Family synod must not forget those left alone by divorce

A cardinal has said the synod on the family in October must not forget those who are left alone by divorce.

Speaking to the National Catholic Register, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna said “we have to speak about mercy and be merciful to the divorced and remarried, who often experience many sufferings and troubles”.

“And if we speak about mercy for those who are remarried, we must also speak about those who are left alone,” the cardinal said.

He said he always insists on the pastoral accompaniment of people who have divorced and remarried.

But pastoral accompaniment is also needed for those who remain alone after a divorce, “very often homeless, in great economic troubles and in solitude”.

“They need the Church’s attention.”

Cardinal Schönborn, whose own parents divorced, said divorce inflicts “tremendous harm” on society.

“How many family businesses have collapsed through the divorce of the parents?

“What enormous economic damage comes from divorce.

“Therefore, I hope the synod will have very encouraging words to help Catholics overcome the temptation of divorce.”

He also referred to the pain children can experience in divorce.

“If [parents] separate, something is always broken in the life of the child.

“Therefore, I fully agree we have to speak about mercy and be merciful to the divorced and remarried, who often experience many sufferings and troubles.

“But before speaking about the suffering of the parents, we must speak about the suffering of the children.”

Speaking of his own experience of his parents’ divorce, Cardinal Schönborn said he was sustained by his extended family and his strong religious faith.

Speaking at a US event, the cardinal said he is confident there will be no change in Church doctrine at the family synod.

Sources

News category: World.

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