Pope says 3 bishops under investigation, sees overemphasis on question of Communion for the remarried [CWN]

On his return flight from the Holy Land to Rome, Pope Francis told reporters that the sexual abuse of minors is a “very grave crime” and that three bishops are under investigation for …


Here is a translation of his full answer to the Communion for the Remarried question:

'A Spanish language reporter asked:

… In the Church, for example, what is going to happen with Communion for the divorced and remarried, ….

The Holy Father answered saying, inter alia:

…. [T]hanks for the question about the divorced. The Synod will be about the family, on the problem of the family, on research about the family, on the present situation of the family. The preliminary essay that Cardinal Kasper made had five chapters: four on the family, beautiful things about the family, the theological foundation, some familiar problems; and the fifth chapter, the pastoral problem of separations, of matrimonial nullity, the divorced… Holy Communion come into this problem. And I don’t like that many people – even in the Church – priests – have said: “Ah, the Synod for giving Communion to the divorced”, and they’ve gone right there, to that point. I have heard it as if the whole thing had been reduced to case study. No, the matter is more than this, it is wider. Today, everyone knows it, the family is in crisis: it is in a global crisis. Young people don’t want to marry or they don’t marry or live together, marriage is in crisis, and so too the family. And I wouldn’t want we fall into this (as if it were) case law. Can you do it? Can’t you do it?… For this reason, thanks much for this question, because it gives me the opportunity to clear this up. The pastoral problem of the family is very, very broad, very broad. And it must be studied case by case. Something Pope Benedict said three times about the divorced has helped me a lot. Once, in the Valle d’Aosta, another time in Milan, and the last time in the public consistory which he held for the creation of cardinals: to study the procedures for matrimonial nullity; to study the faith with which a person comes to matrimony and to clarify that the divorced are not excommunicated, and so many times they are treated as excommunicated. And this is a serious thing. On this case study, the Synod will be about the family: the riches, the problems of the family. Solutions, nullity, all that."


I see this as pretty positive. He goes out of way to distance Card. Kasper’s proposal from the one part on Communion for the Re-Married, and emphasizes the other parts. He tries to direct the focus away from the one question, and gives several examples (straight from Pope Benedict) that have to do with pastoral help and education, and nothing to do with changes in teaching.

Certainly he stopped short of saying that the re-married cannot be admitted to communion, but I think it is somewhat implied here.

I honed in on the part where he said Pope Benedict XVI’s resignation isnt an isolated case when asked if he would resign. Kind of odd.

Im a bit confused, my father is twice divorced and currently remarried, and has always been a catholic and goes to mass every week, receives communion each time…is he in the wrong for this?

Going to Mass is not the issue. All Catholics have to go to Mass.

I spent summers on the farm with my 6 cousins/devout Catholics. My uncle made sure I shoes were shined before Mass on Sunday as we paraded into the Church. My cousin later went to Viet Nam came home and married the first girl he met (figuratively speaking) and the marriage lasted until he realized his mistake…he remarried some years later and has a beautiful family. Both him and his wife are bitter at the Church and regularly worship at the local Assembly of God church in their town. It is a sad scenario no doubt, but one must abide by the teachings of the Church, I believe to be Catholic other than in name only. I.m certain, and I;m sure that Parish Priests are aware to some degree, that there are numerous people who parade up to**** receive Holy Communion who are living in sinful states…There ARE moral absolutes. The Church’s teachings are clear. remarriage without having the previous marriage annuled makes the previous marriage valid and the subsequent (civil) marriage not recognized by mother Church. It has been said. by Saints, that to receive Holy Communion without being properly disposed is worse than to not have received it at all… From what I see in most Parishes is people parading up to the Altar shaking hands with people in line, talking to people in the pew, grinning, and coming back from receiving communion swinging the arms by their sides as though they have just come out of a moive theatre. O.K. , who am “I” to judge…you’re right…I don’t know what’s in their hearts. I try to just keep my eyes closed and concentrate on my own heart. but, it is nevertheless obvious even though I am NOT judging. I believe that it was Pope St. John Paul II that stated that the Church would be getting smaller… there will be those sinners like myself who constantly strive for Holiness, that try to follow the teachings of the Church, who will be classed (and I believe that some contemporary clergy dislike the term) as Conservative. We are in some large degree those who prefer the Latin Liturgy (TRADS)… and those who accept almost everything in society and believe that the Church should adapt to contemporary society. Do I believe that some people who attend the Novus Ordo Missae are not living Holy lives abiding by the teachings of the Magisterium, absoulutely, before I am attacked. The teachings of the Church are clear. like one of my Med collegues commented…he didn’t like the rules so he joined a protestant church. I can respect that, even if I don’t understand it. PAX

So…to make a long story short, as they say…I think what Awsiukiewicz was replying… …yes. Unless your father got those first two marriages annulled, then he is in the very, very “wrong” (according to current church teachings) to receive communion.

Is that right, Awsiukiewicz? That is what you are saying and stressing?


You are right in saying this. I don’t believe it is the fault of the Church that divorce/remarriage is so glamorized by our society. But then the pressure to stand in the communion line is not entirely something that can be ignored either. Something is out of balance when one sees virtually everyone receiving at an English Mass, while at Spanish and Polish Masses half stay in their pews at communion time.

I asked my dad about this, he did get both prior marriages annulled, I never knew the church would even annull more than 1 divorce, but I guess they do.

It’s not about the number of civil divorces. To have a valid sacramental marriage, both parties must commit to the essential properties of marriage, but all too often now, one or both don’t. People often profess their commitment to these properties at the altar, but don’t mean some or all of it. Such as embracing the Church’s teachings about openness to life. When that’s the case, the tribunals may find that there was no marriage.

If you’re in a country where the state allows religious marriages to count as state marriages, then a divorce is required before initiating a formal annulment trial.

With the way that people treat marriage in our society, it is amazing that any couple has the correct commitment to marry.

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