(Part 42)


March 18, 2015

What a pleasant contrast this stand of the Polish Bishops’ Conference is to that of the German Bishops’ Conference, which favored communion for the divorced and remarried and some of whose bishops even averred that they would act independently of the Vatican.

The liberals are looking to pastoral care for the divorced and remarried. But how about pastoral care for those couples in difficult marriages who stick it out in view of their covenant? What signal would it give if those in irregular unions were allowed Holy Communion?


Polish Bishops’ Conference rejects Holy Communion for divorced and ‘remarried’

The Polish Bishops’ Conference has issued a communiqué firmly rejecting the proposals that divorced and “remarried” Catholics should be admitted to Holy Communion without amendment of life.

The communiqué, published on 12th March, includes the following statement:

“In view of the upcoming Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in Rome, the bishops have undertaken a reflection on marriage and family. This reflection demonstrated the importance of the family from the perspective of philosophical, theological and legal issues.

“Identified once again was the indispensable importance of the sacrament of marriage, and the family for the growth of Christian life within the Church.

“Emphasized was the need to promote the pastoral care of families, to strengthen the faithful in understanding and the implementation of sacramental marriage, as understood as a sacred and indissoluble union between a woman and a man.

“The teaching and the tradition of the Church shows that people living in non-sacramental union deprive themselves of the possibility of receiving Holy Communion.*

“Pastoral care must be provided for those living in such unions so that they may be able to keep the faith and continue in the community of the Church. Pastoral care of those in non-sacramental unions should also take account of children, who have the right to participate fully in the life and mission of the Church.”

Voice of the Family note: The reference here is to invalid unions contracted by Catholics. Catholics in valid natural marriages, which occur when a Catholic marries an unbaptised person, may, of course, receive the sacraments.

Reprinted with permission form Voice of the Family.

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