Please don’t tell me you think I should be allowed to remarry. It’s not as kind as you think it is.

I highly recommend you read this blog by Róisín Gallagher which states from an intensely personal perspective, Catholic truth far more eloquently than I could on this.

It contains some important perspective for priests:
It saddened me to learn that I wasn’t the only person to whom a member of the clergy had said “you’re being too hard on yourself”. Whilst these sound like kind caring words, when addressed to a person who has turned to you for advice on how to live a more authentic, more Christ-centered life, they can actually be the complete opposite. Worse still, when offered as a response to a confession of something clearly sinful it has the potential to be damaging. This is exactly my idea of a ‘false concept of mercy’.
We are inundated with a wealth of life advice every day; I can read articles and blogs about how I should live. I can follow the example of countless celebrities and can embrace the pseudo freedom that the media wants me to believe I posses. I can be happy with this relationship, or that job. I can do anything I want. And yet I am drawn back to the counter cultural life of the Catholic Church because it has something that every other institution lacks. The Truth!
This part, in particular, nearly brought me to tears:
Mostly, because I really, really want it to be true. I really do want it to be okay for me to be divorced and get married again. (Now that I know the Catholic Marriage I’d like, it’s a near all consuming thought). Like any human person, I want it to be alright to do all the things that make me happy, right now! I want it to be fine to drown myself in temporal pleasure.
But it’s not.
It just isn’t. It’s a lie.
Perhaps because, despite all my sins, all my stupid decisions, my poor judgement, my dreadful mistakes, I did this right. I had a Catholic idea of marriage which I stuck to. I married the right person, the person God had planned, and my marriage is the best thing I ever did. It has been blessed with much sadness as well as laughter, but all the great burdens of life have been made possible by my partnership with my wife who I love more than words can say.

The result of this good decision is that I want that same potential fulfilled for everyone, most importantly my own children. So I try my best to explain to them what the essential and valuable elements of a Catholic marriage are; most importantly rooted in an understanding of the imago Dei and the fundamental dignity of every human being. But after reading Róisín's blog, I wonder if her negative testimony is in fact more powerful than my positive one?


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