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Discussion in 'The Sacraments' started by BrianK, Mar 18, 2015.

  1. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    As the Synod approaches this fall, keep the following infallible teachings of the Ordinary Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church handy, and compare anything you see or hear to these constant teachings. Anything that deviates from these documents is in error, and those promulgating such errors are to be resisted.

    "...5. Many argue that the position of the Church on the question of divorced and remarried faithful is overly legalistic and not pastoral.

    A series of critical objections against the doctrine and praxis of the Church pertain to questions of a pastoral nature. Some say, for example, that the language used in the ecclesial documents is too legalistic, that the rigidity of law prevails over an understanding of dramatic human situations. They claim that the human person of today is no longer able to understand such language, that Jesus would have had an open ear for the needs of people, particularly for those on the margins of society. They say that the Church, on the other hand, presents herself like a judge who excludes wounded people from the sacraments and from certain public responsibilities.

    One can readily admit that the Magisterium’s manner of expression does not seem very easy to understand at times. It needs to be translated by preachers and catechists into a language which relates to people and to their respective cultural environments. The essential content of the Church’s teaching, however, must be upheld in this process. It must not be watered down on allegedly pastoral grounds, because it communicates the revealed truth.

    Certainly, it is difficult to make the demands of the Gospel understandable to secularized people. But this pastoral difficulty must not lead to compromises with the truth. In his Encyclical Veritatis splendor, John Paul II clearly rejected so-called pastoral solutions which stand in opposition to the statements of the Magisterium (cf. ibid. 56).

    Furthermore, concerning the position of the Magisterium as regards the question of divorced and remarried members of the faithful, it must be stressed that the more recent documents of the Church bring together the demands of truth with those of love in a very balanced way. If at times in the past, love shone forth too little in the explanation of the truth, so today the danger is great that in the name of love, truth is either to be silenced or compromised. Assuredly, the word of truth can be painful and uncomfortable. But it is the way to holiness, to peace, and to inner freedom. A pastoral approach which truly wants to help the people concerned must always be grounded in the truth. In the end, only the truth can be pastoral. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (Jn. 8:32)."



    Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

    Official Vatican teaching on the divorced and remarried and Holy Eucharist, Given at Rome, from the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 14 September 1994, Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross:

    "...the Church affirms that a new union cannot be recognised as valid if the preceding marriage was valid. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God's law. Consequently, they cannot receive Holy Communion as long as this situation persists(6).

    This norm is not at all a punishment or a discrimination against the divorced and remarried, but rather expresses an objective situation that of itself renders impossible the reception of Holy Communion: "They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and his Church which is signified and effected 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"(7).

    The faithful who persist in such a situation may receive Holy Communion only after obtaining sacramental absolution, which may be given only "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, for example, for 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'"(8). In such a case they may receive Holy Communion as long as they respect the obligation to avoid giving scandal.​


    "However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon 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 that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected 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.

    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."(180)

    Similarly, the respect due to the sacrament of Matrimony, to the couples themselves and their families, and also to the community of the faithful, forbids any pastor, for whatever reason or pretext even of a pastoral nature, to perform ceremonies of any kind for divorced people who remarry. Such ceremonies would give the impression of the celebration of a new sacramentally valid marriage, and would thus lead people into error concerning the indissolubility of a validly contracted marriage."

    The Eucharist and the indissolubility of marriage

    29. If the Eucharist expresses the irrevocable nature of God’s love in Christ for his Church, we can then understand why it implies, with regard to the sacrament of Matrimony, that indissolubility to which all true love necessarily aspires. There was good reason for the pastoral attention that the Synod gave to the painful situations experienced by some of the faithful who, having celebrated the sacrament of Matrimony, then divorced and remarried. This represents a complex and troubling pastoral problem, a real scourge for contemporary society, and one which increasingly affects the Catholic community as well. The Church’s pastors, out of love for the truth, are obliged to discern different situations carefully, in order to be able to offer appropriate spiritual guidance to the faithful involved. The Synod of Bishops confirmed the Church’s practice, based on Sacred Scripture (cf. Mk 10:2- 12), of not admitting the divorced and remarried to the sacraments, since their state and their condition of life objectively contradict the loving union of Christ and the Church signified and made present in the Eucharist. Yet 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.


    Given in Rome, at Saint Peter's, on 22 February, the Feast of the Chair of Peter, in the year 2007, the second of my Pontificate.

