Skip to comments.Vatican Reiterates Divorced Remarried Catholics Are Banned From Communion
Posted on 10/23/2013 2:00:00 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
A Vatican official reiterated this week that divorced remarried Catholics are still banned from taking Communion.
In a lengthy essay published on Tuesday in the Vatican newspaper "L'Osservatore Romano," Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller acknowledged the tensions the church dealt with in choosing to stand by an earlier tenant.
"Today even firm believers are seriously wondering: can the Church not admit the divorced and remarried to the sacraments under certain conditions? Are her hands permanently tied on this matter? Have theologians really explored all the implications and consequences?" Müller, the Vatican's chief doctrine official, wrote.
Müller denied that mercy superseded the authority of Biblical teachings, and added that marriage was not a sacrament "for the individuals concerned to decide on its validity, but rather for the Church."
Müller also reminded remarried Catholics that a relationship with God was not limited to their ability to take Communion.
"It is important to realize that there are other ways, apart from sacramental communion, of being in fellowship with God. One can draw close to God by turning to him in faith, hope and charity, in repentance and prayer. God can grant his closeness and his salvation to people on different paths, even if they find themselves in a contradictory life situation," he wrote.
He also encouraged priests and church leaders to make sure that they "welcome people in irregular situations openly and sincerely, to stand by them sympathetically and helpfully, and to make them aware of the love of the Good Shepherd."
Müller's words come at a time when the Freiburg diocese in Germany announced earlier this month that it intended to give Communion to divorcees. The diocese, which first launched its campaign in February 2012, had declared that the current church teaching came from a spirit of "moral condemnation" leaving remarried Catholics with a "painful feeling of exclusion" and said that it would only individually grant the sacrament after couples had been interviewed by a priest.
Immediately after the diocese announced its decision, the Vatican immediately criticized Freiburg, arguing that its position only brought "confusion."
Current church teaching dictates that Catholics who wish to remarry must have their first marriage annulled if they seek to continue participating in the church's sacraments -- an act that declares the marriage never existed. If the church does not grant an annulment, it considers the person remarrying to be committing adultery.
Ted Kennedy didn’t need to wait in line. He had a cellar full of wine back home.
But democrat politicians that pray at the alter of abortion are good to go!!!
So if I am divorced, then remarried, and then divorced again, am I permitted communion?
It used to be that if you were divorced, remarried, you could receive communion, if you agreed to live with your second spouse as ‘brother and sister’.
So, are the following divorced Catholics taking communion?
That's true right now. 'Josephite Marriage'
However, it's not just agreed, it's a demonstrated commitment.
So divorced Catholics receive no forgiveness but the Pelosi Catholics can receive Communion as they worship at the altar of abortion?
Well, New Gingrich is a converted catholic, after his marriage, so it does not apply to him. The rest of the list, not sure about Mel Gibson, are born Catholics.
Being divorced and remarried equals living in continual adultery = going to hell when you die. Have to go back and find your first spouse. I don’t think God sees it that way.....
Nancy Pelosi said that the Pope was incorrect on the Catholic position regarding birth control/abortion. Does she still receive?
You see, Catholics are not forbidden divorce. Only remarriage, which you have apparently taken care of, but weren't really really married anyway.
However, in starting your life anew, I urge you to consider annulment, or perhaps even the Pauline Privilege, which is why Catholic Royals advised unsatisfactory spouses to accept the veil or Holy Orders, and in earlier times, married converted Christians were allowed to dump the unconverted partner.
Please consult a Canon Lawyer, Vinnie the Hit Man, or, join another church.
Be advised although Freepers are Holy Terrors for the most part, none of us is exactly recognized as a Certified Vatican-Licensed Spiritual Advisor. I did stay in a Holiday Inn Express once, though.
So by divorcing my second wife, have I demonstrated sufficient committment?
I don’t think anullment is an option for me, as I got a dispensation to marry in the first place.
