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Vatican spokesman: Catholics in irregular marriages are not outside the Church

Catholic World News - June 11, 2012

Echoing a recent homily by Pope Benedict, the director of the Holy See Press Office said in his weekly editorial that Mass and Eucharistic adoration are complementary and that those who are unable of receive Holy Communion because they are in “an irregular marital situation” are not outside the Church.

“The celebration of Mass and Eucharistic adoration outside of Mass are in fact complementary,” said Father Federico Lombardi, SJ. “Excessive – not to say exclusive – accentuation of the Eucharistic celebration, at the expense of time spent in Eucharistic adoration, will ultimately make us incapable of experiencing the living presence of Christ in the sacrament of the Eucharist outside of Mass, and perhaps even have a similar effect on our ability to grasp the spiritual significance and richness of the celebration of Mass itself.”

“The suffering of those deprived of sacramental Communion, if it is inwardly accepted as the price of the common witness that the faithful should give to the importance of the stability of sacramental marital love, is a gift to the Church,” Father Lombardi added. “People who find themselves in such a condition are most definitely not outside the Church. They are rather most fully inside the Church, in the heart of the Church, with a desire that is perhaps all the greater because of the experience of deprivation.”

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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Wolf of Gubbio - Jun. 12, 2012 3:10 PM ET USA

    You're right tms, priests ought to preach on the selfishness and wickedness of cheating on one's spouse in the case of divorce and remarriage. But most don't as they want bums on seats.

  • Posted by: tmsharel5764 - Jun. 12, 2012 11:07 AM ET USA

    The suffering of those deprived of a spouse and parent’s undivided attention because of divorce/remarriage is totally ignored by clerics at all levels of the Church. Just as the suffering of victims of priestly sex abuse has been ignored. People do not “find themselves in such a condition"; they put themselves there. If they are already “fully inside the Church,” then what is the point of denying them Communion? I think we know the answer to that question.

  • Posted by: aclune9083 - Jun. 11, 2012 9:41 PM ET USA

    Those who are not sacramentally married are in one of two conditions: 1. If engaging in sexual relations, they are adulterers. 2. If not engaging in sexual relations, they are giving scandal to Holy Mother Church by living together. This is a sad state, but Bishops who refuse to teach the truth encourage the lie. That results in the loss of souls, and a much heavier punishment on the Bishops who facilitate such lies.

  • Posted by: tturner3998 - Jun. 11, 2012 6:19 PM ET USA

    An awful way to be in the Church - persistently not being able to receive Holy Communion on account of mortal sin. I have heard that when mortal sin is committed, that of Faith Hope and Charity, it is Charity that is first extinguished in the soul. How paradoxical, painful and pointless to risk remaining in that state until the remaining supernatural virtues waste away. Yet heroic people in this state by attending Mass longing for what they may not receive keep faith and hope alive...

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