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Document Details :
Title: Re-examining Second Marriage in Catholic Moral and Pastoral Theology
Subtitle: In Search of an Alternative Avenue through the Eastern Practice of Oikonomia
Author(s): HNYP, Maryana
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 17 Issue: 1 Date: 2011
In Catholic moral and pastoral theology there is an on-going debate about the status of divorced and re-married Catholics within the Church. Although Catholics living in second marriages seem to receive some pastoral acceptance, the official status of these couples remains 'irregular' and they are banned from full participation in the life of the church, specifically from sharing communion. The present contribution asks whether more could be done for those innocent or repentant parties of divorce who do not feel at home within the Catholic Church. The author discusses the opinions of several Catholic theologians, who, in seeking a solution for this pastoral concern, turn to the Eastern Christian tradition of oikonomia. The article explores the meaning of this ancient practice within the Orthodox tradition, particularly with regard to the pastoral care of re-married believers. While acknowledging several limitations and ambiguities when it comes to applying the oikonomia practice within the Latin Catholic tradition, the author seeks to develop theological conclusions and pastoral considerations in a symbiotic manner.