Wednesday, November 18, 2015

JPII and B16 both allowed divorced and remarried to communion if....

Two great Popes have already given clear indications on conditions in which the divorced and remarried can receive communion:

John Paul II taught: Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children's upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they "take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples. (Familiaris Consortio 84)

Benedict XVI wrote: Where the nullity of the marriage bond is not declared and objective circumstances make it impossible to cease cohabitation, the Church encourages these members of the faithful to commit themselves to living their relationship in fidelity to the demands of God's law, as friends, as brother and sister; in this way they will be able to return to the table of the Eucharist, taking care to observe the Church's established and approved practice in this regard. (Sacramentum Caritatis 29) 

Benedict XVI also emphasized that "the divorced and remarried continue to belong to the Church, which accompanies them with special concern and encourages them to live as fully as possible the Christian life through:

  • regular participation at Mass, albeit without receiving communion, 
  • listening to the word of God
  • eucharistic adoration
  • prayer
  • participation in the life of the community
  • honest dialogue with a priest or spiritual director, 
  • dedication to the life of charity
  • works of penance, and 
  • commitment to the education of their children."

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