    No one can change these teachings.

    No one.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2015
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  2. Mario

    Mario Powers


    Safe in the Barque of Peter!
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  3. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I am a little confused by it all. As far as I can tell the overwhelming proportion of the Church Fathers at the Synod are opposed to any change. It is only really a small fraction based in Europe, especially Germany who envisage any tampering.

    Yet it seems to be the tail wagging the dog to some extent. But at the end of the day no matter how much support from the media they get they seem certain to bomb and bomb big time when it comes to the vote. So I can't help wondering if there is much point to putting things to a vote in the first place?

    The Vatican. The more I know, the less I know, it seems a total mystery to me. I wonder if the Bishops who visit from all over the world to the Synod understand it all any better? I doubt it.

    The one set of individuals who probably do understand it all and probably understand how to work the system are the Curia who appear to have been driving the Holy Father nuts. :D

    But it is very reassuring how Orthodox our Bishops have been really , generally. I can't see anyone getting one over on them.
  4. Fatima

    Fatima Powers

    I am going to go 'off the road' and say, the upcoming synod will flow much like the last one, but Holy Father will give even more rope, for the dissenters of Catholic doctrine, to hang themselves with. Pope Francis will, in his own words, "shake things up" to a new high at the synod with both the faithful and unfaithful Cardinals and Bishops at the synod. The lay people an clergy who were upset at the last synod will be fueling mad during this one as well and at the end of it Francis will lay the truth down bold and clear, which will split the Church in two. Then the Church, as Cardianal Ratzinger prophecised will, "become very small but very holy". The persecution for faithful Catholics begins at this moment, up and till the great Warning where she will bring on many new members from the Jewish, Muslim, Protestants, Hindu faiths and even from the Atheists. It will be the lukewarm Catholics and apostate Protestants who will be the greatest persecutors of the faithful from then on (Verne Dagenais messages from GSWYL).
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  5. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    I'm confused too. When you read the Magisterial teachings above then compare it to the recent words of the Pope below, and what these words seem to foretell, one gets a bit of cognitive dissonance. It seems clear the Pope is talking about admitting divorced and remarried Catholics to more than just simple Sunday mass attendance.

    Francis: Who are you to shut the door of mercy for someone?

    Pope Francis has again forcefully emphasized the Catholic church's need to be merciful, pointedly asking who Christians that do not allow someone to renter the church community think they are.

    Speaking Tuesday during his daily homily at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, Francis asked bluntly: "Who are you who shuts the door of your heart to a man, a woman who wants to improve, to return back into the people of God, because the Holy Spirit has stirred his or her heart?"

    The church, the pontiff said, is "the home of Jesus and Jesus welcomes -- but not only welcomes, [he] goes to find people."

    "And if people are hurt, what does Jesus do?" asked Francis. "Scolds them because they are hurt? No, he comes and carries them on his shoulders."

    "This is called mercy," the pope continued. "And when God reprimands his people -- 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice!' -- he speaks of this."

    Francis' emphasis Tuesday on the need for mercy from Catholics comes just days after the pope announced Friday that he will be convoking in December an extraordinary jubilee year for the Catholic church to be called the Holy Year of Mercy.

    The pope has made mercy a central theme of his papacy. On Friday he said he wanted to call the holy year -- a special time for Catholics to receive blessing and pardon from God and remission of sins -- so that the church "can make more evident its mission of being a witness of mercy."

    Francis was speaking of mercy Tuesday as part of a reflection on the daily Mass readings, the first of which is a passage in which the prophet Ezekiel sees a vision of water overflowing and providing life for those near the temple in Jerusalem. The Gospel for the day sees Jesus heal a man who had been paralytic and could not even wash himself.

    Using the imagery of water from both readings, the pope spoke of men and women who may have made mistakes in their lives but now feel "that the waters are moving" and they want to come back to the Christian community.

    "And how many times today in Christian communities [they] find closed doors: 'But you cannot, no, you cannot,'" said the pope, imitating someone who prevents such people from reentering the community.

    "'You have done wrong here and you cannot,'" Francis continued the imitation. "'If you want to come, come to Mass on Sunday, but stay there, but do not do more.'"

    Summing up how he feels about such a situation, the pontiff said: "That which the Holy Spirit does in the hearts of people, Christians with the psychology of doctors of the law destroy."

