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Card. Caffarra: Church Doctrine on divorced couples doesn't mean they're rejected

2014-10-17

Since his arrival to the Diocese of Bologna in Italy, Cardinal Caffarra has developed a specific pastoral ministry for divorced and remarried people.

CARD. CARLO CAFFARRA
Archbishop of Bologna (Italy)
"I wanted to reach out to those people who felt rejected by the Church. I wanted to meet with them to tell them one thing: The Church does not reject you. Jesus loves you.”

He began by meeting with 200 divorced and remarried couples to thoroughly explain Church doctrine. Through his experience, the Cardinal said, divorced couples have been able to understand the Church's stance on receiving Communion. 

CARD. CARLO CAFFARRA
Archbishop of Bologna (Italy)
"By explaining the reasons, these people have told me, even telling their local parish priests: now I understand that the Church is my mother despite not letting me receive Communion." 

Cardinal Caffarra said that before the Synod, he received a letter from a remarried woman, thanking him for his work. 

CARD. CARLO CAFFARRA
Archbishop of Bologna (Italy)
"The letter said: 'Your Eminence, we thank you as well the priests who have been helping us because, finally, I feel that the Church is my home. I do not feel rejected anymore, I do not feel judged anymore. It is my home, where I feel truly welcomed.' She also said that it helped her resolve the psychological problems she endured when her husband left her.”


Showing support, formation and closeness, Cardinal Caffara said, is the formula to approach divorced and remarried couples. He also stressed the importance of priests working under this premise. 

CARD. CARLO CAFFARRA
Archbishop of Bologna (Italy)
"Priests don't always understand even though these couples can't receive the Sacraments, it doesn't mean they should have an attitude of rejection.”

The Diocese of Bologna is not only focusing on divorced couples. It's are also promoting a pastoral ministry for youth so they can rediscover the beauty of married life. 


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