Catholic World News

Synod of Bishops will question of Communion for divorced/remarried Catholics, secretary-general confirms

December 02, 2013

The newly appointed secretary-general of the Synod of Bishops has confirmed that the Synod will address the question of whether divorced and remarried Catholics might be allowed to receive Communion.

Archbishop Lorenzo Baldisseri said that at the special session of the Synod, scheduled for October 2014, the subject would certainly be discussed “without any taboos.”

Some bishops, particularly in German-speaking countries, have pressed for a change in the Church’s policy, which bans divorced and remarried Catholics from receiving the Eucharist. Both Pope Benedict XVI and, more recently, Pope Francis have hinted that while the Church teaching on the indissolubility of marriage cannot change, it is possible that some couples could benefit from a new approach to the annulment of earlier marriages.

Archbishop Baldisseri declined to speculate on how the Synod would resolve the question. He commented, however, that the experience of the Orthodox Church, which allows remarriage until some circumstances, could inform the Synod’s discussions.

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  • Posted by: geoffreysmith1 - Dec. 03, 2013 11:34 AM ET USA

    "Jesus never drove sinners away!" So Satan wasn't expelled from Heaven, then?

  • Posted by: geoffreysmith1 - Dec. 03, 2013 9:32 AM ET USA

    Today, in the age of the Internet and video conferencing, do we really need these synods of bishops or conclaves of cardinals? I think the Church can quite happily dispense with these trappings of medievalism and talk about serious matters over the web, without running up the expense of organizing a meeting in the Vatican.

  • Posted by: Mike in Toronto - Dec. 03, 2013 2:36 AM ET USA

    Kite-flying aside, The Orthodox Church does, in fact, permit divorce and remarriage under certain circumstances. One would hope that the Catholic Church does not adopt the practice.

  • Posted by: unum - Dec. 02, 2013 9:22 PM ET USA

    I don't have degrees in theology and canon law like others do, but Ilove the church and its people as Pope Francis obviously does. That said, if a returning "lapsed" Catholic makes a valid confession, is he/she not forgiven? If forgiven and seeking a closer union with our Lord, what is the Church's role in removing the barriers to that closer union? Erecting a bureaucracy doesn't seem Christian! Jesus never drove sinners away! It is good that the synod will be reviewing this process.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Dec. 02, 2013 8:10 PM ET USA

    It would be important--remember the "commission" studying contraception?--to make it very clear that the Church's prohibition stands at the outset.

  • Posted by: koinonia - Dec. 02, 2013 6:41 PM ET USA

    What is a taboo anyway? The beauutiful Church has the. answers when it comes to faith and morals. This issue is not taboo. It is moot. Confident and intrepid is becoming for prelates. The same is true of men.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 02, 2013 6:00 PM ET USA

    Does this mean that CDF Card. Muller wrote the clarification on this subject for nothing? That his office will be second guessed by a synod of bishops? Who will second guess the bishops? The Pope? And who might second guess him?

  • Posted by: geoffreysmith1 - Dec. 02, 2013 5:29 PM ET USA

    There aren't any such circumstances, jg23753479. Somebody is flying a kite, hoping to get the Church to 'relax' her prohibition against adultery, like they try to persuade Holy Mother Church to 'relax' her condemnation of abortion, contraception, etc. There's just no telling some people, they are too dumb to realise that Our Lord meant what He said in Matt. 19:9.

  • Posted by: jg23753479 - Dec. 02, 2013 3:31 PM ET USA

    Could anyone explain to me what the circumstances are that allow remarriage among the Orthodox? This seems clearly to be on the minds of some who work at the Vatican, but I would bet most Catholics are as ignorant of the topic as I am.