Family law attorney Dave Mejias says the upcoming visit of Pope Francis to New York has the means to profoundly rethink divorce for Catholics and how the Church currently confronts the modern, unconventional family.
Mejias argues that despite Pope Francis’ more progressive views on easier access to annulments of marriage and the inevitability of marital separation in certain situations, the Catholic Church continues to let its Dogma get in the way of their true Christian values. Says Mejias, “the rest of the Vatican leadership needs to learn to hate the sin, love the sinner.”
As a matrimonial lawyer daily confronted with the personal wreckage of failed relationships Mejias believes, “Pope Francis is on the right track adjusting annulment procedure and his opinions that, on occasion marital separation is the answer, but he is still letting the Dogma of the church get in the way of true Christian values – love and acceptance. It is absolutely morally necessary if either the spouse or child is in any danger – physically or financially. But annulment is not divorce, and a spouse needs to be guaranteed support both financially and spiritually. Separation via annulment leaves the spouse and child at risk from the exploitative marriage, and divorce would leave them at risk of excommunication from their house of worship. What is a parishioner to do?”
Mejias is available to discuss what he believes is an historic opportunity for Pope Francis to use his papal visit to the Festival of Families in the U.S. as a vehicle for extraordinary change, but worries that the Holy See has forgotten those who are an unconventional family for the sake of glorifying the traditional household, “The strength of a family is not determined by its propriety, but by love and devotion. Love comes in many different shapes and sizes – be it a single parent or same sex couple, their love isn’t any less because the Catholic Church says so. We should all leave the judging to God. The Pope has taken a series of modest steps when, in fact, he needs to embark on a journey.”