    "Today we ask the Lord in the Mass for us, for each of us and for the whole Church, a conversion towards Jesus, a conversion to Jesus, a conversion to the mercy of Jesus," Francis ended his homily. "And so the law will be fully fulfilled, because the law is to love God and neighbor, as ourselves."

    [Joshua J. McElwee is NCR Vatican correspondent. His email address is jmcelwee@ncronline.org. Follow him on Twitter: @joshjmac.]
  6. Fatima

    Fatima Powers

    I am all for mercy too. Like what Jesus told Mary Magdelene...."neither do I judge you go and sin no more". Is that what Pope Francis is saying to the divorced and remarried? Time will tell and after the synod we will know.
  7. padraig

    padraig New Member

    The Holy Father has a certain style a certain way of expressing himself which is particularly his own. :)

    Forgive me but it is as if..well as if someone had lit a fire under his ass. :D:D

    This leads him to express things in a certain way. I think it is very possible to misinterpret what he says. I think , one thing I noticed is how often ,after the Holy Father says or writes something we have a kinda gloss on it from the Vatican. Reminding us not to take things the wrong way.

    This has taught me to ..as the saying goes in Ireland, 'To let the hare sit'. I kind of let things drift on by me. :)

    I am letting things motor on in the expectation of things becoming clearer a little down the way. :)

    I would imagine, from Scripture that the Disciples were very often like that with Jesus. I regret I do not know the Holy Father personally as there are several things I would like to talk to him about , several questions I would like to ask. Sadly there being over a billion of us sheep that is not very likely to happen, so I am prepared to give trust and patience and wait and see..

    ..and let the hare sit. :)
  8. Infant Jesus of Prague

    Infant Jesus of Prague The More you Honor Me The More I will Bless Thee

    I found this article interesting.I believe this some understanding to Pope Francis

    A lengthy interview with Pope Francis published yesterday by a Jesuit publication has sparked a flood of news reports, as well as in-depth commentary from Catholic analysts.

    Vatican analyst John Allen, Jr., said that the Pope’s recent comments are “not breaking with traditional doctrine but trying to shift the church's emphasis from condemnation to mercy.”

    He noted that when the Pope was asked if he “approves” of homosexuality, he responded with another question: “Tell me: when God looks at a gay person, does he endorse the existence of this person with love, or reject and condemn this person?”

    This focus on the person is key to understanding what the Holy Father is doing, Allen suggested. “In saying these things, Francis argues, he's doing no more than rephrasing the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which denounces homosexual acts but says homosexual persons are to be treated with ‘respect, compassion and sensitivity’.”

    “In general, Francis seems to suggest he wants the church to come off as less judgmental and more pastoral, though without becoming morally ‘lax’,” he explained.
    Pope’s interview prompts flurry of media reactions
    Vatican City, Sep 21, 2013 / 03:10 am (EWTN News/CNA)
  9. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I understand what the Holy Father is saying..at least I think I do.

    However..and perhaps I am wrong in this. I do not get the feeling that Catholics who hate sexual perversion are hating the sexual perverts.

    On the contrary I think given the situation we are in in Western Society Catholics in general are very open and kind to homosexuals. They hate the sin and not the sinner.

    However the Holy Father seems to have another take on this , that Catholics are being intolerant and nasty to homosexuals.

    But hand up to heaven this has not been my experience. In my experience the shoe is on the other foot. That Catholic are simply not holding the line on sexual perversion and giving it the nod too much; that we are not calling a spade a spade. enough.
    To me the Holy Father may have been quite right thirty or forty years ago but now, not in Ireland anyway.

    As I say the shoe is on the other foot now.

    But perhaps I misunderstand. I can only say in work I would be terrified of making the least comment about a homosexual, they would burn me at the stake.
  10. Infant Jesus of Prague

    Infant Jesus of Prague The More you Honor Me The More I will Bless Thee

    Its a total mess today.We have the same issues in the States with the LGBT communities.God forbid you say a word against them....Tarr n feathers for you. My old job the gay community was coming to life in new corporate policies. I read this article from Archbishop Chaput Homily from Philadelphia yesterday.Hes a breath of FRESH AIR : ) Made me think of Ireland as well.

    Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia warned Tuesday that the United States will face increasing pressure to abandon its traditionally broad protections for religious liberty, though he encouraged Christians never to give up hope in God’s love.

