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"Church only allows divorcees to receive the sacraments if they wish to change their situation, but are unable"

2017-02-14

The Vatican Publishing House has presented this short book written by one of the cardinals who participated in the Synod on the Family.

Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, offers a commentary on the eighth chapter of the Pope's Apostolic Exhortation "Amoris Laetitia" on how to help reintegrate into the Church divorced persons who have remarried.

According to the Cardinal, the Church could allow them to receive the sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist in situations where wish to change their status according to Church teachings, but are unable to do so without committing an injustice. 

Canonist Maurizio Gronchi, who participated in the synod, was one of the people in charge of presenting the Cardinal's book.

MAURIZIO GRONCHI
Theologian, Pontifical Urban University
"You have to be aware of being in sin and have the desire to change: these are the conditions it indicates. It does not say that it is a pardon for all in any case. Amoris Laetitia tries to indicate possible ways for conversion, not to resolve broken marital situations. It seeks a way to offer help with the grace of God. "

The cardinal proposes that each bishop commission several people in the diocese to help people in these situations in order to understand whether or not they can receive the sacraments.

At the same time, they would distinguish situations also where one cannot be admitted to communion – those "knowing that they are in serious sin and in the position to change the situation, but without any intention of doing so."

The Pope also explained this issue a year ago, during the return flight from Mexico.

POPE FRANCIS
February 18, 2016
"I know remarried Catholics who go to Church once or twice a year: "I want to receive communion!”, as if communion were a commendation. It is a matter of integration... the doors are all open. But one cannot just say: from now on "they can take communion”. This would also wound the spouses, the couple, because it won’t help them on the path to integration.”

The publisher of the book has assured that this is not a Vatican response to the doubts raised by four cardinals.

GIUSEPPE COSTA
Libreria Editrice Vaticana
"It is not a text in response to the dubia of the cardinals, as some have said. It's a text to explain this chapter to ordinary people. "

Whether or not it is the answer, it is certainly a new authoritative voice in this intense debate on one of the most important documents of the pontificate of Pope Francis.


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