For every divorced and re-married Catholic who has not received an annulment, the possibility now exists for them to be brought back into full communion with the Church.
This means a clear, unobstructed path to again receive Communion in a Catholic Church, where before there was a path so strewn with boulders, cliffs and quicksand, only a few even attempted the journey. In fact, if Pope Francis takes the final report to heart and soul, it may be that finally, the only obstruction to receiving the Lord in the Eucharist is one’s own refusal to kneel, repent, ask for the help of Holy Spirit and get up, go home and to the best of your ability, live life the way Jesus taught you to live. That’s how it should be.
Will it be that simple?No. There will be classes to attend, a catechumenate of sorts. If it develops as the RCIA program has, then the programs will be developed and taught by Lay Ministers and Sisters. That’s also how it should be.
Not much changed for those in same-sex marriages. There was a restatement of the Bishop’s pastoral message, Always Our Children. Our same-sex brothers and sisters are still sitting outside the walls of Jericho.
There was also a more nuanced and frankly, practical look at family planning. As Thomas Reece reports, the synod document gives support to a “consensual dialogue” between spouses in determining when and how many children to have.
It’s Christmas in October for some Catholics. There is a great truth in that statement. God among us – that’s the Eucharist. Our God, who is nothing but love, became one of us – Emmanuel.
God knows how difficult creature-hood is. God knows how much we needed him to burst into this reality. And, God knows how dependent we are on the physical, the tangible – the need to touch even when we cannot see or hear him. So – he gave us the great gift of the Eucharist – the gift of Himself. When we need him the most, we need only return to the Church for the Eucharist. Indeed, for many Catholics, the Synod on the Family has produced a report that once again, will bring them that which they most need at a time when they need it most. Emmanuel – God among us. For some, Christmas has come early this year.