Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Cardinal Re: No Sacraments for the Remarried and Divorced

Emeritus Cardinal Re does not consider it possible to revise this legal requirement of the Church, for "an objective situation can not be changed".

Vatican City ( / KNA) The emeritus Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re (80) does not believe that Pope Francis will remove the exclusion of remarried divorcees from the ecclesiastical sacraments. He does not consider it possible to revise this canonical rule, Re on Tuesday said to the Internet site Vatican Insider. "An objective situation can not be changed," said the former prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, who served as the highest-ranking cardinal the conclave for the election of Francis.

However, Francis  is  keen to improve the Church's pastoral care of the divorced and remarried, the cardinal stressed. This should be aimed to encourage those affected in their faith and to enable them to live in prayer, and with regular attendance at Sunday Mass. Currently being worked on are ways to make the Church's closeness to these people  more visible. [Scary, Divorcee Liturgies?]

Concern for the family is counted among the main topics of this pope.

The second major concern of the Pope was to strengthen the collegiality with the bishops, says Re, who also headed the Pontifical Commission for Latin America. But Francis would simplify the processes in the Synod of Bishops to make the interaction of the synod efficient. With regard to the reform of the Curia, over which the committee appointed by Francis of eight advisory Cardinals currently meeting at the Vatican, Re said it would take time and an intense reflection.

Re noted in the interview the positive balance of the first year pontificate. All over the world suggests  broad sympathy for Pope Francis, especially in the southern hemisphere. Francis had changed the style of the papacy, the Cardinal.

Link to
Trans: Tancred


  1. I should only like to point out that on 14 September 1994 Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the CDF issued a letter to all of the Bishops of the Catholic Church concerning the reception of Holy Communion by divorced and remarried members of the Faithful within which letter Cardinal Ratzinger stated:

    "The faithful who persist in such a situation may receive Holy Communion only after obtaining sacramental absolution, which may be given only "to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when for serious reasons, for example, for the children's upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they 'take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples'"(8). In such a case they may receive Holy Communion as long as they respect the obligation to avoid giving scandal."

    Under such conditions the faithful may receive Holy Communion. It does not preclude those who form such intention from subsequently receiving sacramental absolution should their resolve weaken and they sin only to renew their resolve to live a life of marital continence. Unless there are those who would argue that absolution may be given only once in a lifetime for this particular sin.

    1. The teaching of the Church can't change. If a person confesses his moral sin, vows to amend his life, does his penance, ends the situation of public scandal (objective) if there is same, then he returns to the state of grace, and may receive Our Lord (at least until such time as he may commit a mortal sin again). People's souls must be protected, and sacrilege of the Blessed Sacrament avoided.

  2. How does living as brother and sister show respect for a valid marriage?

    Is that love and support not being given to one it does not rightfully belong to in this brother and sister thing? Was it not promised, in public, to another?

    What does it say to the children of the valid marriage?

    What does it say if the brother or sister was the abandoner?

    I am in this situation. I am very possibly about to leave the Catholic Church over what is already profound injustice in its practices regaring all of these marriage related issues. Yes, there is no where else to go, but staying here supports this trash!

    For the record, I have remained faithful to our vows for more than two decades of abandonment.

    Most people are extremely naive about what is truly going on here.

    I have said my piece. I am gone.

    An Abandoned Husband/Father

    1. You're right. If one is married to another, one may not continue to live with another, even if you decide to stop having intercourse. It is still an objective state of scandal, an objective state of injustice and dishonour to a valid marriage, and moreover, a continuing occasion of sin that ought to be avoided.

    2. Please don't go. The official Church teaching CANNOT change; it is a matter of the Lords explicit commandments, and of justice and truth. Don't leave the Church. You know Satan is hard at work in high places in the Church and among many bishops and priests. We must suffer this but remain true to Our Lord and His Holy Church, no matter how many bishops and priests reject the Faith and lead people astray. You know the truth, so don't renege on it. Find other orthodox Catholics, so you can get and give support. I'll say a prayer for you and your family.

    3. @Lynda,
      You say:
      "If one is married to another, one may not continue to live with another, even if you decide to stop having intercourse."
      With all due respect, one may, owing to "serious reasons", continue to live with the person with whom the civil marriage was contracted:

      "...when for serious reasons, for example, for the children's upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they 'take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence..." (see Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger's CDF instruction I cited above)

      I am not trying to nit-pick your empathetic counsel to 'Anonymous' but neither do I want to impose an insurmountable demand on would-be penitents.
      There may be grave and compelling reasons, that effectively inhibit such a couple from separating, i.e. the upbringing of children, age and health-related factors (both physical and mental health), dire financial circumstances, etc.
      The idea, I suppose, is to encourage such brothers and sisters to understand that they have gravely sinned (at least objectively); stand in danger of being damned; must be reconciled to God through the Sacrament of Penance by way of an admission of sin, an expression of (imperfect) contrition, and a firm intention to live a life of complete continence thereafter.
      They may fail again and again in their resolve but so long as they renew their resolve and continue to have recourse to confession, God's Grace remains available and may work It's effects over time in the penitent's soul.
      The main object is to do everything possible to work for the ultimate salvation of our brother's/sister's soul.

    4. Hello, Liam. What's also required where there is a public disavowal of a true marriage and appearance of cohabitation with another (thus giving serious public scandal to others souls) is "the obligation to avoid giving scandal". There is more sin involved than just adultery. God bless.

    5. Thank you, Lynda. That very caveat was in the quote I myself provided earlier (above) from Cardinal Ratzinger
      I am aware that, as you say, there's more involved that 'just adultery'. There's a whole catalogue of sin possible, not the least of which is presumption (tempting God as Satan did with Jesus in the desert) that one's decision to divorce and remarry is compatible with God's Will. There's scandal, disobedience, moral damage done to the former spouse and family, moral damage done to the spouse with whom one has entered into a civil marriage; and a plethora of other proximate and remote transgressions.
      I have confined my remarks to what the Church Herself has said on the matter. I'm not just 'winging it'.
      Ultimately the salvation of sinners is what ought concern us.
      You've a good heart, Lynda. God bless you too!