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Intervention of Mons. Raymond Leo BURKE, Archbishop Emeritus of Saint-Louis, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura (VATICAN CITY)



The first concern is a somewhat widespread problem of Catholic faithful passing to a non-Catholic Eastern Church or the Islamic religion in order to free themselves from a matrimonial bond. Within the perspective of ecclesial communion which considers the indissolubility of marriage as its great treasure, the abandonment of the communion of the Church with the pretension of breaking the marriage bond inflicts a distinct wound upon the membership of the Church.
The second concern is the treatment of causes of marriage nullity with justice, both in service of communion and as a witness to Justice of which the Church should be the mirror in the world. Keeping in mind no. 29 of the Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Sacramentum caritatis, the following points must be observed: the need to prepare fitting ministers of justice for the ecclesiastical tribunals (cf. CCEO, cann. 1086, § 4; 1087, § 3; and 1099, § 2); the collaboration, also between sui iuris Churches, in the erection and operation of effective ecclesiastical tribunals (cf. CCEO, cann. 1067-1068); the assiduous observance of the procedural laws, in order to avoid even the appearance of partiality; the acknowledgment of the service of ecclesial communion, in this precise matter, offered, together with the Petrine ministry (cf. CCEO, can. 1059), by the Apostolic Signatura through the vigilance over the administration of justice (cf. Lex propria, art. 35; and can. CCEO, can. 1062, § 1); the fitting and swift administration of justice in causes of marriage nullity as an essential means of promoting the teaching on indissolubility; the better coordination of the administration of justice at local tribunals with the justice exercised by the Holy See, also by means of agreements or conventions between the Patriarchs and the Tribunal of the Roman Rota for the treatment of causes which legitimately arrive at the Roman Rota; and the timeliness of updating the relevant laws in the personal Statutes where they exist (cf. CCEO, cann. 99, § 1; and 1358).
Addressing the above concerns of canonical discipline will contribute to the communion of the Church in the Middle East, which all canonical discipline exists to safeguard and promote.

[00112-02.02] [IN068] [Original text: English]




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