The Catholic Church must strive to understand the “grey areas” of marriage the Archbishop of Dublin has declared.
Speaking at a mass in the Irish capital for employees of the Catholic marriage advisory service, Diarmuid Martin noted:
“No marriage is lived just in clear and abstract black-and-white realities.”
He called on the clergy to make greater efforts to engage with the uncertainties and middle ground of marriage, the “successes and failures”, the “joys and disappointments”.
“Difficult times” were common he insisted.
The Church had an important role to play, the Archbishop claimed, in “accompanying men and women on the journey of married and family life, even when the initial dreams begin to fade or indeed fail”
There were no perfect families, he continued, and even “the really great families which we all know would be the very first to admit that their marriage and family life were far from ideal.” But the Catholic Church could still provide families with “an ideal for all to aim at”, the Archbishop declared.
Archbishop Martin’s remarks echo comments recently made by Pope Francis, following questions raised by cardinals on Amoris Laetitia, a papal document on married life published in April. Four prominent cardinals asked whether the document’s statement that divorced or remarried Catholics may sometimes be eligible for communion was really consistent with Church teachings. Pope Francis later declared:
“Some, as with certain responses to Amoris Laetitia, persist in seeing only white or black, when rather one ought to discern in the flow of life.”