Skip to comments.Francis may end ban on remarried divorcees receiving communion
Posted on 10/22/2013 7:38:45 AM PDT by BlatherNaut
At present, the many thousands of divorced Roman Catholics who remarry cannot receive the sacrament that is central to the practice of the faith.
However, Pope Francis has convened an "extraordinary synod" in October next year on the subject of the family, and on his flight back from World Youth Day in Brazil the Pope told journalists that it would explore a "somewhat deeper pastoral care of marriage", which would include the question of allowing Catholics who were divorced and remarried to receive Communion.
(Excerpt) Read more at cathnews.com ...
I doubt that this will happen. The media going astray? Even the Catholic source that you are quoting?
Wouldn’t that depend on why the divorce happened?
The wife could have had an abusive husband or an adulator for a husband or even one that went to the store and never came back, should that woman upon remarriage be denied?
Are divorced husbands not held to the same standards?
What if the woman was divorced and converted to Catholicism?
Should she be denied?
Sorry not getting this at all, for me communion is between you and God not you and a man.
For a website that questions everything the spews forth from the MSM I’m constantly amazed how FR takes what it says about the Church at face value. The Church is always discussing and considering the Will of God. This is no different and I’m sure the discussion will come to the same conclusion the Church has for millennia.
The Church isn’t a private club with rules for the membership. We are the Family of God following where He leads. We do not take of the Body of our Lord when living in a state of sin... not because the Church doesn’t like it but because we condemn ourselves when we do (1 Cor 11:29). The Church is looking out for you, not barring you from lunch.
The only question is whether or not remarried couples are living in sin. We have mechanisms in place already to determine the answer and heal the wounded.
I hope you’re right, but if he wasn’t at least considering it, why would he be calling this synod, and why did he mention the practice of the Orthodox in regard to divorce and remarriage during a recent interview?
It seems to me that the practical effect of such a liberalization would be that people in unhappy marriages will consider this, essentially, as a fast track, de facto annulment. If one can receive communion after remarrying - why bother with an annulment?
This seems to me to be a kick in the teeth to those faithful spouses who have tried to make their marriages with unfaithful spouses work. If they do this, another effect will be to increase the rate of Catholic divorces.
Aside from the practical impact, how do they get around the Lord’s expressed words (e.g. Luke 16:18, Mark 10:12, Matthew 5:32) regarding anyone who divorces and remarries commits adultery? Are advocates suggesting that a marital blessing makes adultery okay?
Seems rather Jesuitical. Ooops...but, we do have a Jesuit for a pope. Still, I can’t imagine the pope, in the end, would approve this.
The only ones attending a ‘service’ at a Novus Ordo Church Of The New Religion, will be homosexuals, pedophiles and aged Catholics who haven’t bought a hearing aid yet and are functionally blind.
Trying telling that to Rep. Pelosi or VP Biden.
It is between man and God. The Church simply offers Her guidance on how to receive worthily and without condemnation (again 1 Cor 11:29). There are mechanisms in the Church to ascertain what you questioned above.
Reason #3 is moot.
I had a great aunt who had to leave her husband back in the 1950’s when he became an abusive, deadbeat drunk. She lived alone and raised her children, remaining alone and celibate until passing away in her 80’s. Remaining faithful to Church teaching. Never got a divorce but always stayed separated. I think Pope Francis is looking for a way to help people like her, who are in the position due to no fault of their own.
....Or rather to speed the annullment process up, in other words, put it on fast track.
Why should a man or woman for that matter be denied communion because their cheating, lowdown, backstabbing wife or husband dumped them for someone else?
I fail to see what point it makes other than rubbing salt in an open wound.
...there would be no essential need for an annulment.
Yet my parish is growing, got a truly devout priest, and now I am part as an assistant teacher/mentor for the parish RCIA ministry, have interest from a number of young adults. As long as the NO is done in a truly reverent manor, a parish is going to grow.
I call BS on this one.
He has indicated that we need to be more pastoral on this issue, but being more pastoral does not mean condoning adultery.
From his press conference on the return flight from WYD:
Gian Guido Vecchi: Holy Father, during this trip you have spoken many times about mercy. In regard to access to the sacraments of divorced persons who have remarried, is there a possibility that something will change in the discipline of the Church? That these sacraments be an occasion to bring these people closer, rather than a barrier that separates them from the other faithful?
