Australia’s bishops are reaching out to those who have suffered the distress of marital breakdown and divorce with a new easy-to-read booklet, which outlines the Church’s teaching in this area and offers pastoral care and support.
The booklet, entitled Divorce and the Catholic Church: Frequently Asked Questions, was published with the support of the entire Australian Catholic Bishops Conference.
It is presented in a question-and-answer format. It explains clearly why the Church believes that marriage is so important, the process of annulment and whether divorced people can receive Communion. The booklet also addresses the common misunderstanding that annulments are just “Catholic divorce” and gives an explanation of them.
Bishop Eugene Hurley, chairman of the bishops’ Commission for Pastoral Life, said the bishops produced the booklet because they were deeply aware of a pressing pastoral need for such information.
In the introduction to the booklet, the bishops say that the hurts and concerns of divorce are compounded when they impact on the sacrament of the Eucharist.
“It is hoped that [the booklet] provides encouragement and guidance to all who are grappling with the pain of divorce and, in particular, with its implications for their life as members of the body of Christ, the Church,” said Bishop Hurley.
To access a pdf version of the booklet click on this link: http://www.acbc.catholic.org.au/documents/20070913267.pdf