Catholic World News

Cardinal Re: Church will not change teaching on divorced/remarried Catholics

February 18, 2014

An influential Italian cardinal has said that he sees no likelihood of a change in the Church’s teaching that Catholics who are divorced and remarried should not receive the Eucharist.

“I don’t think it is possible to review the exclusion of remarried divorcees from the sacraments,” Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re told the Vatican Insider. “An objective situation cannot be changed.”

Cardinal Re said that Pope Francis is focused on “pastoral attention toward those who find themselves in this situation and need help in preserving their faith.” But he said that he could for foresee a break from the Church’s position.

The Italian cardinal—who is a former prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, and presided over the recent papal conclave as the senior member—described Pope Francis as a “determined reformer.” He said that the Pontiff had begun reforms at the Vatican by his own example, and is now carefully considering reforms in the structure of the Roman Curia.


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  • Posted by: brownjudith2930 - Feb. 19, 2014 1:09 AM ET USA

    I don't understand why the Pope or the Prefect of the CDF doesn't re-state the Catholic teaching that the efficacy of the sacrament (in this case, the Eucharist) is proportional to the disposition of the soul (of the recipient). If a remarried Catholic hasn't received an annulment of their first marriage, then they are committing adultery (unless they chose heroically to live as brother & sister). Why the desire to receive communion? Make a heartfelt 'spiritual communion'.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Feb. 18, 2014 6:38 PM ET USA

    It is clear from Scripture and the Apostolic Tradition that bishops and deacons are to be "the husband of one wife" (1 Tim 3:2 ff, Rheims NT). Even lay Catholics are equally bound: "But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife...causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery (Mt 5:32, NAB). Just as only a man is able to serve in persona Christi because of his sex and calling by Christ, a valid marriage is constituted by one man and one woman for life. Period.