Friday, 19 September 2014

CATHOLIC CHURCH MUST EMBRACE DIVORCEES

CATHOLIC CHURCH MUST EMBRACE DIVORCEES
Pope Francis celebrating the marriages of cohabiting couples

Pope Francis set an important precedent in the past week when he celebrated the marriages of couples - some of whom were cohabiting and had children.

Most people accept that the "ideal" is for a man and a woman to marry, stay together in love for life and bring children into the world that will benefit from a happy home and a good mother and father.

Those of us who grew up in that kind of situation should regard ourselves as having been very fortunate and blessed. 

But in life achieving the IDEAL is not ALWAYS possible for EVERYONE.

Most, if not all people, begin a marriage with the dream and the hope that it will be a good, permanent marriage. 

But life is full of disappointments, mistakes, infidelity and unforeseen circumstances. 

I have been celebrating the marriages of divorced people for nearly 30 years now. Many of those I married had been chased away from the doors of churches and priests houses by priests lacking in compassion - priests who put man made laws before the teachings and message of Jesus.

Some of these couples were chased away by priests who were in sexual relationship both with men and with women. Is that not hypocrisy?

I have dealt with one or two couples who refused marriage by Father Michael Cleary who had been cohabiting with Phyllis Hamilton for many years and who had 2 children with her!
 
Cleary
I'm sure that Bishop Eamon Casey who was the bishop of both Kerry and Galway would have refused to marry divorcees in spite of the fact that he himself seduced Annie Murphy and had a son with her called Peter.
 
Casey
For years Father Ivan Payne of Dublin, who went to prison for sexually abusing Andrew Madden and other worked in the Dublin archdiocese annulments office where he decided who could and couldn't have church annulments and who could and couldn't remarry in church.
 
Payne
The whole system of church annulments is pretty corrupt anyway. A woman could be refused an annulment in Ireland but go to the USA and get one there - especially in she had an uncle a bishop or monsignor or had plenty of US dollars to hand over to the church. 

The Roman Catholic Church - and all churches should approach marriage, divorce and remarriage with the compassion of Christ:

I would suggest the following guidelines:

1. The ideal of the marriage of one man and woman for life is a Christian ideal and an ideal that should be promoted. The churches should INVITE (not coerce) people to uphold this ideal.

2. When a marriage fails everybody involved should do their very best to repair and save the marriage through counselling etc.

3. When it becomes abundantly clear that the marriage is dead we should accept that with a sense of sadness and regret and we should all do our best to support the couple in their time of difficulty - and if there are children involved there should be a massive effort by everyone to see to it that the breakdown of the marriage should have as little negative impact on the children as possible.

4. When the marriage is over we should all do our best to encourage the separating man and woman to handle the tragedy with as little bitterness as possible. Each partner should be sensitively invited to reflect on what caused the breakdown and to voluntarily "own" their responsibility for the break down.

5. Ideally separation, annulment and divorce proceedings should be conducted in a non-combative spirit and children should not be used as weapons or ammunition.

6. In the context of church, worship and access to Communion and the sacraments people should not be treated as failures or lepers and should be encouraged to remain part of the Christian community and along with all the rest of us "sinners" they should be made welcome at the Lord's table.

7. In a clear case when one party is totally innocent in the breakdown of the marriage that party should be able to be divorced and remarry in church whenever they wish. If there is a "guilty" party then that party, especially if they acknowledge their failure, and are sorry for it, should be able, in time, to marry again in church.

I believe that this approach is supported by Jesus in the Gospels when he allowed for divorce in the case of infidelity.

I believe it is further supported by the attitude of the early church and church fathers like St Basil of Caesarea who allowed second marriages on the grounds of COMPASSION even if the second marriage was not as sacramentally pure as the first marriage.
Basil of Caesarea

I hope Pope Francis actions within the past week will encourage all to look at divorce and remarriage in a less judgemental way.

+Pat Buckley

19.9.2014.