And I don’t have the funds for a canon lawyer or for Vinie the Hitman.
Anyone who imagines that being remarried means continual adultery isn’t familar with the facts of modern marriage.
That wedding cake has unusual properties!
Newt Gingrich was only married In the Catholic Church once. To his present wife.
Interesting topic for me. I divorced nearly 30 years ago. She was Catholic, me, not so much. I wasn’t going to any church or part of any organized religion.
Now, in order for me to be baptized, and my new bride to resume communion, I have to ensure my ex and I are properly annulled, and I cannot find her.
Instead of conjecture regarding the state of Pelosi’s, Biden’s, and others’ souls, I would suggest everyone pray for them.
Receiving the Eucharist while endorsing error and creating scandal reflects an arrogance beyond any healing except Divine.
Life is short. Eternity is forever. I would hate to see anyone suffer hell eternally. It is also our duty to pray for these people.
RE: The rest of the list, not sure about Mel Gibson, are born Catholics.
I believe he is born Catholic. His father is in fact,an outspoken critic, both of the post-Vatican II Roman Catholic Church and of those Traditionalist Catholics, like the Society of Saint Pius X, who reject Sedevacantism.
Well, maybe, but - ain't nothing like the real thing, baby.
Then you must take Holy Orders!
Not interested in replying to that type of question.
You can always tell a non-Catholic article from a Catholic one: “taking communion”. Catholics don’t take communion, they receive communion.
Tell us the details. How long did Ted Kennedy wait for his annulment? And what were the grounds?
My husband is a Catholic of the Society of Saint Pius X.
Me, not so much. I’m a non-denominational protestant. Needless to say, we often butt heads on religious matters. And no offense to anyone, but sometimes I feel the whole Catholic religion thing is more to please man, than it is to please God.
But that’s just me.
Mel Gibson is divorced but he is not remarried. And since he has split with his baby mama he is no longer an adulterer, and can presumably be admitted to Communion.
Hey, but at least the luxury German bishop was expelled!
Yes. Assuming you're in a state of grace.
I’m glad to see this support for the sanctity of marriage. This is the direction all should go.
That is still the case. What the Church objects to, based on the teachings of Christ, is adultery, i.e. having sexual relations with someone other than your (first) spouse. So no adultery = no problem.
I find this silly. Ask them if they repented from the act of divorce. heh.
This is between them and God. The idea that humans can step in between a person and God and claim authority to tell you what God thinks is ridiculous.
The Bible doesn’t grant that power to any mortal human.
Either they are members in good standing or they are not, give them the boot if that is the case.
As for Gingrich, his first two marriages, which were when he was not a Catholic, which did not involve Catholic spouses, and which were not solemnized by the Sacrament of Matrimony in the Catholic Church, were annulled. He never attempted to divorce from a sacramental marriage, and therefore it is not an issue.
The rest --- Kerry, Giuliani, Cuomo --- do they go to Communion? I know that all three of them have been mentioned by name by Canon Lawyer Ed Peters as not being eligible. Do they belong to parishes?
Do you think somebody should be surveilling them? surveilling them?
But her parents are giving her no end of grief for getting involved with someone who cannot be married in the church. It is very sad to see what this is doing to her, at a time that should be joyful for her.What her parents are trying to do is prevent enormous grief down the line for their daughter who you say is a good Catholic. Her Catholicism will go down the drain, and her marriage will not be recognized in the Catholic Church. Lots of problems. I'm with the parents!
RE: The rest -— Kerry, Giuliani, Cuomo -— do they go to Communion? I know that all three of them have been mentioned by name by Canon Lawyer Ed Peters as not being eligible. Do they belong to parishes?
I forgot to mention the VP, Joe Biden. He was married to Neilia Hunter (19661972) and is now married to Jill Jacobs (1977present). Is he taking communion?
I always enjoy these type of topics on freerepublic. “Conservative” protestants always come here and complain about the Church’s stance on divorce...it just brings a smile to my face.
