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Title: Spirituelle Ressourcen in nicht-normativen Familien
Subtitle: Eine pastoral-theologische Perspektive
Author(s): KREIDLER-KOS, Martina
Journal: Marriage, Families & Spirituality
Volume: 24    Issue: 2   Date: 2018   
Pages: 264-282
DOI: 10.2143/INT.24.2.3285676

Abstract :
'The Pope does not change a single doctrine and thus changes everything', said
Walter Cardinal Kasper in an interview in Die Zeit (17/2016, 14 April 2016) after the publication of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia. A concrete illustration of this shift can be found in an interview with another cardinal, Louis Antonio Tagle, a President of the Synod of Bishops on the Family (Die Zeit 44/2015, 29 October 2015): 'Families are not there to please the Church; rather, the Church is there for the families'. There is the opportunity in this change of perspective to appreciate the spiritual resources found in all families, not only in those that conform to the ideal Catholic marriage. Such non-ideal family groupings are often seen to be lacking, but Amoris laetitia teaches us to appreciate their special gifts. Virtues can be found in these families, such as the courage to take small steps, the ability to seek help when needed, the concentrated search for solutions that all can live with, the recognition of boundaries, the preservation of hope, the desire for reconciliation, and the experience of surviving mistakes and working on improvement. And it is precisely these families that give witness to the need to protect love, even at times from an institution that itself wants to protect love. On this basis the faithfulness of many of these families to the Church – regardless of the rejection they experience – deserves special attention. Pope Francis shows great trust in all who, in the midst of the normal chaos of love, seek to be responsible and good before God: '[The Church finds] it hard to make room for the consciences of the faithful, who very often respond as best they can to the Gospel amid their limitations, and are capable of carrying out their own discernment in complex situations'. (AL 37) Ultimately, however, the spiritual resources in non-conforming families are none other than those found in families that reflect the ideal of the fullness of Catholic teaching. Spirituality does not stop at the boundaries defined by norms, nor can it be limited by these boundaries. Neither intensity nor practice can be limited by these boundaries; they extend to where there is the courage to fight for dignity, responsibility, and love.

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