Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Pope Welcomes Divorced Catholics

UPDATE I - Jan. 28, 2006
There's an update on this subject that was published today. Newsday reports:

VATICAN CITY -- Pope Benedict XVI acknowledged concern about the plight of divorced Catholics, who are not permitted to receive Communion after remarriage, and appealed to a Vatican tribunal Saturday to issue "rapid" rulings on annulment requests.

He told the Roman Rota that its decisions should come quickly for the sake of the faithful, but he reminded church jurists that their paramount task in making a ruling was determining the "truth" about whether the marriage was valid.

An annulment means that the marriage was invalid, essentially concluding that the marriage never existed, leaving the faithful free to remarry and receive Communion.


I hope they speed up the process for the sake of the faithful as the Pope stated in his new instructions.

ORIGINAL POST - Jul. 27, 2005
CathNews reported:

Pope Benedict XVI has said that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics who suffer because they cannot receive Communion must be welcomed in parishes as Catholics who witness to the importance of the Eucharist.

At the same time, he said, if a priest, acting out of compassion for their suffering, gives them the Eucharist, he risks undermining the dignity and indissolubility of the sacrament of marriage.

"We all know that this is a particularly painful situation," the pope said on Monday during a meeting with about 140 priests, religious and deacons from the Valle d'Aosta region where he was vacationing.

Catholic News Service reports that the pope added that he knew the issue could get complicated and said, "Given these people's situation of suffering it must be studied."


I don't think divorced Catholics should be denied the Eucharist. You may never know how they ended up divorced. Maybe they were married to an abusive or cheating spouse. Should the church in that case punish them for not continuing in such a relationship?

In my opinion the answer is a simple no.


Blogger Liam said...

I agree with you. The Eucharist should be a sacrament for healing, not for isolating. I also think that it is up to the conscience of each individual Catholic to decide if he or she is in the correct spiritual state to receive Communion. No priest or bishop should be publicly denying the Eucharist.

7/28/2005 12:11:00 PM  
Blogger Fayrouz said...


You said it so well :-)

7/28/2005 05:47:00 PM  
Blogger shelley said...

But you know...that's what the annulment process is help those who have had challenging circumstances to their marriages make things right again...

And remarrying without the annulment creates the state of mortal sin...which can't be reasoned out of by the individual conscience...

It's a challenging teaching, I know! May we pray for those who are hurting and going through it...

In Him,

7/29/2005 05:11:00 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

We Protestants deal with that issue too. We have pastors that will not marry Christians who have been divorced. True, God "hates" divorce but He does allow it in certain circumstances. We have a God of compassion and healing.

7/30/2005 11:54:00 AM  
Blogger Fayrouz said...


The problem is the annulment process takes a few years to finalize. That's why I believe people going through the process shouldn't be denied the Eucharist.



That's very true. He is God of compassion and healing. I think God understands there are times when a couple can't continue in a marriage for different reasons.

7/31/2005 12:10:00 AM  
Blogger Liam said...


I myself am going through an annulment, one that I believe is completely justified. Yet there are many people who in good faith enter a perfectly canonical marriage and years later realize they had made a mistake. They divorce, fall in love again and still feel they are good Catholics serving God they way their consciences dictate to them, even though they may be ineligible for an annulment. I personally believe that in the future, although the Church will still regard divorce as something to be avoided, it will permit it when necessary. Church teachings on marriage have not remained unchanged throughout history, and for the first 1,000 years it was not even considered a sacrament. I have great respect for Church law, but there are times when the law must bend to allow for God's compassion.

7/31/2005 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger Fayrouz said...


The thing is there's nothing in the Bible that says divorced couples or couples going through a divorce can't be accepted into the house of God (For us Catholics or at least for me, that's the Eucharist).

God is a loving God. He defnitely accepts us the way we are.

8/01/2005 12:33:00 PM  

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