Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam

Essential thinking for reading Catholics.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Apostolic Exhortation, Pt. 6

This covers paragraphs 27-29 of the Apostolic Exhortation. Please read my "introduction" to this effort if you haven't done so already. (Be patient, not only is the translation from Latin a bit rough, but also formatting in Blogger is a pain in the...it's my croix du jour to bear, let's just say.) The stuff I find to be incorrect will be stricken out, what I consider the best (or most approximate) translation will be in bold. If there is something that isn't in the text to be translated, but which adds sense, I put it in [brackets]. Sometimes a translated word or phrase needs a little extra help in making itself clearer, so in put any such clarification(s) [italicized in brackets]. I haven't made any comments yet, and I know that I have been VERY nitpicky in the translatin' so that anyone with a better sense of these things than I can piece together something, meaningwise, which might not have been apparent to me.

V. The Eucharist and Matrimony

The Eucharist, a nuptial [i.e. spousal, betrothal] sacrament

27. The Eucharist, as the sacrament of charity, has a particular relationship with the love of man and woman united in marriage. A deeper Deepening the understanding of this relationship is needed at the present is a necessity proper [i.e., specific, particular] to our time. (83) Pope John Paul II frequently spoke affirmed on multiple occasions of the nuptial character of the Eucharist and its special peculiar relationship with the sacrament of Matrimony: "The Eucharist is the sacrament of our redemption. It is the sacrament of the Bridegroom and of the Bride." (84) Moreover, "the entire Christian life bears the mark of is marked by the spousal love of Christ and the Church. Already Baptism, the entry which introduces into the People of God, is a nuptial mystery; it is so to speak the nuptial bath which precedes the wedding feast, the Eucharist." (85) The Eucharist corroborates inexhaustibly strengthens the indissoluble unity and love of every Christian marriage. In it, By the power of the sacrament, the marriage conjugal bond is finds itself intrinsically linked to the eucharistic unity of Christ the Bridegroom and his Bride, the Church (cf. Eph 5:31-32). The mutual reciprocal consent that husband and wife exchange in Christ, which establishes constitutes [i.e., is their foundation] them as a community of life and love, also has a eucharistic dimension. Indeed, in the Pauline theology of Saint Paul, conjugal spousal love is a sacramental sign of Christ's love for his Church, a love culminating in the Cross, the expression of his "marriage" with humanity and at the same time the origin and heart of the Eucharist. For this reason the Church manifests her particular spiritual closeness to all those who have built their family on the sacrament of Matrimony. (86) The family – the domestic Church (87) – is a primary sphere environment [i.e., habitat] of the Church's life, especially because of its decisive the necessary role [it has] regarding in the Christian education of children. (88) In this context, the Synod also called for an acknowledgment of the unique recommended also emphasizing the singular mission of women in the family and in society, a mission that needs to be defended, protected safeguarded and promoted. (89) Marriage and motherhood represent essential realities Being a wife and mother is a crucial [i.e., vital, constititutive] reality which must never be denigrated underappreciated.

The Eucharist and the unicity unity of marriage

28. In the Precisely in light of this intrinsic relationship between marriage, the family and the Eucharist, we can turn to consider several pastoral problems. The indissoluble, exclusive and faithful bond uniting Christ and the Church, which finds sacramental expression in the Eucharist, corresponds to the basic originative anthropological fact that man is meant to be definitively united in a definitive way to one woman and vice versa (cf. Gen 2:24, Mt 19:5). With this in mind In thinking of this , the Synod of Bishops addressed affronted [i.e., met head-on] the question of pastoral practice praxis regarding people those from cultures in which polygamy is practised who come to encounter the preaching of the Gospel from cultures in which polygamy is practised. Those living in this said situation and who open themselves to the Christian faith need to be ought be helped to integrate their life-plan into the radical newness of Christ. During In the process of the catechumenate, Christ encounters attends to [i.e., assists] them in their specific circumstances [literally, "their specific conditions"] and calls them to embrace the full truth of love, making whatever sacrifices through whatever renounciations are necessary in order to arrive at towards perfect ecclesial communion. The Church accompanies them with a pastoral care that is gentle yet firm simultaneously filled with kidness [literally, "sweetness] and also filled with firmness, (90) above all by showing them the light shed by of the Christian mysteries that is reflected [i.e., that has repercussions] on nature and on human affections.

