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Synod fathers discuss Holy Communion for the remarried

October 16, 2015

Participants in the Synod of Bishops have turned their attention to the question of Holy Communion for those persons who have divorced and remarried outside the Church, according to the official October 15 synod press briefing.

“The Polish Episcopal Conference does not support the notion of admitting divorced and remarried Catholics to the Eucharist,” said Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, who was present at the briefing.

According to La Stampa’s Vatican Insider, Father Bernd Hagenkor, SJ, of Vatican Radio said that some synod fathers

spoke in defense of and for a clarification of the Catholic doctrine on marriage and the family, saying that the Christian vision of marriage needs to be more clear-cut, with an emphasis on the fact that the Church does not have the authority or the power to alter the word of God. Others have underlined that as a follower of Jesus’ teaching, it cannot permanently exclude certain faithful from the sacraments because we are not border-control officers who check Christians’ purity.

Father Manuel Dorantes of the Holy See Press Office “recounted the powerful story told by one Synod Father about a very unusual first Communion,” Vatican Insider reported.
When a young boy went up to the altar to receive the Host, he spontaneously broke it in half and gave half to his father, who was a remarried divorcé and could therefore not receive it directly.”


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  • Posted by: brenda22890 - Oct. 19, 2015 11:06 AM ET USA

    "If you love me, you will keep my commandments."

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Oct. 18, 2015 12:52 AM ET USA

    In the Hagenkor quote, the Church is being accused as the sinner. The reality is that he who violates the marriage laws of the Church commits a sin, and he who opposes the clear teaching of Christ commits a sin. As long as the Church and Christ consider marriage vows to be grave matter, then the breaking of these vows can take on the character of mortal sin. Mortal sin excludes one from reception of the sacraments. The confessional is _the_ check on one's purity, not the border patrol.

  • Posted by: rjbennett1294 - Oct. 17, 2015 10:20 AM ET USA

    "Others have underlined that as a follower of Jesus’ teaching, (the Church) cannot permanently exclude certain faithful from the sacraments...." Does the bishop who said that know what nonsense it is? As a follower of Jesus' teaching, the Church MUST exclude adulterers and sodomites from the sacraments if they do not express sorrow for their sins and amend their lives.

  • Posted by: jrorr19609092 - Oct. 17, 2015 12:32 AM ET USA

    When the U.S. bishops allow pro-abortion voting Catholic elected officials to receive Communion, how can they not allow remarried Catholics to receive the Eucharist?

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Oct. 16, 2015 10:40 PM ET USA

    Remember that hard cases make bad law.

  • Posted by: jalsardl5053 - Oct. 16, 2015 7:49 PM ET USA

    More Obamaspeak. "We are not border-control officers who check Christian's purity". You know what? I'm getting tired of confusion and excuses and the increasing use of the great grayness to justify whatever. If this is going to come to pass, then the statement needs to be, well, inclusive to use a modern suck 'em in word, to wit: "Since we are not border-control officers, Catholics are advised to converse directly with God who alone knows their heart".

  • Posted by: Ken - Oct. 16, 2015 7:43 PM ET USA

    There is nothing "powerful" about this child's story - the father cooperated with his son in a sinful act on his first communion!

  • Posted by: susana8577 - Oct. 16, 2015 7:15 PM ET USA

    Poor Jesus! He's an "it". This story is a good example of a tragic failure of catechesis.

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Oct. 16, 2015 2:45 PM ET USA

    Oh please, so this story about the little boy is supposed to have some kind of authority? Why would the Holy See Press Office tell a story like this? "directly", so indirectly is OK? Who is in charge over there?