Pope Francis: This is a subject that is always asked about. Mercy is greater than the case you pose. I believe this is the time of mercy. This change of era, also so many problems of the Church such as the witness thats not good of some priests, also problems of corruption in the Church, also the problem of clericalism, to give an example — have left so many wounds, so many wounds. And the Church is Mother: she must go to heal the wounds with mercy. But if the Lord does not tire of forgiving, we have no other choice than this: first of all, to cure the wounds. The Church is Mother and must go on this path of mercy. And find mercy for all. But I think, when the Prodigal Son returned home, his father didnt say: But you, listen sit down: what did you do with the money? No! He had a feast! Then, perhaps, when the son wished to speak, he spoke. The Church must do likewise. When there is someone not just wait for them: go to find them! This is mercy. And I believe that this is a kairos: this time is a kairosof mercy. But John Paul II had this first intuition, when he began with Faustina Kowalska, the Divine Mercy he had something, he had intuited that it was a necessity of this time. With reference to the problem of Communion, its not a problem, but when they are in a second union, they cant. I think that its necessary to look at this in the totality of matrimonial ministry. And because of this its a problem. But also a parenthesis the Orthodox have a different practice. They follow the theology of the economy, as we call it, and give a second possibility, they allow it. But I think this problem I close the parenthesis must be studied in the framework of matrimonial ministry. And because of this, two things: first, one of the subjects to be consulted with these eight of the Council of Cardinals, with whom we will meet, the 1st, 2nd and 3rd of October, is how to go forward in matrimonial ministry, and this problem will arise there. And, a second thing: Fifteen days ago, the secretary of the Synod of Bishops was with me, for the topic of the next Synod. It was an anthropological topic, but speaking and speaking again, going and returning, we saw this anthropological topic: how faith helps the planning of the person, but in the family, and to go, therefore, to matrimonial ministry. We are on the way for a somewhat profound matrimonial ministry. And this is everyones problem, because there are so many, no? For instance, Ill mention only one: Cardinal Quarracino, my predecessor, said that for him half of all marriages are null. Why did he say this? Because they get married without maturity, they marry without remembering that its for the whole of life, or they marry because socially they must marry. And the matrimonial ministry also comes into this. And also the judicial problem of the nullity of marriages, this must be reviewed, because the Ecclesiastical Tribunals are not enough for this. The problem of the matrimonial ministry is complex. Thank you.
Here he’s talking about looking to see if the first marriage was, in fact, valid. And, if not, willingly granting a decree of nullity so that it isn’t an impediment.
No talk at all about granting divorced and remarried people access to communion. But, the liberal press (including the liberal Catholic press) apparently can’t grasp that.
It will get a lot worse under this pope. We are just witnessing the first year.
I personally know someone who is doing exactly that, in anticipation of the changes that are expected under Pope Francis. The message is being telegraphed that "sin" has now become negotiable.
We have mechanisms in place already
Exactly. So what is the purpose of the synod?
Or rather clean up the annullment process.
Maybe Pope Francis was simply was asking to look at how the Orthodox Christians do it.
God Bless her memory.
CCC 2386: It can happen that one of the spouses is the innocent victim of a divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore has not contravened the moral law. There is a considerable difference between a spouse who has sincerely tried to be faithful to the sacrament of marriage and is unjustly abandoned, and one who through his own grave fault destroys a canonically valid marriage.
Therefore, an "innocent spouse in a marital break-up has the same possibility to receive Communion as other Catholics, with the usual conditions (being free from mortal sin in other areas of life, going to Confession if not, Eucharistic fast and so on)."
We’ve been down this road before, Big Girl, and I believe you are an honorable and caring person. However, the Novus Ordo is a NEW religion designed by modernists to destroy or remold the Church and all it stood for into a shape that will be anathema to those Catholics who understood the value of the catechism and the Church proclaimed by Pope Pius V to exist in its then present form in perpetuity.
Does that mean that all those popes succeeding Pius XII are liars and did not mean to continue Christ’s Church on earth? I believe the answer is yes and further believe that Lucifer has moved in and taken over the papacy.
This reminds me of the legions of Congressmen who took an oath to defend the Constitution as written and promulgated by America’s founding fathers, only to renege on that oath and follow the dictates of that percentage of the population who worships the wrong god.
What is the purpose of any synod... or a Vatican Council... or any of a number of gatherings? The Magisterium of the Church is enriched through these discussions and debates. In the end, we are not following men who are done thinking--we are following The Spirit Who is not done teaching.
” Maybe Pope Francis was simply was asking to look at how the Orthodox Christians do it.”
You’ll note that he explicitly put the discussion of how the Orthodox do it in verbal parentheses.
I have never believed that people should stay in an unhappy marriage just to stay in the Church.
I also do not believe that God meant man or woman to live alone the rest of their lives because they could not live in an unhappy marriage.
Many, Many, Catholics are living with women or men and going to communion now. Many are making up their own rules and attending Church anyway.
If a person married again after divorce and goes to confession and states he is living in what the Church calls an adulterous relationship, is he not blessed by the priest and his sin forgiven? Can he not then have communion the next morning and go right back to what he was doing?
Many will argue that at confession we promise to sin no more. I consider that a bad argument.
If it was a good argument we wouldn’t have to go to confession at all because we would sin no more..
