Friday, October 17, 2014

Relationes Circuli Minores- Gallicus A

I have translated the relatio from "Gallicus A" of the Synod on the family. I did so because I found it, after the Anglicus A relatio, to be the most insightful.  My translation is below. Any corrections can be made in the combox below.

ETA: Feel free to copy the translation and post it elsewhere, with a link to here as the source.



Moderator: His Emminence Robert Cardinal Sarah
Relator: Msgr. Fran├žois-Xavier Dumortier, S.J.

I wish to present this report in five sections
- Some general considerations
- Concerning the first part of the Relatio post Desceptationem
- Concerning the second part
- Concerning the third part
- Some reflections in conclusion

1. Some general considerations.

I think I can say, in the name of all those who participated in this group, that we appreciated the open, simple, fraternal character of the meetings in simplicity, with a strong sense of our responsibility, and with mutual confidence. This permitted us to do a great work as we were not limited to writing about amendments, but have proposed a new formulation of the text in several key areas.

I think I should
voice also the emotion and confusion which was provoked by the spread of a document that we considered as a simple- though very useful - working document, and thus provisional. What we experienced, namely a counter-productive aspect of this distribution, seems to us to require, with care, an evaluation of the causes and consequences of an event, which sowing confusions and questions, did not aide the reflection.

We have the experience of many and diverse ecclesial situations. Not all of the local Churches are concerned or touched equally by the problems raised. Highly aware of this reality, we want a certain autonomy to be left to the local Churches in the search for answers to the pastoral preoccupations they have.

Finally,
we have found in our work the importance of genuine vigilance and rigor in the words we use – as with the terms “couple, “marriage”, “individual” or “person.”

2. Concerning the first part of the Relatio.

It seems to us important to consider the lights and shadows of conjugal and familial realities within the context of our society and the world today by espousing the regard of Christ for men: to confront the challenges ahead, that they may live yet live according to the tradition of the Church, with an attitude of hospitality, understanding and compassion.

This leads us to insist, beyond poverty, on the dehumanizing wretchedness which is one of the major cause of the precariousness and destruction of families, on the “outskirts of wretchedness which surround many of the great metropolitan areas.... the situations of violence and of word and their consequences.” We also affirm that it is desired that the affective life be developed, structured and realized in a privileged way within the setting of familial life. In this regard, we thought it important to identify the positive elements of familial situations- the values, the gifts which we witness, which build rather than destroy … that is everything that stimulates the Church in its duty to express a statement of truth and of hope for our contemporaries and of challenge to certain international organizations who bind their aid to the acceptance of their own conception of man, marriage and society.

3. Concerning the second part of the Relatio

The examination of the text raises questions which lead us to choose to rewrite this part and offer such, if this can help aid in the elaboration of next text in the process of reflection in which the Church is engaged. Our text is resolutely Christocentric; it places in the center Christ, His person and word, membership in Christ and the personal experience of Christ denouncing the hardness of heart and embodies the divine pedagogy of patience and mercy even in His passion, death and resurrection. It is, in effect, the attachment to Christ and membership in Christ after baptism on which the sacrament of marriage is based.

Noting the setbacks of love and the imperfect unions which multiply, calls for a pastoral attention which knows how to respect these persons, encourage efforts of repentance and offer fraternal support from the Christian community to which they belong. Such an observation must not forget the families which live with consistency and fidelity a Christian marriage and render this witness in their joys, but also in their hardships such as poverty, unemployment, sickness, infertility and the difficulties educating children.

4. On the third part of the Relation

On the relationship between the divorced who remarry and the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, our text says that it is important “not to change the doctrine of the Church on the indissolubility of marriage and the non-admission of the divorced who remarry to the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist, but to apply that constant doctrine of the Church to diverse and painful situations of our age with a renewed regard of compassion and mercy for these persons.” We think one such priority may be the facilitation of the examination of doubtful marriage and the acceleration of the procedures for the declarations of matrimonial nullity. It is also important to use language which is positive and propositional, and considers the distinct ways of persons who live in different situations.

5. Some reflections in conclusion.


Marriage and the family are truthfully at the heart of the crucial issues of today: the self understanding of modern man and present anthropological issues – the analysis of the socio-economic causes of the fragmentation of the family – the reflection on the relationship between marriage, family and society – the biblical and theological deepening of what we thought with undue haste … The important work done so far seems to us to require, now, an in-depth reflection – especially anthropological and theological – so that the undertaking be conducted in a more appropriate manner before the next year's Synod.

We do not think that an ad hoc committee is appropriate; we think that it is important that the questions be addressed in all their magnitude and that the various conferences of bishops be involved in this reflection.

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