Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa gives us the latest comment of the Pope on the issue of communion for divorced Catholics whose prior marriages have not been annulled:
With regard to communion for the divorced and remarried, Pope Francis has expressed his thinking once again in the interview that he gave to Elisabetta Piqué in the Argentine newspaper “La Nación” of December 7 (see photo):
In the case of the divorced and remarried, what do we do with them, what door can be opened? There is a pastoral concern: so are we going to give them communion? It is not a solution to give them communion. This alone is not the solution, the solution is integration. They are not excommunicated, sure. But they cannot be godparents in Baptism, they cannot read the readings at Mass, they cannot distribute communion, they cannot teach catechism, there are seven things they can’t do, I have the list here. If I were to present this, they would seem excommunicated de facto! So, to open the doors a little bit more.”
“Someone told me once: ‘Yes, of course, discernment is fine, but we need things that are more clear.’ I told him: ‘Look, I have written an encyclical and an apostolic exhortation, and I continually make declarations and give homilies, and this is magisterium. What is there is what I think, not what the media say I think. Go there, you’ll find it, and it’s very clear.’”
Nonetheless the fact remains that what the pope said in this interview with regard to communion for the divorced and remarried still lends itself to interpretative doubts. One can read in it, in fact, both a rejection of the “solution” of giving them communion and an assent to this same solution, as part of a more comprehensive “integration” of these individuals.
Go here to read the rest. The Pope’s remarks seem to indicate that communion for divorced Catholics whose prior marriages have not been annulled may be off the table, that is unclear, but the rest of his comments strike PopeWatch as strange. The problem with communion for Catholics living in adultery is that they are not in a spiritual position to receive communion because they have no desire to amend their lives and sin no more. This of course applies to any Catholic enmeshed in mortal sin who is unwilling to give up a cherished sin. In short, the true issue is whether Catholics can engage in mortal sin, have no intention to amend their lives, and still eat and drink the body and blood of Christ. No fake feel good “inclusive” initiatives can get around that hard fact. The Church is ever merciful to poor sinful humanity, but there has to be an intention of amendment in order to be absolved of sin. That is the core problem at the heart of the issue of communion for divorced Catholics and the problem of Christianity in modern times. Christians have often cherished sins and separated themselves from God as a result. However, today powerful forces within the Church seem to want to allow people to keep their sins and still be worthy to receive the sacrament of the altar. Squaring this with the Gospel of Christ, and His constant insistence on repentance and amendment of life, is impossible.