Pope Francis: Divorced are part of the Church

In his Papal Audience today, Pope Francis said,

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.

Vatican Information Services

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About Nancy Ward

Nancy HC Ward is a journalist, author, and speaker who blogs about Catholicism, her conversion, and Christian community at JoyAlive.net,
 7 websites and 7 magazines. She loves to share her faith story and help others share theirs through her Sharing Your Faith Stories seminars, also available on DVD. She contributed four chapters to The Catholic Mom’s Prayer Companion. She facilitates the Dallas/Fort Worth Catholic Writers and a critique group for the Catholic Writers Guild, where she serves as a board member.
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