Luma Simms is a Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center; her essays, articles, and book reviews have appeared in a variety of publications including National Affairs, Law and Liberty, The Wall Street Journal, National Review, First Things, Public Discourse, the Institute for Family Studies, and others.

What A Divorced And Remarried Catholic Wants From The Synod

Regina Einig interviewed Luma Simms, author of My Plea, for the German newspaper Die Tagespost, in which a version of this interview first appeared.

As a divorced and remarried Catholic mother who wishes to bring up her children in the faith, do you think that the Church could make things easier for your family by changing the doctrine of marriage?

Being a divorced family is difficult, to be sure, and at times it is a severe providence. There are many external and internal struggles in the life of a divorced. This is why Scripture equates divorce with violence in Malachi 2:16 because divorce does violence to our soul, our family, our society and the Body of Christ. What my family and I need most is the love and care of a local parish community that is a haven from the ravages of the culture. A local parish that will feed us the gospel—full strength. And through the grace given to us through the liturgy and the word, we will be helped and strengthened The Church's mission is not to make things easier for me. Nor is the Church's mission to make things difficult for me. Because the mission of the Church is not about me, it is about Jesus. The Church is the Bride of Christ, and Jesus is her Bridegroom. Her whole existence is to love her Bridegroom, and do his will while she is on earth.

I am part of the Bride, I am part of Christ's Body. The Church acts as most loving and wise mother, to me, when she is being faithful to her spouse—Christ. Just as in a human marriage the children reap the greatest benefits when mother and father are in faithful harmony. But if the Church should take her focus off of Christ, turn and concentrate on me, and place my desires or my problems above that of her Lord and spouse, then it will be a detriment to me. Just as in a human marriage, if the mother places the well-being of the children before that of her husband, the entire family will fall apart. The most loving thing the Church can do for me is to be faithful to Christ.

Although I do not believe doctrine should change, I do think there is a lot which could be done on the local pastoral level to help struggling families. Our family has been blessed to have a compassionate, priest who explained everything to us with Christ-like demeanor. But I know that not everyone has been this fortunate. I understand people have been hurt and at times they have received rough and unkind responses to their situation. This is exactly where the gospel helps us. Jesus never compromised the will of his Heavenly Father, yet he knew how to love sinners and call them to repentance. Some of his listeners repented and believed in him. Others did not. Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger in the document, Concerning Some Objections To The Church's Teaching On The Reception Of Holy Communion By Divorced And Remarried Members Of The Faithful, writes: “Assuredly, the word of truth can be painful and uncomfortable. But it is the way to holiness, to peace, and to inner freedom.”`

Read the rest of the interview at First Things

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