Pope Francis on Amoris laetitia and reception of Communion by Divorced and Remarried Persons

Pope Francis's comments in an interview (see a transcript and the video of his comments at 1P5) support the interpretation of his intent that I proposed in my previous post, namely that the pastoral practice in dealing with divorced and remarried persons who desire accompaniment by the Church and to live within it, should be somewhat more like the pastoral practice in dealing with persons who, objectively and voluntarily, reject various points of Catholic doctrine and unity, but who desire a certain union with the Church, and/or who have limited access to the sacraments in their own church or ecclesial community. He affirms that there are new, concrete possibilities opened up that did not exist prior to Amoris laetitia, yet at the same time, that to say that alone — "I could say, 'yes, period.', but that would be too small an answer" — without seeing that in the larger context would be a mistake.

In the case of the orthodox, it is clear enough to most people that there are reasons why an orthodox christian is not in a position to accept, e.g., the Church's teaching on the authority of the pope — because he grew up learning to see the Church's teaching as wrong, a human deviation, etc. — and that the Church's acceptance that these persons can in good faith reject the pope's authority does not imply any lessening of the doctrine itself. It does imply, however, this doctrine is not manifestly true to each and every person of good will.

If there are similar externally perceptible reasons why individual persons are not in a position to accept the Church's teaching on the indissolubility and unity of marriage and/or the restriction of genital intercourse to marriage, and the Church accepts these, this similarly does not imply a lessening of the doctrine of indissolubility and unity of marriage itself. It does, however, imply, just as in the case of the orthodox and the authority of the pope, that the Church's doctrine on marriage is not manifestly true to all of good will, not even to all Catholics of good will.

There is, of course, a difference between the orthodox who does not accept the Church's teaching, and a Catholic who does not accept it, namely that the Catholic claims to be Catholic. This could be a reason to maintain a different practice in the two cases, not because of there being a difference in regard to whether one or the other is manifesting persevering in sin or not, but because one claims to be a Catholic, to be with and live with the Catholic Church, and the other does not.

 

2 thoughts on “Pope Francis on Amoris laetitia and reception of Communion by Divorced and Remarried Persons”

  1. In any case, Pope Francis might just think that there is no good reason to enforce can. 915, at least with respect to situations involving marriage, if he thinks that basically no one is scandalized by seeing people receiving communion while they are in that kind of situation.

    1. Your wrong. Many Catholics take the sacraments of the Church seriously,. and are scandalised when they see those they know are in adultery receive the Blessed Sacrament. It's an insult to the faith, and it's crucifying Christ again by placing him in contact with those who don't care about God, His law and why Christ offered Himself up for fallen man.

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