Communion alone is ‘not the solution’ for divorced and re-married Catholics, says Pope Francis

Holy Communion is not the solution to the pastoral challenges facing divorced and re-married Catholics, Pope Francis has said.

In an interview with the Argentine daily newspaper, La Nacion, in which he discussed the family synod, the challenges of his papacy and reforming the Roman Curia, Pope Francis said: “In the case of divorcees who have remarried, we posed the question, what do we do with them? What door can we allow them to open? This was a pastoral concern: will we allow them to go to Communion? Communion alone is no solution.

“The solution is integration. They have not been excommunicated, true. But they cannot be godfathers to any child being baptised, mass readings are not for divorcees, they cannot give Communion, they cannot teach Sunday school, there are about seven things that they cannot do, I have the list over there. Come on! If I disclose any of this it will seem that they have been excommunicated in fact. Thus, let us open the doors a bit more.”

The Pope continued: “Why can’t they be godfathers and godmothers? ‘No, no, no, what testimony will they be giving their godson?’ The testimony of a man and a woman saying ‘my dear, I made a mistake, I was wrong here, but I believe our Lord loves me, I want to follow God, I was not defeated by sin, I want to move on’. Anything more Christian than that? And what if one of the political crooks among us, corrupt people, are chosen to be somebody´s godfather. If they are properly wedded by the Church, would we accept them? What kind of testimony will they give to their godson? A testimony of corruption? Things need to change, our standards need to change.”

During the interview, Pope Francis also said people should pay closer attention to what he says rather than what the media reports. He said: “In general people don’t read about what is going on. Somebody did say to me once, ‘Of course, of course. Insight is so good for us but we need clearer things’. And I answered, ‘Look, I wrote an encyclical, true enough, it was a big job, and an Apostolic Exhortation, I’m permanently making statements, giving homilies; that’s teaching. That’s what I think, not what the media say that I think. Check it out, it’s very clear. Evangelii Gaudium is very clear’”.

Thank you, God Bless, Memaw

There is a better article on this here:

this is well said by Pope Francis. i feel the Lord here, it will be interesting to see what comes of this.

As I see it, I think he does have a point. The remarrieds are not excommunicated. That excommunication was lifted in 1970, for better or worse. Unfortunately the divorce rate among Catholics has increased substantially since then. Also the number of Catholic marriages has decreased during the same time. The issue of an ideal family then is still left open, and going forward this IMO needs to be addressed. Being focused only on communion allowance (for anyone for that matter) provides no real long-term solution to a problem which can’t be quite pinpointed in the secular world.

Jesus said divorce and remarriage was not allowed. but if someone came to Him and asked for forgiveness, would He have said no? unfortunately, it’s not addressed in scripture, so the church has to make a determination. and there are so many variations on the theme.

Yes, if someone came to Jesus for forgiveness, remember He would KNOW if they were sincere before He forgave them and then He would tell them to “Go and sin NO MORE”. So it really was addressed in Scripture! God Bless, Memaw

and yet, the church currently does not allow it. i guess that’s why the controversy.

There is more than that involved here, though.

It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble. - Luke 17:2

The issue of scandal doesn’t go away. And scandal means bad example, which anyone is capable of giving.

so what do you think Jesus would have said to them?

Perhaps “Go and scandal no more”? I don’t know.

me either. i guess that’s why we’re not protestants.:slight_smile:

A little query. This part of the interview:

The Pope continued: “Why can’t they be godfathers and godmothers? ‘No, no, no, what testimony will they be giving their godson?’ The testimony of a man and a woman saying ‘my dear, I made a mistake, I was wrong here, but I believe our Lord loves me, I want to follow God, I was not defeated by sin, I want to move on’. Anything more Christian than that?

Am I correct in paraphrasing it as follows:

Remarried divorcees can and should be godparents since they do not give a bad example to their godchildren. They do not give a bad example because, even though in a non-sacramental union, they have overcome sin. They have overcome sin because they realise they made a mistake in entering into an illicit union in the first place, and the fact that they realise they have made a mistake and wish they could do something about it (except actually end their present adulterous union) is enough for it no longer to be sinful.

If this paraphrase is accurate, does anyone realise what kind of a nuke it is?

that’s what i got out of it. the question is, in a public sin like this, it’s important that they admit to the sin publicly and teach others not to follow their example.

No. Look at it again. Remarried divorcees ***should ***be given Communion, but much more than that, they should be reintegrated completely into parish life because their current illicit unions are not sinful. In other words, public sin is no sin at all - provided the couples realise it is a mistake (!) and wish they could fix it…***without ***ending their current unions. This is what is being affirmed. I’ve reread the interview several times and that is what it means. Do you get the implications?

yes, i agree. he is asking if there is a way that they can be reintegrated into the church. that has been the discussion from before the first synod. would Jesus have forgiven them.

Ok, good. What did Jesus always require for forgiveness? “Go and sin no more.” Someone in an illicit union may feel remorse but if he/she doesn’t end that union or at least turn it into a brother and sister arrangement, then he/she is not actually asking for forgiveness.

Repentance goes with a purpose of amendment. That’s in the catechism. Remarried divorcees who do not separate or at least go the brother and sister route are not asking God for forgiveness. They’re asking God to somehow accommodate himself to their sinful situation. And that is something God does not do, regardless of who says he does.

i think these ideas come up from time to time, and Pope Francis is certainly interested in talking about them. i cannot decide what the magisterium should do, if i did, that would make me protestant.:slight_smile:

No, that’s fine. This was a private interview, not a magisterial pronouncement. But for me it has been a bolt of lightning that lights up a whole landscape. Everything that was a bit murky and uncertain before is now crystal clear. Things must run their course and lightning always comes before a storm. Nothing for it but to endure it.

Funny though, the interview appeared this morning and nobody yet seems to realise just what it means. Board up the windows, batten down the hatches and pray for the Holy Father and for the Church. I remain very fond of the Pope but it’s all very wearying.

Sorry if this doesn’t make much sense. :slight_smile:

Considering that you are taking out of its context the example of a couple who realize their relationship is wrong, as compared to a mobster being the godparent, the rest of your comments have no basis in fact - only fiction.

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