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Pope Francis

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Vatican

New secretary of the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life

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Pope Francis

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Synod: Bishops discuss Communion for divorced and civilly re-married Catholics

2015-10-15

The issue of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics and whether the Church should allow them to receive Communion, is now being looked at by Bishops in the Synod of the Family.

MSGR. STANISLAW GADECKI
Bishop of Poznan (Poland)
"It's not an easy issue, but I wouldn't say that there's an ambiance of fear. We believe the Holy Spirit and Pope Francis will guide us.”

Many Bishops were given the open floor to express their viewpoint on the issue...what's quite evident is that opinions vary

Some argue that allowing divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion is based on false charity that goes against Church Doctrine.

MSGR. STANISLAW GADECKI
Bishop of Poznan (Poland)
"In the Bishops Conference of Poland things were very clear. For us annulments were always part of the process.” 

Those who favor a more flexible stance say that a so called 'penitential path' should be more widely considered as a means to allowing divorced to receive Communion. 

But the issue goes beyond receiving the Eucharist. It includes what the Church can do to help people in those irregular situations. 

ARCH. CARLOS AGUIAR RETES
Archdiocese of Tlalnepantla (Mexico)
"If the first marriage failed, it's a matter at looking at why it failed, so looking at the root causes.” 

A so called 'penitential path' would include an in depth examination of one's conscience and also a reflection of how the divorce may have harmed others, including one's former spouse and the children.   

The issue in play is also about passing on the faith to children and the challenge this poses when parents don't have an annulment for their previous marriage, and therefore cannot receive Communion. 

The Synod of the Family will conclude on October 25th. The issue of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics and whether they should be allowed the receive Communion is a topic that's been debated in the first phase and now, in the second phase of the Synod. 


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