US archbishop at synod stresses role of conscience

A US archbishop has said the Church must respect the decisions divorced and remarried people make in good conscience about their spiritual lives.

Speaking to media at the synod on the family in Rome, Chicago Archbishop Blase Cupich said he had always respected the inviolability of people’s consciences.

“I try to help people along the way,” Archbishop Cupich said.

“And people come to a decision in good conscience.”

“Then our job with the Church is to help them move forward and respect that,” he said.

The archbishop added that homosexuals are human beings and they too have consciences.

“My role as a pastor is to help them discern what the role of God is by looking at the objective moral teaching of the Church and yet at the same time helping them through a period of discernment to understand what God is calling them to at that point,” said the archbishop.

“I think that it’s for everybody,” he said.

Archbishop Cupich also stressed that God’s mercy and grace trigger conversion, “rather than having it the other way around as though you’re only going to get mercy if you have the conversion”.

The archbishop told a story he said a priest had told him of celebrating a funeral for a young man who had committed suicide.

The man’s mother, he said, was divorced and remarried and also “very angry” at God and the Church over what had happened.

When she came forward for Communion at the funeral Mass, she folded her arms to indicate she wanted to receive a blessing.

The priest said to her: “No, today you have to receive.”

“She went back to her pew and wept uncontrollably,” said the archbishop.

“She then came back to visit with the priest and began reconciliation.”

“Her heart was changed,” Archbishop Cupich said.

“She did have her [first] marriage annulled; her [second] marriage is now in the Church.”

“But it was because that priest looked for mercy and grace to touch her heart,” he said.

Sources

News category: World.

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