Card. Meisner cites Pope Francis: No Communion for divorced, remarried [Fr. Z] reader sent the following. *Cardinal Meisner of Cologne gave an interview to Deutschlandrundfunk.

You might be interested in this interview with Cardinal Meisner:

In his third answer, he says the following (it’s my translation in*English, probably very bad):

“At my last meeting with Pope Francis, Ihad the opportunity to talk very open to him about a lot of things.And I told him that some questions remain unanswered in **his style ofspreading the gospel through interviews and short speeches**, questionswhich need some extended explanation for people who are not soinvolved. The pope looked at me “with big eyes” and asked me to givean example. And my response was : During the flight back from Rio youwere asked about people who divorced and remarried. And the poperesponded frankly: People who are divorced can receive communion,people who are remarried can’t. In the orthodox church you can marrytwice. And then he talked about mercy, which, according to myview, is seen in this country only as a surrogate for all humanfaults. And the pope responded quite bluntly that he’s a son of thechurch, and **he doesn’t proclaim anything else than the teachings ofthe church**. And mercy has to be identical with truth – if not, shedoesn’t deserve that name. Furthermore, when there are opentheological questions, it’s up to the Congregation for the Doctrine of*the Faith to give detailed responses“.

From this we can perhaps glean that Pope Francis may not be entirely aware of the havoc (¿lío?) that some of his home-spun, off-the-cuff comments in the mainstream media have caused.

It would be interesting to see His Holiness’ reaction to the story about the Catholic school kids in Seattle protesting in favor of some homosexual thing while citing the phrase “Who am I to judge.” *The same for atholic politicians in Illinoisc citing the same when they passed same-sex marriage.

However, Pope Francis confirmed what I have been saying all along. *He is not going to “change” the Church’s teachings (as if he could). *Divorced and remarried? *No Communion.

Furthermore, Francis stressed the role of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. *He doesn’t sound like someone who wants to “devolve” the role of the Congregation to regional conferences.

Full entry…

Great explanation and very informative interview :thumbsup:

If I understand this correctly, you get divorced, you can still receive communion. But if you get remarried (I’m assuming outside of the church?) you can’t receive communion? But if the church doesn’t recognize marriage outside of the church, how can it deny communion based on something it doesn’t recognize? Maybe someone could help me out here? Thanks.

Because you are having sexual relations outside of marriage which is a sin. See: Mt 19.9:
And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery; and he who marries a divorced woman, commits adultery.

Because the Church would see the remarriage as living in adultery, the first marriage still being presumed valid unless a decree of nullity had been granted. It is the state of living in adultery that disqualifies from Communion, not divorce without remarriage.

The Church doesn’t recognize divorce, a person always remains married to their original spouse until the death of one of the spouses. So if a person gets civily divorced, in the Church’s eyes, that person is just living seperately from their spouse (they are still actually married). If that person then gets civily remarried, they are committing adultery because they are with their new spouse while still being married to the original spouse. So, they can’t receive communion because they are in a state of sin. A person who is only divorced is able to take communion.

Edit: Sorry, I see your question was already answered.

Ok, that makes sense. Thanks!

If this is allowed, then it seems that the sacrament of Matrimony (of presumed existing first marriage) has been compromised/desacralized Can’t happen. It’s unchangeable dogma.

What if I married a woman who married outside the church and then divorced? This marriage would not be recognized by the church as valid so she should still be free to marry within the church?

Where does this end?

I believe she would still need an annulment from that marriage before being able to be married sacramentally within the Church. (A civil annulment would count in this case, I also believe.)

This was answered this year in the Ask an Apologist forum by Fr. Grondin:

If a baptized Catholic was married outside the Church without permission then their marriage is invalid. The individual would need to provide proof of that their marriage was outside the Church and that they were civilly divorced from that individual. After that point they would be free to marry in the Church.


In the parish my family goes to, they most certainly DO give it to re-married people, even to those who have been divorced and remarried multiple times. Im thinking I better sent the head priest there, an email or let him know they should not be doing this anymore, and also ask why they have been doing this.

Just as a point of note, the Catholic Church DOES recognize marriages outside the Church. The Church recognizes the marriage of two Protestants, for example, or two Muslims, or two Jews. Or even a Protestant and a Jew or a Muslim, or any of those combinations. All are equally valid and binding in the eyes of the Church

What you might be confusing is that the Church requires that Catholics marry in the Church, or receive Church permission to marry outside. If they do not, that is what is called a ‘defect of form’ and the marriage is seen as invalid.

So in response to your question, say a Muslim couple divorced, and the man remarried, the Church would certainly see that as a case of adultery. The original marriage would be been seen as valid in the eyes of the Church.

Wow. What if one of them steals or spreads gossip and they need to go to confession? I can’t help but judge here; it seems like allowance for unrepentant adulterers to receive can really lead to some serious complications and scandal which really undermine Catholic doctrine.

I’m still a bit unclear as to why the Pope is appointing a commission to determine how to better evangelize to those who are divorced and remarried. I wonder what’s gonna come out of that commission.

Hopefully, a clearer explanation that the “problem” isn’t the divorce, it’s the "re"marriage without seeking a decree of nullity.

monkey: I really wanted the cards to win the WS. What do u think went wrong? The cards couldn’t get a bunch of hits together. Picked the wrong time to slump.

Yes. a decree of nullity is required. Do u think that many divorced catholics don’t even realize this must be done before remarriage?

You are not judging in the bad sense. We are exhorted to instruct the ignorant, and to admonish the sinner. Of course, this is to be done in the peace and authority of our Lord Jesus Christ.

I believe that it is safer to follow the church teachings on this subject because the culpability for the teaching is the church’s if I follow the teaching. This teaching regarding Holy Communion is an easy teaching to obey. The only thing that is required of me is humility. I believe that Jesus will unite with me through a spiritual communion if I obey the teaching and it will provide me graces assuming that I remarried not fully understanding the consequences of remarrying. I was divorced (but never remarried) but I also completed the annulment process. I learned a lot about sacramental marriage that I otherwise would not know had I not gone through the annulment process. I highly recommend the annulment process for this reason.

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