Thinking of those who have pastoral care of married couples and families, the synod fathers rejected any split or “dichotomy” between instruction (which is necessary for any progress in fulfilling the design of God) and doctrine (taught by the Church with all its consequences and which includes the command to live according to that doctrine). It is not a matter of keeping the law as a mere “ideal” to be obeyed in the future. It is a question of the command of Christ the Lord that difficulties should constantly be overcome. In fact, the “law of gradualness,” as it is called, is not possible unless a person sincerely obeys the divine law and seeks those benefits that are protected and promoted by that law. For “the law of gradualness” (or gradual progress) cannot be the same as “gradualness of the law” as if there were various grades or forms of commandment for different men and circumstances in the divine law. — from his speech to the 1980 Synod on the Family
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