"Stay with us Lord on our Journey"
Please remember in your prayers:
Sick and housebound: Thomas James McIntyre, Alan James Baron, Martin Dwyer, Fr Peter Birmingham, Hugh Patrick Hughes
Lately Dead: John Scribbens, Martin Doherty, Maureen Brereton
Anniversaries: Fr Jack Grimshaw, Michael Coyne
Masses this week:
Tues: 9.30am Mass Wed: 12 noon Mass followed by packed lunch
Thurs: 6.30pm Mass followed by Exposition
Fri: 9.30 am Mass
2.30pm a Wedding Service for Simon Berry & Shelley McKelvey
Pope Francis speaking at his Audience this week
Dear Brothers and Sisters: We return now to our catechesis on the family, by reflecting on the situation of our brothers and sisters who have divorced and entered a second union. Though their unions are contrary to the Sacrament of marriage, the Church, as a Mother, seeks the good and salvation of all her children. As these situations especially affect children, we are aware of a greater urgency to foster a true welcome for these families in our communities. For how can we encourage these parents to raise their children in the Christian life, to give them an example of Christian faith, if we keep them at arm's length? I am especially grateful to the many pastors, guided by my Predecessors, who have worked diligently to let these families know they are still a part of the Church. There is no easy solution for these situations, but we can and must always encourage these families to participate in the Church's life, through prayer, listening to the Word of God, the Christian education of their children, and service to the poor. As the Good Shepherd gives his life for the sheep, so the Church as a Mother gives her life for all her children, by being always the "house of the Father, with doors wide open". May everyone, especially Christian families, imitate the Good Shepherd, who knows all his sheep and excludes no one from his infinite love.
There has been different reaction to this address. Some areas of the Church believe that the sanctity of marriage can not be challenged and that the Pope is speaking out of turn, Others feel that we have to show pastoral care to those who are feeling cut off from the Church through no fault of their own. The Times published the following article on Thursday:
The Pope has told Roman Catholics to welcome those who have divorced and remarried outside the church in a message that will infuriate Vatican conservatives, who will oppose his ideology at a synod on the family in October.
"People who started a new union after the defeat of their sacramental marriage are not at all excommunicated, and they absolutely must not be treated that way," the Pope told 7,000 pilgrims and tourists at a general audience in the Vatican yesterday.
The Pope's attempts to find a more compassionate response to the needs of divorced and gay Catholics met fierce opposition from conservative clerics at last autumn's synod on the family.
Critics have launched an online "filial appeal" to the Pope, signed by more than 425,000 people, urging him "to reaffirm categorically the Catholic teaching that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics cannot receive Holy Communion and that "homosexual unions are contrary to divine and natural law".
What do you think? There is much to ponder on this whole question and the Pope sees the need for the Church to discuss the issue this October at the Synod of Bishops.