Joe Biden just this year took Communion at the Vatican, he was there to meet and congratulate his Pope.
This shows a misunderstanding of the issue. The Church does not object to divorce per se, especially if it is needed to protect a spouse or family from abuse; or if the failed marriage was invalid from the git-go, and therefore the vows were defective.
"This is between them and God. The idea that humans can step in between a person and God and claim authority to tell you what God thinks is ridiculous."
Not so much if you value Biblical teaching. It was a public dispute about the validity of Herod's marriage that led to the beheading of John the Baptist, who dared to rebuke Herod and "tell him what God thinks" in public.
It was a dispute about the permissibility of divorce which cause the Pharisee to ask Jesus for his ruling on the matter as a rabbi. The Jewish tradition definitely put their religious leaders in a position to judge.
In two of his letters St. Paul affirms the indissolubility of marriage.In neither case is remarriage an acceptable Christian option:
To the married I give charge, not I but the Lord, that the wife should not separatefrom her husband, but if she does, let her remain single or else be reconciled to her husband and that the husband should not divorce is wife
(1 Cor 7:10-11).
Thus a married woman is bound by law to her husband as long as he lives; but if her husband dies she is discharged from the law concerning the husband. Accordingly,she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies she is free from that law, and if she remarries another she is not an adulteress
"The Bible doesnt grant that power to any mortal human."
Quite the contrary: Paul as an authorized leader in the Church --- as an Apostle --- had that power: that's why he was within his authority to make these rulings. He also ruled on other marriage cases: one where he condemns the Corinthians for tolerating a case of marriage between a man and his stepmother; and his judgment is clear: the man must be removed from the congregation. He tells the Corinthians to expel him.
He also made a ruling about divorce and remarriage when a Christian is married to an unbelieving spouse.
"But if the unbeliever departs, let him depart; a brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases. But God has called us to peace. For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?"
What he;s saying here (if you read the whole thing) is that if they are willing to stay together, they should do so, because the believing spouse may convert the unbeliever; but, if the unbelieving spouse leaves, the believer can let him or her depart, and is not "under bondage" in such cases: in other words, they are free to remarry.
It was to settle disputes of all kinds --- including this kind --- that the Church was empowered by Christ to hear disputants and make a ruling. That's why Christ said --- well, see the tagline... :o)
Of course Nancy Pelousey and Joe Biden can still take communion. Its not the same if you push abortion.
Paul was leader of the apostles he was never explicitly appointed head of a church.
Biden’s wife Neilia and one-year-old daughter were killed in an automobile accident in 1972. He married his second wife in 1977. Really, do you have a problem with that?
1) While Peter was central in the early spread of the gospel (part of the meaning behind Matthew 16:18-19), the teaching of Scripture, taken in context, nowhere declares that he was in authority over the other apostles or over the church (see Acts 15:1-23; Galatians 2:1-14; 1 Peter 5:1-5). Nor is it ever taught that the bishop of Rome was to have primacy over the church. Rather, there is only one reference in Scripture of Peter writing from Babylon, a name sometimes applied to Rome, found in 1 Peter 5:13. Primarily from this, and the historical rise of the influence of the bishop of Rome (due to the support of Constantine and the Roman emperors who followed him), come the Roman Catholic Churchs teaching of the primacy of the bishop of Rome. However, Scripture shows that Peters authority was shared by the other apostles (Ephesians 2:19-20) and that the loosing and binding authority attributed to him was likewise shared by the local churches, not just their church leaders (see Matthew 18:15-19; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Corinthians 13:10; Titus 2:15; 3:10-11).