    Religious liberty, he said, “means much more than the freedom to believe whatever you like at home, and pray however you like in your church.”

    “It means the right to preach, teach and worship in public and in private,” he said March 17. “It means a parent’s right to protect his or her children from harmful teaching. It means the right to engage the public square with moral debate and works of social ministry. It means the freedom to do all of this without negative interference from the government, direct or indirect, except within the limits of ‘just public order’.”

    The archbishop’s remarks came in his speech to Philadelphia’s St. Charles Borromeo Seminary, where he discussed Dignitatis humanae, the Second Vatican Council’s declaration on religious freedom.

    Archbishop Chaput evaluated the religious freedom situation in the U.S. as “good” compared to “almost anywhere else in the world.”

    “Religious believers played a very big role in founding and building the country. Until recently, our laws have reflected that. In many ways they still do.”

    He noted that a “large majority” of Americans believe in God and identify as Christian, while religious practice is high.

    “But that’s changing. And the pace will quicken. More young people are disaffiliated from religion now than at any time in our country’s past. More stay away as they age. And many have no sense of the role that religious freedom has played in our nation’s life and culture.”

    The archbishop said the current administration may be “the least friendly to religious freedom concerns in history.” This trend will continue in areas like gay rights, contraception and abortion services, and public religious witness, as well as in the application of “so-called ‘anti-discrimination’ laws,” he said.

    The tendency will also be evident in anti-bullying policies “that turn public schools into indoctrination centers on matters of human sexuality” that undermine any concept of truth in the concepts of male and female; and it will be manifested in restrictions on public funding, revoked tax exemptions, and expanded government regulations.

    However, for Archbishop Chaput the biggest “crippling” problem in U.S. culture is the lack of a commonly shared meaning to words such as justice, rights, freedom, and dignity.

    “We speak the same language, but the words don’t mean the same thing. Our public discourse never gets down to what’s true and what isn’t, because it can’t. Our most important debates boil out to who can deploy the best words in the best way to get power.”

    He said that liberal democracy lacks the ability to be self-sustaining.
    “Democracy depends for its meaning on the existence of some higher authority outside itself,” he said.

    Human dignity has only one source and guarantee: humanity’s creation in the image and likeness of God.

    “Modern pluralist democracy has plenty of room for every religious faith and no religious faith. But we’re lying to ourselves if we think we can keep our freedoms without revering the biblical vision – the uniquely Jewish and Christian vision – of who and what man is.”

    Archbishop Chaput summarized Christianity’s approach to society. Its rise had posed a threat to pagan societies, since the Christian understanding of sacred and secular authority rejected worship of the Roman Empire’s gods.
    At one point the “confessional state” became “the standard Catholic model of government.” Such a state was committed to “advancing the true Catholic religion and suppressing religious error.”

    The Second Vatican Council’s teaching on religious liberty aimed to correct this approach by “going back to the sources of Christian thought.”

    “The choice to believe any religious faith must be voluntary. Faith must be an act of free will, or it can’t be valid,” he noted.

    “Forced belief violates the person, the truth and the wider community of faith, because it’s a lie,” the archbishop continued. Persons have rights “even when they choose falsehood over truth.”

    The archbishop warned that religious freedom cannot survive unless people “actually believe and live their faith,” including in their public lives.

    “No one can finally take our freedom unless we give it away,” he maintained.

    “In practice, no law and no constitution can protect religious freedom unless people actually believe and live their faith – not just at home or in church, but in their public lives. But it’s also true that no one can finally take our freedom unless we give it away.”

    Archbishop Chaput stressed the importance of finding hope in the people who comfort the suffering, serve the poor and “seek and teach the truth.”

    “In the end, there’s too much evidence that God loves us, with a passion that is totally unreasonable and completely redemptive, to ever stop trusting in God’s purpose for the world, and for our lives.”
    For Archbishop Chaput, religious liberty means more than you may think
    Philadelphia, Pa., Mar 18, 2015 / 05:01 am (EWTN News/CNA)
  11. Advocate

    Advocate New Member

    I will have to pray for understanding on this quote. It may be important to understand what is doctrine and what is a practice of discipline here.​
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  12. Infant Jesus of Prague

    Infant Jesus of Prague The More you Honor Me The More I will Bless Thee

    I look at this news as positive that Pope Francis will not change any teaching. Just my gut feeling Its like hes lifting up the Martins to show the way and that's the purpose for cannonization to show a path to Holiness.
    A miracle attributed to the intercession of Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of St. Therese of Lisieux.

