Church to possibly waive rules on divorce?


#1

Hello. Unfortunately, I have seen disturbing claims on Facebook from pages liked by my friends. It said that the Pope is in favor of waiving the rules that prohibit divorcees in irregular canonical states from receiving Communion. It also said that the Pope told a divorcee who was refused Communion that she was not wrong. Did that incident ever happen? Lastly, regarding the Holy Synod on the Family, I read the Vatican document but I wonder if the Pope really said that he was in favor of the idea…


#2

Facebook is not the greatest place in the world to obtain information about what the Holy Father says.

Why don’t we just wait to see what comes out of the Synod on the Family, and hear what arguments the Holy Father and Cardinals use to defend any changes they may propose, before worrying?

There is no doubt that divorced and remarried Catholics will be an agenda item. But it’s a bit too premature to say what will actually be decided.


#3

I hope that I can do this without swerving in my faith on the infallibility of Christ’s Church. As much as I love Pope Francis, there’s a part of me that is shocked and worried on his less traditional actions. However, for the most part, I remind myself that he may be less traditional but he is not less orthodox.


#4

Morals don’t change, regardless of the spin put on by the news media. ANY news media.

If it was wrong for King Henry VIII, it’s just as wrong today.


#5
  1. I saw a claim on FB that God didn’t exist. Doesn’t make it true. Lots of disinformation, bad information, and outright lies on FB and the internet. Try to get your info from good sources, and come to this forum and ask questions. Lots of knowledgable people that can give you good info.

  2. Let’s actually wait to see what comes from the Synod.

  3. Trust in God the Holy Spirit that He will protect the Church. He hasn’t let us down for 2,000 years now. Put your anxieties with Him, and let Him be in control. He won’t let the Church teach error.

  4. As to the Pope telling a divorced woman she could take Communion. First, you are assuming that she was the cause of the divorce. Lots of people are divorced because their spouse divorced them. They had no choice in the matter. Second, you are assuming that she hasn’t been to Confession and confessed any sin regarding her divorce. Third, there is no info that she has remarried outside the Church. Any one of these situations would allow her to still receive Communion. If you have been divorced through no fault of your own, or if you have gone to Confession, you can then receive Communion. If you have remarried, but done so in the Church and gotten an annulment first, you can go to Communion. Or if you remarried outside the Church, but have come back and had your marriage normalized and made licit by the Church, you can receive Communion.

Let’s not go putting assumptions on the lady the Pope privately counselled. Personally, the impression that I got was that she had been divorced against her will, and so would be free to still receive, and that the Pope correctly counseled her on the matter.


#6

Seems to me that some change in the way the Church handles divorced and remarried Catholics is in the works. The new head of the Italian bishops is the latest in a number of bishops to suggest that the Church will do so.


#7

There is a little book out that may comfort you called “The Crucifixion of the Mystical Body of Christ.” It was written to encourage Catholics during this time of confusion and spiritual warfare. It contains quotes from previous popes, scripture references and a reiteration on the doctrine of indefectibility. Nothing heavy and nothing new, just admonition to stay close to Our Mother and to pray for an increase of faith and trust.

Don’t worry…many are watching and are concerned about the state of things within the Church, especially regarding the upcoming synod on the family. And many will be praying this prayer the entire month of September, before it starts. Scroll down to the second litany.

catholictradition.org/Litanies/litany69.htm


#8

This.

Again we don’t know what will come out of the synod.

It could be something like streamlining the annulment process; it could be being pastorally merciful while not changing doctrine; it could be the Orthodox approach; and it could be no change at all.

We have to trust that whatever the outcome, the Holy Spirit will still protect the Church from doctrinal error, as has been the case for 2000+ years.


#9

I’d love to see an example of one. Do you have a news article you can link to that actually shows he has done something nontraditional? If you can’t find one, consider this: maybe this fear that the pope is nontraditional is only a perception not based in reality. I know a lot of so-called traditionalist blogs don’t like some of the pope’s actions, but I’d like to see an example of a nontraditional action.


#10

That will be interesting. Many already thought there had been big changes to the annulment process back in the 60’s.


#11

That’s weird. I saw a claim on MySpace that Facebook didn’t exist. :hmmm:


#12

I’d love to see an example of one. Do you have a news article you can link to that actually shows he has done something nontraditional? If you can’t find one, consider this: maybe this fear that the pope is nontraditional is only a perception not based in reality. I know a lot of so-called traditionalist blogs don’t like some of the pope’s actions, but I’d like to see an example of a nontraditional action.

Well, some examples is his refusal to use any red whatsoever and his actions during Holy Thursday his first year. These two things are generally not traditional but they are not wrong. That’s what I mean.

Seems to me that some change in the way the Church handles divorced and remarried Catholics is in the works. The new head of the Italian bishops is the latest in a number of bishops to suggest that the Church will do so.

