Pope invites divorced and remarried to private audience

Pope Francis has invited a group of divorced and remarried Catholics to a private audience, ahead of the expected release of a document on family life.

Sixty members of the Italian group L’anello perduto (“The Lost Ring”) had sent a letter to the Pope to share their experience of divorce.

“In separation we have suffered abandonment, betrayal, the break-up of families, the collapse of the deepest values we believed in, the loss of identity and of all the safety, [our] confidence in God and at times the faith,” the group wrote in the letter.

“In this traumatic context, the Church has proven to be generally indifferent, or even hostile, and God seemed distant and aloof,” they told the Pope.

But the group praised L’annello perduto, which came from an initiative of the Italian diocese of Fossano, aimed at outreach to those in “irregular unions”.

The members said the initiative helped them participate in Mass and other celebrations in way that allowed them to find a place within the Church.

But the project does not permit divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

Last month, Francis phoned Deacon Paolo Tassinari, the coordinator of the project along with his wife Alessandra Rosano.

Francis and Mr Tassinari spoke on the phone for several minutes about the diocesan programme, launched in 2008 at the request of Bishop Giuseppe Cavallotto.

Mr Tassinari told the diocesan paper La Fedeltá about Francis’s call, saying he found it hard to believe that the Pontiff was interested in “our little project”.

A date has not yet been set for the private audience.

An apostolic exhortation from Pope Francis, following on from two synods of bishops, is forecast to be released possibly in late February or early March.

Sources

News category: World.

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