No. Most people go to confession whenever they go and know in their mind that they will do the same things they went for the first time again as soon as the opportunity arises.
To me it is the greatest hyprocrisy to go to confession and say I will do it no more. We all know this and yet those pious will argue that I am wrong.
I see nothing wrong in people marrying again after a divorce. I have been married 50 years and will stay that way until death, but mine was a good marriage, if it had not been I would have moved on, and done what I thought right in my conscience.
That is why there is an allowed rite for those Catholics that want the TLM. It is one of the many rites in the Catholic Church. As long as the NO is done in a reverant and proper manner, it is still a legit rite.
You have your opinion, I have mine.
Your aunt was in communion with the Church as she lived a celibate life. It is the remarriage without an annulment that is seen to be adultery, a mortal sin.
Since Jesus seems to have allowed for divorce and remarriage in the case of adultery - by the spouse not at fault - or by the husband if not at fault if one does not expand on His words - one might think that the Church would permit it as well.
Unfortunately that would lead to consensual adultery for the purpose of divorce as was often done in England when the divorce laws were liberalized in the 19th c. The husband would go to a hotel with a woman not his wife, making a public record of his “adultery” and the couple could divorce.
BTTT for the truth!
You posed some excellent questions. After all, if there can be exceptions to marriage that result in annulment, there should be allowances for communion. That said, anything the churches can do to strengthen marriage is all to the good of society.
What is the practice of the Orthodox concerning divorce/remarriage, briefly?
“Here hes talking about looking to see if the first marriage was, in fact, valid. And, if not, willingly granting a decree of nullity so that it isnt an impediment.”
I hope you’re right that this is just BS.
The premise he cites (that half of all marriages are invalid) seems extreme. A sacrament with a 50% failure rate is rectified by declaring it never happened to begin with? With the clergy saying such things, how can the laity be blamed for not taking the sacraments seriously?
God bless her and the many cuckolded, abandoned or widowed spouses who remain faithful. They are an example to the homosexuals who just can't imagine that a human being can survive without a sexual partner.
” The premise he cites (that half of all marriages are invalid) seems extreme. A sacrament with a 50% failure rate is rectified by declaring it never happened to begin with? With the clergy saying such things, how can the laity be blamed for not taking the sacraments seriously?”
I, personally, just see this as yet another example of the appalling lack of catechesis that has pervaded the post VCII Church.
It’s not the sacrament that failed. It is the ministers of the sacrament (the couple) who failed to either understand or appreciate the sacrament itself and what they were committing to...and a failure of the witnesses (the clergy) to make sure that the happy couple really had comprehension.
And, of course, we don’t even want to start talking about the open rebellion to Christ in the Church (reference Paul VI’s famous, but oft-misunderstood “smoke of Satan” comments)
I think you have leapt to a conclusion that he didn't indicate. In post 16 he says the Church should recognize this particular form of spiritual brokenness and find ways to minister. He did not define those ways, or say that the Church would redefine sin or excuse the thoughtlessness of marrying stupidly.
Hope you're right. Only time will tell.
Francis is slapping the entire Catholic faith right in the mouth.
That is the issue.
When my bride and I did our pre Cana, we were living in the Lincoln Diocese. We had eight weeks of classes, a test, and many visits with the priest.
However, there were a lot of people who complained, and either left to get married by the Anglicans, or jumped into Kansas for a more “modern” diocese.
The issue is how people approach marriage. Not just what the church is doing. Tighting up the pre Cana process would only compound the problem by having people move outside the church.
One thing to keep in mind is the warning from Archbishop Chaput at WYD
” We make a very serious mistake if we rely on media like the New York Times, Newsweek, CNN, or MSNBC for reliable news about religion. These news media simply dont provide trustworthy information about religious faithand sometimes they cant provide it, either because of limited resources or because of their own editorial prejudices. These are secular operations focused on making a profit. They have very little sympathy for the Catholic faith, and quite a lot of aggressive skepticism toward any religious community that claims to preach and teach Gods truth.”
He goes on to say that the sources you should trust are the Catholic media.
However, one thing we are finding in the pontificate of Francis is that the agendas of many of these Catholic sources is being revealed, as well.
Note this article that recently came out:
” Even the upper echelons of the Vatican hierarchy have been aware for a while now that, since Francis rose to the papal throne, his river of words has been reaching people through all sorts of channels and without any intermediaries. So the Popes direct way of addressing his audience is ensuring that the media do not go into a spinning frenzy regarding the figure and actions of the Bishop of Rome.”
If I didn’t have a record of what he really said, even many of the Catholic sites would “interpret” (read: spin) his words.
Just to play devil's advocate here - I wonder how that comprehension could be objectively verified to a satisfactory degree, since "comprehension" is so subjective (and apparently subject to historical revision in some cases in order to obtain an annulment). Maybe it's unfair to assign too much blame to the clergy, pre cana, etc.
