The Synod ended rather “open ended” on this front, and there are mixed answers from the Bishops and Cardinals. At least three Bishops are saying that remarried Catholics could receive in certain cases. However, the Pope hasn’t given an official answer yet.
What if what?
If the church decides that there is a path for divorced & remarried people to return to the Sacraments I will rejoice with them and pray for all those who still cannot receive because of other issues.
Other than that, it will have no impact on me or my faith, other than to reinforce the beauty of God’s infinite mercy.
Those bishops do not believe in authentic Church teaching.
It’s clear as day almost all of the Bishops agree that a couple cannot receive the Eucharist unless they stop sinning. Meaning they stop the marital relations and start working on that annulment or separate.
We’ve all got heavy crosses to carry.
I would love to see the Bishops and the Pope “agree” that contraception is totally moral and allowed.
It would make my life easier and less stressful.
But I know that will never happen…nor should it…if it does we cease to be the Church built by Christ himself.
So…I pick up my cross and soldier on because I love Christ and the Eucharist more.
If the Pope were to think that it’s okay for divorced & remarried Catholics to receive communion, then the Pope is in error. It’s not complicated or something worth fretting about. Popes in the past have believed far, far worse things before, and they didn’t - and indeed couldn’t - bring down the Church because of their grave infidelity.
What isn’t metaphysically possible is for the Pope to make a dogmatic statement in this respect.
Not that any of this is worth the slightest margin to fret about. For all the ailments that afflict the 21st century Church, one thing that we have immense assurance over is that our Popes for the past several generations have been beautiful human beings, full of light and truth. Not all generations of Catholics have been blessed to rejoice over such a thing. The emotional hype over this Synod reveals an alarming lack of trust. Pope Francis is an orthodox, Scripture & Tradition-founded, courageous, loving, holy man. There is no reasonable hint - none whatsoever - that he would ever approve of such a thing. It’s not worth losing a fraction of a second of sleep over.
Not that there is any cause to fret to begin with, but all the less reason to fret as the Church in Europe gradually loses influence and power at the hierarchical level. The missionary dioceses of Africa & Asia - now at the point of becoming powerful & self-sustaining forces of good in of themselves - will step in. We’re not going to become a granddaddy version of the Church of England. Worst case scenario, the dioceses in Germany wave goodbye to the Catholic Church, and the Catholic Church waves goodbye back. We’ve done it before over bigger fish, and we’ll do it again.
I think the vast majority of people expected Pope Paul VI to cave on contraception as well.
but he didn’t
I believe we are facing a similar scenario right now
we’ve had our fair share of not so saintly popes, they could have tried to change plenty of things before now, but didn’t
I believe in Christ’s promise that the church is protected by the holy spirit on doctrinal and moral issues. so I really don’t think Pope Francis will make that change
If that were to happen, the Church would have to accept at least one or maybe all of these conditions:
- that marriage is not permanent
- that sex outside of marriage is not sinful
- that living in a continued state of sin with no intent to reform one’s life is not a bar to the reception of Communion
- that a marriage outside of the Church is not required to be in good standing.
If that happens, we’ll have to deal but I think this would be a serious wound in the Church.
I think this is an absurd idea, since he would have to deny fundamental Catholic beliefs then, such as that the person’s first sacramental marriage isn’t permanent.
That is, it is like asking what if the Pope said there are five persons in the Trinity? It is an absurd postulation.
Sorry, just caught my error but too late to edit. Fixed it.
Cardinal Burke was recently asked a similar question from LifeSiteNews. Take note of his answer, because it’s the correct one…in fact, it’s the only one!
***LSN: ***What are the faithful to think and to do when they see Synod Fathers suggesting heterodox positions regarding homosexuality and divorce?
Burke: We follow our Lord Jesus Christ. He is our Master. And we are all held to be obedient to him and to his word, beginning with the Holy Father and with the Bishops. If a bishop, or a priest, or anyone, should announce something or declare something that is contrary to the truth of Our Lord Jesus Christ, as it’s communicated to us in the teaching of the Church, we follow Christ.
Is that a roundabout way of saying they would defy the pope if he agreed with the synod?
If a Pope endorsed something that is contrary to truth, a Catholic is morally obliged under pain of hell to continue with correct teaching in spite of the Bishops of Rome’s theological errors.
If it happened dogmatically, it would mean the Catholic Church is without authority, but that could never happen since she is protected by the Holy Spirit.
note: I’m not a mad trad, nor particularly fond of Burke’s tone, nor am I remotely worried about any of this. Just stating what you would do in such a scenario. False teaching being uttered from clergy, at any level, is the same as it being uttered from anybody else. You charitably, non-dramatically, and matter-of-factly disregard it, without hesitation, since it is without authority. The only conceivable difference might be a more careful approach, since the priestly office (“the uniform” to use a military analogy) still needs to be revered even if the man himself is betraying his vocation and in danger of hell.
If a Pope takes up mistresses and starts having children, you don’t start doing the same thing, nor approving of it. You obey God.
Two big problems with this statement. For it to apply, A) the Synod would need to propose a change to Church teaching, which it didn’t. and B) the Pope would have to agree with that change in a manner that created real circumstances that forced Bishops to act in opposition to the teaching of the Church.