    

25 comments:

  1. It struck me just now, while gardening, actually shovelling manure: is that stirring sh*t?
    In view of several posts from D&C clerics criticising bishop NT as coming to the diocese from a bureaucratic/administrative background and in consequence having little experience (or apparent interest) in pastoral matters, it's hardly surprising to find posts in support of +NT originating from persons describing themselves as vatican clerics/officials etc. After all from what I observe, they too are of the same bureaucratic as opposed to pastoral mindset.
    I wonder what they thought of pope Francis's recent wedding ceremony which included divorced couples, couples already cohabiting and others previously rejected by many orthodox RC clergy. Probably being career minded bureaucrats they'll say nought. I say: good man Francis.
    MournemanMichael

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    Replies
    1. There are many in the service of the Holy See who think that this pope is destroying the Catholic Church, from Cardinals down. It will take us several generations to recover from his self-willed innovations.

      Delete
    2. Pat, Is their any way of tweaking the blogsite so that anonymous commentators have to in some way identify themselves while still preserving their anonymity?
      Some of us do so, ID'ING ourselves eg like Quo Vadis, Sean, Antrim Coaster etc, and that helps if/when anybody wants to respond specifically to them.
      I ask this as apart from guessing by the tone, style or content, it's difficult to know which 'anonymous' I may be responding to: the 'faithful' priest, priest, or PP etc. For example I think the anonymous of today @ 15:56 is possibly same guy who seems to consistently defend the status quo.
      I may well be wrong.
      Worth a thought?

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    3. If the structures, edifaces and self serving bureaucracy of the RC church as it has developed, disappears and morphs into a supportive fellowship of peoples following the core manifestation of the christian message: avoid criticism; be gentle and kind to one another and the earth; then, whether it's caused by Francis or other circumstances, I believe it will serve humankind better.
      MournemanMichael

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  2. Wow, I want to join the clergy club and raise a glass in the lonlieness of my baron parochail house. I must be a great feeling to be sitting in one's 50's or 60's and to be uprooted from the area one has been living in for a few years and at short notice to go off to some other remote presbytery to indulge in further feelings of solitude and isolation. What a great feeling it must be to minister to congregations many of whom don't give a toss . I would be bouyed up by my odd game of golf with fellow members of the clergy club as they bitch and moan about those whom the bishop has shown favour towards and yet hide and cower lest they been seen to be too clever by half. It must be a great benefit of membership to walk along the street and people pass you by and you know they are thinking "I wonder how many kids he has molested" Send me a membership application quick ! Cheers chaps. The Antrim Coaster

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    Replies
    1. You have just described my Priest's life exactly. It breaks my heart.

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    2. Friend,

      I am terribly sorry that the above describes your life.

      It does not have to be that way. No matter how bad things feel they REALLY can be better.

      Pat

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    3. Pure nonsense Buckley. Honestly, who are you offer advice on priestly life and fidelity? What is your favourite movie? Alice in wonderland or its a wonderful life? Although Alice was a little fraudulent, don't you agree?

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    4. Pat, you've said previously that you publish all comments, including those criticising you. Fair play to you. But I have to say that I'm finding the patently stupid ignorant inconsequential comments of some obviously embittered commentators like the above extremely tedious. They seem to represent a rump of aged unthinking blinkered clerics of the 'old school' now long recognised as a derelict relic of past days clinging on to forlorn wishes of continuing unquestioning subservience to their edicts. Such comments add little information or knowledge to any truth seeking debate, other than to portray the limitations of such contributers.
      I'd be interested to know other's views on these typically unsubstantiated vitriolic comments.
      MournemanMichael

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  3. I work in a call centre these days. Many of my colleagues are younger and some are in relationships. There is little talk of marriage. My conclusion based on reflection and experience that it is better to have married and divorced than never to have married at all. Sean

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  4. Dear Anonymous at 17.34,

    Thank you for a very constructive recommendation.

    I would love people to adopt a "Handle" - not necessarily one of Bishop Treanor's handles :-)

    But imposing such a reqirement might put some people off? It should not - but it might.

    Also - if you are a pissed drunk priest - you might not remember your handle at midnight with a bottle of vodka in you :-)

    I will start recommending it regularly.

