      In fairness, this figure is somewhat misleading. Whenever an initial interview fails to turn up potential grounds on which to grant a decree of nullity, many advocates inform the potential petitioner of that conclusion and dissuade the potential petitioner from petitioning for a decree of nullity in the first place, thus excluding the case from the statistic. (I do think that advocates generally have gotten much better at identifying grounds to declare marriages to be null during the initial interview process, resulting in a substantial decline in the number of cases in this category, over the past few decades.)

      That said, the major motivators for not seeking a decree of nullity seem to be (1) mistaken belief that a case won’t qualify, often rooted in gross misunderstanding of the criteria, and (2) the inability to complete the process in a timely manner after a party has committed to enter a second marriage. In the latter case, those who are marrying non-Catholic Christians frequently decide to join the spouse’s church, rendering the issue moot, or they play mental gymnastics to justify secular marriage outside of the church that also justify not regularizing the situation, so that the marriage can proceed without delay. (I advise any member of the Catholic Church whose attempt at marriage has failed to petition for a decree of nullity as soon as practicable, which is usually right after the divorce is finalized, because that is the only way to get the matter resolved before it becomes an obstacle to another attempt at marriage in the church.)

      Significantly, yesterday’s bulletin from the Vatican Information Service contained an announcement of the formation of a papal commission to evaluate the use of a more streamlined process for granting decrees of nullity.

      You wrote: Clearly sweeping this problem iunder the carpet is going to be more challenging than the birth control issue.

      True, but the bigger issue here remains the need to accommodate existing Orthodox practice if there is to be reunion. If Rome agrees to accept the Orthodox practice for those who come from the Orthodox Communion, such acceptance begs the question of why that practice is not acceptable within the Roman Rite. This is a thorny issue, on which the magisterium will walk one tightrope or another.

      Norm.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s