That’s what’s worrying me. If they plan to change the treatment, then they will need to make it work without violating the following moral laws:

  1. Marriage bond is only broken by death
  2. A divorcee married to a second partner when the first partner is alive is technically in adultery because the first marriage is still ongoing.

Otherwise, the Church would have turned its back on 2000 years of teachings on the indissolubility of marriage. I will, however, remain optimistic.


#13

Actually, I could write a very long list of bishops and cardinals that have come out against the admission of divorced and remarried people to Holy Communion. It is far, far more rare to see a church official explicitly call for admission of divorced and remarried individuals to Holy Communion. Even in Germany, where the movement to change the discipline is perhaps strongest, there have been strong statements by bishops in opposition to such a change.

As regards what Bishop Galatino said, the Italian paper Avvenire actually quotes Bishop Galatino as saying explicitly that divorced and remarried Catholics may not receive Eucharistic Communion.

avvenire.it/Chiesa/Pagine/galantino-orvieto.aspx

It’s in Italian, but if you scroll to the very last paragraph of the article, you’ll see very clearly that Galatino is quoted saying, " non possano ricevere la comunione eucaristica."

The Kasper speech was merely an opening salvo in a long and important discussion in the Church about family and marriage. Just what the Church will do about those in irregular situations is unclear, but we know that there can never be “Catholic divorce.” That is true not because Pope Francis is or isn’t the holiest pope in the history of the Church, but rather because he is absolutely incapable of instituting it. It literally cannot happen .

I encourage the OP to pray for the Church and be very cautious about what you might read on Facebook or in the media. The reality is that there is that liberal Catholics and the media have created a straw man pope whose intent is to utterly liberalize the Church. The problem with that expectation is that it simply cannot happen. The pope teaches what the Church teaches. Period. Will a lot of people feel let down by the Pope when all is said and done? I hope not, of course, but if you’re waiting for the pope to change her teaching on marriage then you’re going to be waiting literally forever.


#14

None of that can change. I read a lot of unnecessary handwringing about “what this bishop said” or “what that cardinal said.” Our faith was founded by Jesus Christ and not by bishops and cardinals. Bishops and cardinals are not Jesus Christ, although they are certainly called to preach Christ and we must pray for them when they fail to do so. But I encourage you not to strangle yourself in a clericalist mindset that allows some bishop or, even worse, some guy on Facebook, to cause any doubt about the Catholic faith.


#15

The Church need not change the teaching on marriage to change the way the Church ministers to and handles divorced or remarried Catholics. Even it that were necessary, it would not be the first time that the Church changed its teaching on something.

Seems to me that trusting in the Church and in the Holy Spirit includes trusting the Church to continue to make good changes and grow in the faith, not merely trusting in the Church to never change.


#16

I encourage the OP to pray for the Church and be very cautious about what you might read on Facebook or in the media. The reality is that there is that liberal Catholics and the media have created a straw man pope whose intent is to utterly liberalize the Church. The problem with that expectation is that it simply cannot happen. The pope teaches what the Church teaches. Period. Will a lot of people feel let down by the Pope when all is said and done? I hope not, of course, but if you’re waiting for the pope to change her teaching on marriage then you’re going to be waiting literally forever.

Sadly, it wasn’t a liberal page that I read. It was a (what I suspect to be) traditionalist page because Pope Francis was considered a candidate for the position of false prophet. Is that even possible?? Anyway, I will be more careful. Thank you.


#17

There are some things that cannot change. Divorce is one of them. It is incredibly important to distinguish between what are foundational moral and spiritual truths that cannot be changed and what are legitimate alterations in tradition or legitimate developments of doctrine.


#18

The Church need not change the teaching on marriage to change the way the Church ministers to and handles divorced or remarried Catholics. Even it that were necessary, it would not be the first time that the Church changed its teaching on something.

Seems to me that trusting in the Church and in the Holy Spirit includes trusting the Church to continue to make good changes and grow in the faith, not merely trusting in the Church to never change.

I will have to disagree. There are essentials and non-essentials. Examples of non-essentials are rules about fasting, priestly celibacy and even liturgy. These can change.

Essentials include moral and dogmatic teachings such as the divinity of Christ, abortion, and yes, the sanctity and indissolubility of marriage. These cannot change.


#19

If a traditionalist or anyone else is arguing that the Church teaching on divorce can change, then they can hardly be considered “traditional.” That doesn’t mean that the way that the Church deals with its disciplines (like celibacy, for example) or the pastoral care of divorced and remarried or with annulments cannot be amended in some way. But there can never be Catholic divorce. Period.


#20

I would avoid those kinds of “traditionalist” pages. They are no more in communion with the Church than Catholics who dissent on the liberal side of the spectrum. Anyone making that about the Holy Father claim isn’t “traditionalist”, they’re schismatic and openly denying Scripture and Jesus’s promise to Saint Peter.

Don’t risk your soul by flirting with these people, essentially conspiracy theorists by another name.


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