    Pat

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  5. Buckley, speak louder, your credible voice is being heard!!! Ah, no it isn't.........

    After a wedding and several serious meetings your blog lends towards light entertainment.

    You are a prime example of clerical psychological illness.

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    Replies
    1. Dear Friend,

      Let us allow the readers of this Blog to decide what is heard and what is not.

      Congratulations on your wedding and "several serious meetings".

      This week, among many other things, I have celebrated 3 weddings and represented 2 disabled people at tribunals - one in Belfast and one in Derry.

      I regard every single meeting I have with anyone as very important.

      The only "serious meeting" I had this week was with the police with regard a priest who may have abused a teenage boy some years ago.

      We are all neurotic to a greater or lesser degree. Its the psychotic ones I worry about.

      "The difference between a neurotic and a psychotic is that the neurotic builds castles in the sky - but the psychotic lives in them".

      There are many good, human, struggling priests.

      Sadly, the priests I worry about - and the ones who are doing most harm - the psychotics - and strangely enough many of them do live in castles !

      Pat

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    2. PS: It is a compliment to be told I entertain :-)

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    3. One of the best, holiest and most faithful priests in the Diocese is also an entertainer - Father David Delargey.

      PP D&C

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    4. Father Cleary, mentioned above, womaniser, was also an entertainer with the Dublin Singing Priests.

      Another Dublin priest, one of Ireland's worst child abusers, Father Tony Walsh, an entertainer, was also a member of the Dublin Singing Priests.

      Bishop Eamon Casey who had a fling and a son with an American woman, was also an entertainer and used to sing songs on the RTE Late Late Show.

      I have never heard of Bishop Buckley being a public entertainer.

      I have heard and read his criticisms of the RC Church over the past 30 years.

      In the beginning we were encouraged by our priests to think he was "mad".

      Now we know he was 30 years ahead of his time and what he was saying was all true.

      In fact as we were to find out Bishop Pat only told us a quarter of what was really going on.

      At least Bishop Pat is living openly and honestly.

      D. Ballymena.

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    5. I agree D from Ballymena, fraudulent people are hard to stomach.

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  6. I really can't believe that you think you have a right to comment on moral issues. Would you listen to Hitler's opinion on human rights. Just doesn't add up.

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    Replies
    1. Was Hitler not brought up as a Roman Catholic?

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  7. Why do you want a Church which in your opinion is bad, to accept divorce people. Surely they are safer elsewhere! Pure contradiction.

    Psychologist

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    Replies
    1. To make it a slightly better church?

      Many divorced Catholics still want to be accepted?

      Pat

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  8. How date you speak to Pope Francis. You are diluted. Repent Buckley

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    Replies
    1. Maybe Pope Francis and I have more in common than you might realise?

      Pat

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  9. Pat, you've said previously that you publish all comments, including those criticising you. Fair play to you. But I have to say that I'm finding the patently stupid ignorant inconsequential comments of some obviously embittered commentators like the above extremely tedious. They seem to represent a rump of aged unthinking blinkered clerics of the 'old school' now long recognised as a derelict relic of past days clinging on to forlorn wishes of continuing unquestioning subservience to their edicts. Such comments add little information or knowledge to any truth seeking debate, other than to portray the limitations of such contributers.
    I'd be interested to know other's views on these typically unsubstantiated vitriolic comments.
    MournemanMichael

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Open Minded Parishioner20 September 2014 at 14:39

      They add nothing that is for sure but BP does have to give everyone a voice. I read them and think exactly what you say. That they are the embittered, vitriolic, ignorant and blinkered contributors to this blog. They neither add nor take away. I try and see where they are coming from. What have they grown up and old with. Why do they see it differently from you and me. I often can't work it out but they have my pity quite frankly. They do not sound like fundamentally happy people whatever they might tell you. Thankfully their comments are few and far between and can be skipped over quite easily. They are more than made up for by the very witty, articulate, progressive, sincere and well-informed contributors who are the reason I keep reading this blog.

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