Argentine pastoral letter: ‘Accompaniment’ in marriage must be faithful :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)

.- A pastoral letter on Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia by Bishop Pedro Daniel Martinez Perea of San Luis, Argentina is being welcomed as “great news” for its clarity and directness.

Bishop Martinez’s letter, issued on June 29 and sent to the priests of his diocese, is titled “Marriage, new unions, and the Eucharist in chapter 8 of Amoris laetitia.” It addressed confusion generated by some readings of the document and emphasized the importance of “helping married couples to follow God’s plans in their lives.”

“The text is very straightforward,” reflected Dr. Kurt Martens, a professor of canon law at The Catholic University of America. “It’s a very well done pastoral letter with a lot of teaching opportunity; he does use Pope Francis to emphasize the teaching of the Church. I think it’s great news.”

In his pastoral letter, Bishop Martinez called Amoris laetitia “a great catechesis on love in the family, which is the cell of society” and said it is “a great message of hope during our sojourn in this secularized and earthly world.”

He added that marriage has a divinely ordered nature and purpose, and that sacramental marriage is “a public good in the Church, a common good.”

While calling Amoris laetitia “a profound catechesis,” Bishop Martinez noted that “some readings of the exhortation have aroused disquiet, perplexity, and even confusion among the faithful, especially with regard to the possibility of persons united by a previous, valid, sacramental bond and who are currently living, more uxorio, with another person in a new non-sacramental union, accessing the sacraments, in particular Holy Communion.”

To address confusion, the bishop referred to revelation and the Magisterium as “irreplaceable foundations for theological reflection in the Catholic Church,” and the essential context for understanding Amoris laetitia. To explain the…

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