If those things happened, it would be very disruptive.
Even being a cynic and trying to fathom a version of events where some Bishops, even the Pope, broke with Church teaching, I can’t imagine it would be binding on the rest of the Bishops. The Pope could not force Bishops to readmit cohabitating divorcees to Communion.
No. There are several reasons why the quote is not saying that. For one thing, the synod did not say anything in favor of the so-called Kaspar proposal. Assuming the pope agrees with the synod, he won’t say anything in favor of that proposal either.
Second, and more in reference to the OP, if the pope issued a rule that contradicts Catholic doctrine, I do not think that would necessarily involve a change in Church doctrine. A change in doctrine would need to take the form of something like this: “The Church used to believe that it is wrong for the divorced and civilly remarried to receive Communion if they do not have an annulment and are not living chastely. But we were wrong. That is actually okay. And the Church hereby formally teaches this new understanding as truth.” <-- That seems like a change in Church teaching. But that’s not what anyone has discussed. Everyone keeps repeating that they aren’t changing the teaching. Some people want the pope to endorse a proposal that Ignores Church teaching, which is bad, but it’s not quite the same as Changing Church teaching. Even if the so-called Kaspar proposal was endorsed by the pope, the proposal does not pretend to rewrite the portion of the Catechism (and other Church documents) that call this idea a sin. It would just ignore those portions in practice. As a result, Church teaching would continue to reject the so-called Kaspar proposal, and the bishops would just implement it anyway.
If the pope merely instructed people to allow the divorced and remarried to receive Communion, that is not the same thing as teaching that it is good. It is my understanding that at least one pope in the past (Clement V) commanded various countries to torture the members of a religious order (the Templars). If my understanding is correct, that would be a parallel to what you are asking: a pope endorsed an action that was contrary to Catholic teaching. But I don’t think that pope ever taught that torture was okay. He just said to do it anyway. At least to my mind, telling people to commit a sin (or to tolerate one) is not the same as formally teaching in the name of the Church that the sin is not a sin.
And I also want to mention this: if the OP fears that the pope may side with the Kaspar proposal, have no fear. He has already spoken against it several times. See #21 at this link.
There is not a hint outside of the leftist media that this good and holy Pope would teach error. We are assured by the words of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit that this would not happen. The Synod did not encourage, in its report, any possible change of doctrine. The Pope is only bringing out an Apostolic Exhortation which has lower teaching authority to an encyclical format.
For all these reasons this issue is the sad deluded dream of the liberal left, who will be sorely disappointed at their most recent rock star, who will , no doubt. show his holiness in his re-emphasis on pastoral mercy, not doctrinal deviation.
- not even up for consideration
- not even thought of!
- your wording is presumptuous
- umm no.
Back to 3. What is truly being considered is the discipline of the church. How does one return to a state of grace in these scenarios? How does ones past and present culpability affect their current state?
Is it mortal sin if you were ignorant of marriage and are now ignorantly remarried? In the past this was the only sin that created retroactive culpability.
If anything changes (and I doubt it) it will be a change in discipline. In the early church people returned to a state of grace by public confession. If that can change then how the remarried return can change too.
I agree with you. During his life on earth, Christ preferred to be with sinners and those on the margins of society. I think as long as people are repentant, Christ would welcome them. If all our sins were going to be held against us forever, none of us would ever go to heaven. To withhold the sacraments from those who are truly repentant is, to me, the greater sin. But they do have to be repentant.
Different crosses in life. Not being able to receive Our Lord can be very difficult. Whatever the church decides in the future we must believe that it has come via the Holy Spirit. We are the sheep. We follow the ones who lead us.
One can be married outside of the Church and still be in good standing. This is not a doctrinal issue. My evidence is that when converts who are married join the Church, they are not required to have their marriage convalidated. Their marriage outside the Church is recognized as presumably valid. In fact, in the case of remarriage, such marriages require annulment decisions for a subsequent marriage to be valid.
Catholics, however, are required to follow the Catholic form of marriage. This is a matter of canon law. Even this requirement can be waived with a dispensation from the bishop. Therefore, it is a disciplinary matter and can be changed.
No and no. One must not be able to live a life free of sin to receive the Eucharist. While this seems obvious, and I know that was not what you mean, it does demonstrate why such careless wording cannot be used to reach a conclusion that a bishop does not believe in the authentic teaching of the Church.
No bishop at the synod or after made any statement that contradicted authentic teaching of the Church. I define “authentic teaching” as a doctrine where we find in ecclesial documents that such a belief is a* doctrine*, as opposed to a practice.
Everyone does not get to define authentic doctrine by their own opinions, or choose sides with bishops and say one is the only one who is right and the others are wrong. This whole issue and the question of this thread would be irrelevant if we were better at separating our own opinions from facts.
There is precious little chance of this happening. I can see no situation where the Church will ever mandate one receive communion. If one believes they personally are in a state of mortal sin, it is simple enough to not receive communion.
I think I am also on safe ground to say there is no way that remarriage will be removed as an obstacle to Communion across the board. Some of the disciplines will likely change. Let us avoid the old “I am of Burke”; “I am of Kasper,” divisiveness that has been in the Church since the beginning. I know it is “tradition”, but it is not a good one.