    Bl. Louis and Zelie will be canonized this autumn.

    Francis met March 18 with the prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, Cardinal Angelo Amato, giving the green light for the causes to move forward.

    While the miracle attributed to the Martins was formally recognized only today, Cardinal Amato had informally announced to journalists several weeks ago that the couple would be canonized in October, the same month as the Synod on the Family.

    Three laypersons among saints' causes advanced by Pope Francis
    Vatican City, Mar 18, 2015 / 12:07 pm (EWTN News/CNA)
  13. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    This isn't a discipline like "Fish on Fridays" or the celibate priesthood (which, though a discipline, has a strong theological foundation) that can be arbitrarily changed or suspended.

    This is one where both the doctrine and the discipline are based on Scripture and as such the two are so intimately related as to be inseparable.

    Since the early Church, based on Scripture Christians have believed that there are venial sins and mortal sins
    16 If anyone sees his brother committing a sin not leading to death, he shall ask and God will for him give life to those who commit sin not leading to death. There is a sin leading to death; I do not say that he should make request for this. 17 All unrighteousness is sin, and there is a sin not leading to death.
    -1 John 5:16-18
    and that 1 Corinthians 11 is in reference to mortal sins and the reception of Holy Communion:
    27 Therefore whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord.[l] 28 A person should examine himself,[m] and so eat the bread and drink the cup. 29 For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment[n] on himself. 30 That is why many among you are ill and infirm, and a considerable number are dying. 31
    Christ said in scripture that he who divorces and marries another commits adultery:
    Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
    -Luke 16:18​

    From earliest times Christians have believed that adultery is one of those sins described in 1 John 5:16-18. And therefore from the earliest times those living in adultery were not permitted to partake of the Holy Eucharist.

    One cannot change that "discipline" without denying the doctrine which necessitates it.
  14. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I would adopt a wait and see attitude in this. It is such a serious issue. As I say let the hare sit.
  15. BrianK

    BrianK Guest

    Will do.
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  16. Infant Jesus of Prague

    Infant Jesus of Prague The More you Honor Me The More I will Bless Thee

    Doctrine can never change, I totally agree.Francis has made statements to that effect recently. Discipline can change .How he will mesh these 2 together to catch more fish,Im speechless. Keep in mind any Pope can say what they want ALL day long, we don't have to believe. These are NOT infallible statements. When they say this is now the official teaching that's a new ball game. I have concerns myself but I just have to say sometimes UPON This ROCK I will build MY CHURCH and The Gates of Hell Shall NOT prevail against it !
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  17. padraig

    padraig New Member

    I used to struggle a lot over all this but am much more at peace now.

    As I say I am happy to store these things in my heart and wait patiently on God as Mary did.
  18. padraig

    padraig New Member

    At least my honest bewilderment is teaching me a little bit of humility which is never a bad thing, ever.

    Also to hold my tongue and show a bit of patience too, which isn't a bad thing either.

    It reminds me of playing poker , you gotta wait till the other guy shows his hand before you show your own.

    I'm waiting to see who is betting what with what.

  19. Fatima

    Fatima Powers

    One has to understand the difference between the Divine side of the Church teachings, which is are our unchanging doctrines and the Human side of the Church teachings, which are our disciplines, which come from our Pope. A doctrine can never change, whereas a Church discipline can. If we go back to Pope John Paul's teachings on an all male priesthood, after much debate from both spectrum's of the faith, Holy Father came out with his definitive encyclical, a reaffirmation that he and the Church has no authrotiy to change what Christ instituted (Church doctrine).

    To further express this unchanging truth, I would often tell those on biblical/protestant chat lines 20 years ago, that if they could find just one doctrine the Catholic Church has ever changed, I would leave the Catholic faith today. No one could ever come up with even one, while I could name dozens that all other Christian denominations of the one true Church have changed to make their own church. God is the same yesterday, today and always. He is truth and truth cannot change. This is the benchmark of authentic faith. If any pope tried to change the unchanging truth on divorce and remarriage he would be apsotate. Now he could relax the annulment process to make it more easy to acquire one.
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  20. Fatima

    Fatima Powers


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