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Title: Ethique, droit, famille
Subtitle: Une pédagogie de la miséricorde
Author(s): FINO, Catherine
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 22    Issue: 1   Date: 2016   
Pages: 15-27
DOI: 10.2143/INT.22.1.3159714

Abstract :
Faced with the challenge of overcoming the tension between mercy and the testimony that must be given to our conjugal praxis from the perspective of the Christian faith, the Synod on the family relies on two complementary resources: the 'law of graduality', to which appeal had already been made at the Synod of 1980, and the 'divine pedagogy'. This perspective dictates a personalized pedagogy that takes its starting point, not in the distance from the norm that remains to be covered, but in that which already bears witness to the presence of Christ and of his salvific action even in a life that is imperfect, a presence that must be identified with the persons involved. The pedagogy elaborated by Henri Bissonnier (1911-2004) in the field of handicaps supplies some concrete principles for translating these intuitions into action. These principles can be transposed onto the field of the family. In the pastoral care of families, having the courage to rely on the positive aspects of the life led by these families, whose existence departs objectively from the moral law, presupposes the capacity to 'do the truth', as well as an eye that has been liberated by grace from the fascination with evil that is an element of human history. The responsibility for pastoral accompaniment is intensified, in order that the integration of these families into the Church may not be destabilizing, but may instead be well oriented towards a mutual aid in the life of charity and of thanksgiving. The Synod complements this logic of integration with a logic of discernment. The responsibility for this is entrusted to the persons concerned, who are accompanied by the pastors. A process of discernment is proposed – not a penitential procedure. The criteria indicated are primarily those of the charity that is lived here and now. This requirement of charity applies likewise to those who carry out pastoral work. We are invited to diversify our ecclesial praxis in order to communicate to each other, as far as possible, the various ways in which the action of God gives support to the existence and the action of the human being.

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