2) Nowhere does Scripture state that in order to keep the church from error, the authority of the apostles was passed on to those they ordained (the idea behind apostolic succession). Apostolic succession is read into those verses that the Roman Catholic Church uses to support this doctrine (2 Timothy 2:2; 4:2-5; Titus 1:5; 2:1; 2:15; 1 Timothy 5:19-22). What Scripture DOES teach is that false teachings would arise even from among church leaders and that Christians were to compare the teachings of these later church leaders with Scripture, which alone is cited in the Bible as infallible. The Bible does not teach that the apostles were infallible, apart from what was written by them and incorporated into Scripture. Paul, in talking to the church leaders in the large city of Ephesus, makes note of coming false teachers. Paul does NOT commend them to the apostles and those who would carry on their authority, but rather to God and to the word of His grace (Acts 20:28-32).
Again, the Bible teaches that it is Scripture that is to be used as measuring stick to determine truth from error. In Galatians 1:8-9, Paul states that it is not WHO teaches but WHAT is being taught that is to be used to determine truth from error. While the Roman Catholic Church continues to pronounce a curse to hell, or anathema, upon those who would reject the authority of the pope, Scripture reserves that curse for those who would teach a different gospel (Galatians 1:8-9).
3) While the Roman Catholic Church sees apostolic succession as logically necessary in order for God to unerringly guide the church, Scripture states that God has provided for His church through the following:
(a) Infallible Scripture, (Acts 20:32; 2 Timothy 3:15-17; Matthew 5:18; John 10:35; Acts 17:10-12; Isaiah 8:20; 40:8; etc.) Note: Peter speaks of Pauls writings in the same category as other Scripture (2 Peter 3:16),
(b) Christs unending high-priesthood in heaven (Hebrews 7:22-28),
(c) The provision of the Holy Spirit who guided the apostles into truth after Christs death (John 16:12-14), who gifts believers for the work of the ministry, including teaching (Romans 12:3-8; Ephesians 4:11-16), and who uses the written Word as His chief tool (Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 6:17).
While there have seemingly been good (humanly speaking) and moral men who have served as pope of the Roman Catholic Church, including Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, and Pope Francis I, the Roman Catholic Church teaching about the office of the pope should be rejected because it is not in continuity with the teachings of the original church related to us in the New Testament. This comparison of any churchs teaching is essential, lest we miss the New Testaments teaching concerning the gospel, and not only miss eternal life in heaven ourselves, but unwittingly lead others down the wrong path (Galatians 1:8-9).
The answer is don’t let what someone else thinks of you including your parents affect your self-esteem. You have to stay true to your own convictions in life to be happy, but not someone else’s. If I had to make my parents happy instead of being true to my convictions then I’d be a Democrat.
The Divorced-and-Remarried don’t control billions in federal dollars.
Pope Benedict XVI? Pope John XXIII? Pope Leo?
I recall that bishop Howard Hubbard, at a Mass celebrated BECAUSE of Andrew Cuomo’s inauguration as governor, said from the pulpit that Cuomo and his shack-up (who were seated up front) were “evangelists.”
Whether one or both of them received Communion was not clear, as I recall, from the news accounts. But the statement from Howard Hubbard was almost as scandalous in itself.
I’m sure that many Catholics are maintaining a countdown to Hubbard’s 75th birthday.
Newt had to obtain annulments of his prior marriage(s) in order to marry Callista in the Catholic Church.
But if Newt had never become a Catholic, he and Callista would still need an annulment before they could marry in the Catholic Church.
There two are exceptions to this: If a person becomes a Catholic and the existing spouse refuses to live in peace with the convert. I believe this is called the “Pauline privilege.” There’s something called the “Petrine privilege,” but I forget what it is.
Sounds like you know more than I do.
Oddly people are permitted to have relations with other than their first spouse: If they are widowed, or if they merely quietly commit adultery without a remarriage, or if they convert to Catholicism after their second marriage. The church doesn’t want to endorse divorce, but if they don’t have to take a position, well, that isn’t their problem.
One fellow became a deacon, and his wife died. Because he was a deacon he was not permitted to remarry. He eventually was called to became a priest, and was very effective when counseling widows/widowers because he had been there.