2016-03-12 11:47:00

Pope to participants of Roman Rota course: 'The Church is mother'

(Vatican Radio)  Pope Francis addressed the participants of a formation course held by the Roman Rota on Saturday. The course for canon lawyers focused on the new juridical process for the verification of marital nullity.

Listen to Devin Watkins' report:

In his prepared remarks, Pope Francis focused on the importance of the recent modifications to the Church’s process for the declaration of marital nullity.

The Holy Father said the rescripts Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus and Mitis et Misericors Iesus were the fruit of the year long preparation for the Synod on the Family.

He said the resulting ‘short process’ had an important pastoral focus, aimed at easing the conscience of many people worried about the validity of their marriage. “Charity and mercy, beyond the reflection on experience, pushed the Church to make herself ever more near to her children, recognizing their legitimate desire for justice.”

The Pope also encouraged the canon lawyers assembled to put into practice these new norms in Ecclesial Tribunals throughout the world. “It is important that the new norms be received and meditated, in merit and in spirit, especially by members of Ecclesial Tribunals, in order to better serve families in justice and charity.”

He went on to remind those present of the reason for the changes. “The Church is Mother and desires to show the face of God who is ever faithful to His love, merciful, and always capable of giving strength and hope. What concerns us most regarding separated persons living in a new union is their participation in the community of the Church.”

Pope Francis concluded his address with words of praise for the many families who remain faithful to their marriage despite difficult situations.“These witnesses of marital fidelity should be encouraged and promoted as examples to be imitated. Many women and men put up with major problems so as not to destroy the family, to be faithful in health and sickness, in difficulty and tranquility: this is fidelity. And they are good!”

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