These days, I have heard it said multiple times (specifically with regard to Communion for the divorced and remarried) that “people may not be refused Communion at the altar rail”. Most recently, the Bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart, Germany, said:
"In pastoral care at the parish level, the rule is “people may not be turned away at the altar rail.”
I have never understood this statement, which is chucked about very loosely here, in light of Canons such as 915 and possibly 916. Those saying “no one may be turned away” argue that Jesus says “take and eat”, and gives no requirements. They also say that Saint Paul doesn’t give a principle, but concrete sins that preclude someone from Communion in I Cor 11.
So, really, are these two statements mutually exclusive? Is there a basis in Canon Law for the first one? It does sound like a “right” to Communion in any given instance.