Out of curiosity, I just looked up the criteria used to declare nullity, and was surprised to discover that if those criteria were applied to my own marriage, it could also be objectively declared null (which strikes me as totally absurd, because even though I didn't have an iota of comprehension in regard to Church teaching regarding marriage, I still knew that entering into marriage is considered a permanent commitment in societal terms and that marriage vows are a promise to be kept).
Many in the church believe that communion should be witheld from those who perform or actively support abortion. Is that between them and God as well?
If the Church does move down this road then it will only be a matter of time before it recognizes civil divorce as well. Then marriage will be for Catholics what it has become for other faiths. A union between one man and one woman...for however long is convenient to them both.
He has to show remorse for the sin he has committed. How can he do that and continue to live his sinful life?
“The only question is whether or not remarried couples are living in sin. We have mechanisms in place already to determine the answer and heal the wounded”.
Not the ones that got an annulment through the Church. This is not about to change. Been that way for a long, long time. An annulment meant the marriage basically never happened. And let me tell you, the Church does not automatically grant them. It took my wife 3 years from the time she started for the Church to approve it. She had to have all kinds of documentation. In the end she proved that her “catholic” husband was not really catholic. He went to Mass when they were going together. Once married he refused to go in the front door of the Church. Her and a few others had to attest to his abandoning the church. The annulment was finally approved and we got married in the Catholic Church a few months later. And before anyone asks, we did not live together before we were married.
“I have never believed that people should stay in an unhappy marriage just to stay in the Church”.
They don’t have to be unhappily married, just don’t live together. That is yours and your spouse’s business. Go to communion and confession all you want and it’s perfectly fine. You didn’t get a divorce. The ones that are shacking up and still going to communion will have to answer to God in the end and he does not like someone breaking his Commandments.
As to the point you’re making here, there is no prohibition of Communion for the divorced in the Church now, anyone who says differently (even anyone on FR) is wrong. There’s not even a prohibition of divorce. You can get divorced of you are Catholic.
The preceding are common misconceptions. That is, many believe that divorced Catholics are: 1. Living in sin just by being divorced and 2. Since they are in sin, they shouldn’t receive Communion.
These are simply wrong.
What Catholics are NOT allowed to do is get divorced and remarry! I’ll leave it to others to explain that more fully, but I thought I’d set you straight on the matter. The Church isn’t forcing wives to stay with abusive husbands. Not at all.
As for the OP, this is where the controversey occurs or might, if it is indeed true. Because again, you aren’t allowed to remarry if you divorce yourself from your spouse. That’s where the sin starts.
I am glad you cited CCC 2386 because it does suggest the way this is seen by the SPXX and Sedevacantist on this site is that the Catholic Church is changing its teaching on marriage. Not true, and of course there are the usual FR Protestant Brigades who will chime in the same way.
The Catholic CHurch does not forbid Eastern Orthodox Christians from taking Holy Communion in the Catholic CHurch. The views that CCC 2386 suggest and what Pope Francis is talking about sounds consistent with what the Eastern ORthodox Church allows so are we talking about a change in moral theology, no, are we talking about a change in Church canons [rules standards] with respect to who can take Holy Communion, yes, but it is not a change in Doctrine. Unfortunately, there are too many individuals who think they are top notch theologians who will not understand what CCC 2386 is clearly stating and try to spin any change in church policy towards reception of Holy Communion to fit there own preconceived agendas.
I would argue that this isn't necessarily a good thing if he is telling people to "make a mess" and other such peculiar remarks, seeing Pelagianism where it doesn't exist, mischaracterizing (perhaps inadvertently) certain types of prayer, etc. Also what is important to note is that the majority of consumers of Pope Francis commentary do absorb mainly media-selected soundbites, which is why a considered, disciplined approach to messaging is prudent. Whether or not the picture of him that is forming is an accurate one (that of a liberal reformer in the footsteps of Bernadin or Martini, etc.) will become clearer over time. Unfortunately there can be no doubt that many find his commentary (even in context) confusing, disturbing and even in some cases seemingly contradictory to Church teaching.
If I didnt have a record of what he really said, even many of the Catholic sites would interpret (read: spin) his words.
Unfortunately the vast majority of people only get the spin (if that's what it is).
Isn’t going to happen.
You can tell if you are reading an uninformed reporter’s scribbling if he refers to “the Catholic Church’s ban on...” whatever.
There is no “ban” on contraception, no “ban” on abortion, no “ban” on bigamy (which is what this article is about). Just as there is no “ban” on murder, no “ban” on stealing, and no “ban” on lying.
Perhaps these secular reporters would get the point if one were to ask: “When is modern society going to lift its ban on racism. How about lifting the ban on sexism? Why doesn’t society lift the ban on molesting children?”