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terça-feira, 15 de setembro de 2015

Catholic Divorce - Head of Vatican Commission Admits in Official Paper: Surge in Number of "Annulments" Intended

Catholic Divorce - Head of Vatican Commission Admits in Official Paper: Surge in Number of "Annulments" Intended

Since Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus and its companion document Mitis et misericors Iesus were published on September 8, there has been little reference to the article published by L'Osservatore Romano on that same day to explain the thinking behind the reforms of Canon law. This is a pity, as this article was written by no other than the head of the Commission for the reform of the canonical matrimonial process, the Dean of the Tribunal of the Roman Rota, Msgr. Pio Vito Pinto: 

La riforma del processo matrimoniale per la dichiarazione di nullità - Voluta e decisa da Papa Francesco.

As such this article is of even greater importance than Vatican Radio's summary and introduction of the reforms as a guide to understanding the intentions behind the reforms. The second part of the title forthrightly states that the reforms were "desired and decided by Pope Francis", which should help preempt any future attempts to explain away these reforms as an abuse or a misunderstanding of the Pope's will (the typical excuse of certain quarters once a measure or reform ordered by a Pope goes terribly wrong). This article is not an expression of the Magisterium but without doubt offers irrefutable insight into the mentality behind the current Pontiff's approach to the very important topic of divorce and "remarriage".

It is clear from this article -- from which we present significant passages here, in a translation made expressly for Rorate-- that we are facing not a mere procedural reform but a true revolution regarding the "divorced and remarried" and the Church's very understanding of justice and mercy. The reforms are bluntly described as coming from 'Our Lord' and from the 'Holy Spirit', acting through Francis. The "divorced and remarried" are now redefined as forming part of "the poor" for which the Church should have a special solicitude; anyone aware of the heightened place held by "the poor" (e.g . the "preferential option for the poor") in the post-Conciliar Magisterium should be aware of the magnitude of the shift involved here.

The reforms are frankly described as part of the Pope's call to the bishops to undergo "metànoia" (conversion, specifically the conversion of one's mind, attitudes and way of life -- a very strong word) regarding "divorce and remarriage"; they are clearly invited to facilitate an enormous increase in declarations of nullity. Judgment is passed on the pre-Francis Church as a Church that merely spoke or thought about mercy and collegiality but did not actually practice these. Furthermore the Holy See's intention to help the bishops expedite declarations of nullity will be given concrete form by the multiplication of short formation courses to be held by the Roman Rota for priests and laypeople designated by their bishops to assist them in their judicial ministry. (The formation course described belowwas held in Mexico City from August 31 to September 4, 2015.)

Perhaps this is one reason why this commentary has been ignored by most of the English-language Catholic press and commentariat: it stands in the way of any and all attempts to pretend that it is still business as usual in the Church.

The reform of the matrimonial process for the declaration of nullity -- desired and decided by Pope Francis. (Excerpts)
Msgr. Pio Vito Pinto
 Dean of  the Roman Rota
September 8, 2015 - L'Osservatore Romano.

... But there exists an essential novelty that is defining Pope Francis’ actual mission. It is no longer time simply for analyses, it is time for action in order to begin that work of justice and mercy so long awaited -  by re-ordering the pastoral practice and canon law, to a large extent in effect for almost three centuries. Francis  had already announced this at that the beginning of his pontificate on July 28th 2013, at the conclusion of World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro.