Who hasn’t passed through the sad situation of assisting a beloved one in their last moments? When finally he or she passes away, we continue to suffer as we contemplate their body, inert, but still loved….But, death is cruel – for it’s not satisfied to just take away life…if we don’t bury the body, a dangerous decay occurs, putting the health of the others at risk. We have no other solution than to quickly bury the remains of the one we loved so much. If there was a way of ridding our families and friends from the possibility of death, we would make all efforts to obtain it. Something like this also happens within the Church.
As a Mother of all the faithful, she has many children, some alive and others, unfortunately dead…Not physically, but spiritually, and therefore, separated from Christ by mortal sin. This expulsion from the divine life of our souls reduces us to being dead members of the Church and excludes us from the divine benefits. Those who fall into the disgrace of dying in this state will eternally suffer the torments of hell.
The living members of the Church, brothers of the dead members, have the obligation to make every effort to rescue these souls from their unhappy state – especially those who publically live in mortal sin. In a society where the institution of the family is increasingly endangered, such a public state of sin is manifested with an emphasized virulence, with divorced persons that ‘marry’ again under civil law. It’s patent doctrine of the Church that a new conjugal relationship after the first – and only – matrimonial bond constitutes adultery, and that adultery is a mortal sin.
Just as we would be willing to do anything to protect our families from a contagious illness, much more so should we keep them from being caught up in the claws of this terrible plague that has so many victims around the world. And, of course, with great charity, we should do all possible to rescue the souls that find themselves in such an unhappy situation. But, in this undertaking, it’s necessary to act with delicacy, care and seriousness to avoid that in helping some arise, many others end up falling…There are two problems: protecting the living members from mortal contagion and helping the dead so that they return to the true life of grace. The assistance given to the latter cannot endanger the former.
As always, the Church has responses about how to proceed in this difficult situation. However, just as in physical health, medicine is not always agreeable to take, even though its results are beneficial when applied with wisdom.
Let’s read what the Magisterium teaches …