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In collected works, Benedict XVI deleted passage on Communion for divorced/remarried

November 18, 2014

In the collected works of Pope-emeritus Benedict XVI, an article from 1972 appears without a passage in which the future Pontiff raises the possibility of allowing Catholics who are divorced and remarried to receive Communion.

The 1972 essay by then-Father Joseph Ratzinger has been frequently quoted by Cardinal Walter Kasper, who has argued for admitting divorced and remarried Catholics to the Eucharist in some circumstances. But the final paragraphs of the essay, including the suggestion that a change would be “completely following the line of Church tradition,” have been removed from the final version of the piece published in the collected works of the former Pontiff.

Father Vincent Twomey, an Irish theologian who studied under Professor Ratzinger, told the Irish Times that the editorial change was significant. He suggested that the retired Pope did not want to allow for misinterpretation of an idea that he had advanced as a young theologian.

In the essay as it appears in the collected works, the Pope-emeritus calls for a reconsideration of how marriage tribunals handle requests for annulments—a proposal that Pope Benedict repeated while in office.


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  • Posted by: unum - Nov. 19, 2014 11:10 AM ET USA

    Father Joseph Ratzinger was "a little ahead of his time" in calling for a review of the operation of marriage tribunals and the denial of access to the sacraments for divorced and remarried Catholics. The "selling" of annulments and the denial of sacraments to the divorced and remarried Catholics are probably the most misunderstood teachings of the Church. At least Benedict and Francis had the courage to open the subject to discussion in the modern Church!