PASTORAL LETTER FROM THE BISHOP […] read in all churches and chapels of the Diocese of Portsmouth on 10th July 2016, the Fifteenth Sunday of the Year.
Dear Families and Friends,
When Amoris Laetitia was published, there was a controversy about the care of the divorced and remarried. In fact, Pope Francis reaffirms Jesus’ teaching on chastity, marriage, sexuality and family life; he does not change Church discipline. But he does speak in a new compassionate way about those who have drifted from the practice of faith because they have found themselves in marital situations and patterns of behaviour at variance with the Gospel. He urges us to adopt a new attitude, not to be shrill or hard-line judgmental, but always to reach out with God’s mercy, to shew compassion, to include not exclude, to foster growth and discernment. In this, pastors have an important role of guidance and accompaniment. And let us not forget the sensitive work of our diocesan marriage tribunal, a real agency of Divine mercy. Indeed, please pray for all who generously assist its endeavours.