My friend the still-parish priest of Blackfen, still-Dean of Bexley, His Hermeneuticalness, Fr. Tim Finigan has drilled into a kerfuffle which illustrates how sides are being formed concerning Communion for the divorced and, subsequently, civilly remarried.
Finigan describes the situation. A parish priest in Italy had the temerity to uphold the Church’s doctrine and discipline. He essentially said that, if you are a sinner you shouldn’t goto Communion. Radical, no? He was thereupon blasted by his diocesan bishop and by no one less than the Cardinal Baldisseri, who is in charge of the Synod of Bishops and who is in favor of jettisoning the Church’s discipline in these matters, though he has of late tried to walk back some of his odder public statements. Baldisseri called the priest’s defense of marriage, “cose da pazzi… crazy talk”.
Go there and read the whole thing, as described by Fr. Finigan. However, pay close attention to his conclusion, which I think is dead on target:
By way of a postscript, did you notice that there seems to be a slide forming? Are we now no longer limited to considering Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried, but widening the question to all “irregular cohabitation”? I hope that the higher ecclesiastics consider the pastoral question of how long couples have to be cohabiting before they can receive Holy Communion? Parish priests such as myself and Fr Vicario need to know where the line is to be drawn.
I suppose everyone might agree that a one-night stand is not sufficient (though who knows what might be proposed by the real crazies in this debate?) But would a few weeks of shacking-up with the girlfriend or boyfriend, moving in your Playstation and bagging a few drawers for your clothes, put you in a fit state to receive Holy Communion?