Pope reminds lawyers of Catholic teaching on marriage

 Pope John Paul II focussed on marriage yesterday morning when he addressed members of Rome's legal profession at the start of their judicial year. In his speech, John Paul II spoke of the indissolubility of the sacrament marriage as an asset for the spouses, for the children, for the Church, and for all of mankind. He said: "It is important to present in a positive way the indissoluble union, in order to rediscover its goodness and the beauty. Above all, the vision of the indissolubility of marriage as a limit to the liberty of spouses and as a burden sometimes unbearable, must be overcome." Stressing that the indissolubility of marriage "has an objective dimension." the Pope said: "It is not merely a subjective fact. Consequently, the good of indissolubility is the good of marriage itself; and the incomprehension of the indissoluble nature constitute the incomprehension of the essence of marriage". "One must not surrender to the divorcing mentality: our trust in the natural and supernatural gifts of God to man prevents us. Pastoral activity must sustain and promote the indissolubility of marriage". The Pope emphasized that: "Every right judgement of the validity or nullity of marriage is a contribution to the culture of indissolubility not only within the Church but in the world. ..Against the truth of a conjugal bond it is not correct to invoke the liberty of the spouses who, by freely assuming it, committed themselves to respect the objective needs of the marriage reality, which cannot be altered by human freedom". The Pope said that in some circles of society people were beginning to accept divorce as the norm and felt it was not worthwhile trying to oppose it. "Indeed it is worthwhile," he said. "The essential testimony on the value of the indissolubility is given through the matrimonial life of the spouses, in the fidelity to their bond through the joys and the tests of life. The value of indissolubility cannot be thought to be the object of a simple private choice, it concerns one of the cornerstones of the whole of society". The Pope said civil lawyers "must avoid being personally involved in what could imply a cooperation to divorce."

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