CautionIn Amoris Laetitiae (Pope Francis’ just released Apostolic Exhortation on the 2015 Synod on the Family) the parts that affirm Church teaching seem intended to anesthetize the reader from being troubled by the parts that contradict it. “When it comes to Communion for divorced and civilly remarried, the devil is in the footnotes…It comes in footnote #336 where Francis cautiously if not surreptitiously, opens the door for Communion…” John L. Allen

The doctrine of the Eucharist, sign of unity and bond of charity, taught by St. Paul, has been in subsequent times deepened by the writings of many saints who are living examples for us of Eucharistic worship:

“The Church reaffirms her practice, which is based on Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict the union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and affected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.” Pope Saint John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio (1981)

Francis’ document is historic because for the first time the Church’s magisterium has erred in a teaching on faith and morals (albeit in the fine print). Two-thirds of the bishops at the Synod voted to adopt the language (and practice), opening the door for divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

Just because people can do something doesn’t mean they should. If we are not properly disposed to receive Communion (free of mortal sin) we should abstain from doing so, to do otherwise is to hurt rather than nourish intimacy with God. The sacraments should purify and nourish us to become mature children of God, and not build up infantilism and structures of sin.

“We cannot allow the life of our communities to lose the good quality of sensitiveness of Christian conscience, guided solely be respect for Christ, who, when He is received in the Eucharist, should find in the heart of each of us a worthy abode…Cases of deplorable lack of respect towards the eucharistic species have been reported, cases which are imputable not only to the individuals guilty of such behavior but also to the pastors of the church who have not been vigilant enough regarding the attitude of the faithful towards the Eucharist.” Pope Saint John Paul II, On The Mystery And Worship Of The Eucharist (Dominicae Cenae), 1980

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