The Eucharist and the indissolubility of marriage

29. If the Eucharist expresses the irrevocable nature of God's love the irreversible love of God in Christ for his Church, we can then understand why it implies requires [literally, "postulates"], with regard to the sacrament of Matrimony, that indissolubility to which all true love necessarily aspires. (91) There was good reason for the The pastoral attention that the Synod gave to the painful situations experienced by some of the not a few faithful who, having celebrated the sacrament of Matrimony, then divorced and remarried, was more than justified. This represents a complex and troubling an arduous and complicated pastoral problem, a real scourge for contemporary society a veritable plague in the actual societal context, and one which increasingly affects the Catholic community as well. The Church's pastors, out of love for the truth, are obliged oblicated [i.e., bound] to discern different situations carefully well [i.e., correctly, properly], in order to be able to offer appropriate spiritual guidance to adecuately help spiritually the faithful involved.(92) The Synod of Bishops confirmed the Church's practice, based on Sacred Scripture (cf. Mk 10:2- 12), of not admitting the remarried divorced and remarried to the sacraments, since their state and their condition of life objectively contradict the loving union of that union of love between Christ and the Church signified and made present actual in the Eucharist. Yet the remarried divorced and remarried, in spite of their situation, continue to belong to the Church, which accompanies follows them with special concern and encourages attention with the wish for them to live as fully as insofar as it is possible, the a Christian way of life through regular participation at Mass, albeit without receiving communion, listening to the word of God, eucharistic adoration, prayer, participation in the life of the community, honest trusting dialogue with a priest or spiritual director, dedication to the life acts of charity, works of penance, and commitment to the education of their children.

When legitimate doubts exist Where there are legitimate doubts about the validity of the prior sacramental marriage contracted, the necessary investigation must be carried out all that is necessary ought be done to establish if these are well-founded determine their foundations [if any]. Consequently there is a need it is vital to ensure, in with full respect for canon law (93), the presence of local ecclesiastical tribunals, their pastoral character, and their correct and prompt functioning operation (94). Each Diocese should have In each Diocese there ought be a sufficient number of persons with the necessary preparation, so that the ecclesiastical tribunals can operate in an expeditious manner prepared for the adequate functioning of the ecclesiastical tribunals. I repeat that "it is a grave obligation to bring the Church's institutional activity in her tribunals ever closer to the faithful" (95). At the same time, it is to be avoided that pastoral care works must not be understood as if it were somehow be [mis]interpreted as being in conflict with being contrary to the law. Rather, one should begin by assuming that the fundamental point of encounter between the law and pastoral care works is love for the truth: truth is never something purely abstract, but "a real an intehrated part of the human and Christian journey of every member each of the faithful" (96). Finally For this reason, where the nullity of the marriage bond is not declared acknowledged and objective circumstances make it impossible to cease cohabitation irreversible, the Church encourages these members of the faithful to commit themselves to strive for living their relationship in fidelity to the demands of God's law, as friends, as brother and sister; in this way they will be able to return to approach the table of the Eucharist, taking care to observe according to the Church's established and approved practice in this regard. This path, if it is For this path to be possible and fruitful, it must be supported by count with the aid of pastors and by with adequate ecclesial initiatives, nor can it ever involve avoiding in all cases the blessing of these relations, lest confusion arise among the faithful concerning the value of marriage (97).

Given the complex cultural context which the Church today encounters finds itself in many countries, the Synod also recommended devoting maximum pastoral attention to having the maximum pastoral care [i.e., carefulness] in training betrothed couples preparing for marriage and to ascertaining beforehand their convictions regarding the obligations required for the validity of the sacrament of Matrimony. Serious discernment in this matter will help to avoid situations where impulsive decisions or superficial reasons lead two young people to take on assume responsibilities that they are then incapable of honouring. (98) The good that the Church and society as a whole expect from marriage and from the family founded upon marriage is so too great as to not call for the full depth of pastoral commitment to this particular area. Marriage and the family are institutions that must be promoted and defended from every possible misrepresentation of their true nature, since whatever is injurious the harm done to them is injurious to wounds society itself.

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