Benedict XVI reviews his life’s work. He changed his mind about something important.

It is important that you know about this.  I first touched on this HERE

Given the orchestrations of the last, controversial Synod of Bishops which met to discuss issues concerning the family, and given the hot issues raised, when the former POPE says something touching the issue of Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried, we should pay attention.

In essence, Benedict XVI is doing what St. Augustine did late in life in his Retractations: he is looking back at his life’s work to make evaluations and corrections.  In the 1970’s Ratzinger mused about Communion for the remarried.  He has, since, changed his mind.

Sandro Magisterhas the texts of the His Holiness Pope Benedict’s forward to the newest volume of his collected works.  The first volume, put out in German and edited by Card. Müller of the CDF, was of Benedict’s liturgical writings.  Ignatius Press has the English version: Joseph Ratzinger-Collected Works: Theology of the Liturgy – UK link HERE.

Now a volume of theological writings is out in German.   Moreover, we also have an English translation of the forward in which Benedict reviews his position on the hot question back in 1972 and what he thinks about it now.

Thus, Magister:

ROME, December 3, 2014 – Joseph Ratzinger’s position on communion for the divorced and remarried is well known. He has formulated it a number of times, as cardinal prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith and then as pope.

But now he is returning to the argument with a new text, just released in Germany in the collection of his Opera Omnia.

This text is reproduced in its entirely further below. But its origin demands an explanation.

In the Opera Omnia, Ratzinger is republishing – with the help of the prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, Gerhard Ludwig Müller – all of his theological writings, grouped according to theme. In the latest of the nine volumes published so far in German by Herder, numbering almost 1,000 pages and entitled “Introduction to Christianity. Profession, baptism, discipleship,” there is a 1972 article on the question of the indissolubility of marriage, published that year in Germany in a multi-author book on marriage and divorce.

That 1972 article by Ratzinger was dusted off last February by Cardinal Walter Kasper in the talk with which he introduced the consistory of cardinals convened by Pope Francis to discuss the issue of the family, in view of the synod of bishops scheduled for October:

In cheering for the admission of the divorced and remarried to Eucharistic communion, Kasper said:

“The early Church gives us a guideline that can serve as a means of escape from the dilemma, to which Professor Joseph Ratzinger referred in 1972. [. . .] Ratzinger suggested that Basil’s position should be taken up again in a new way. It would seem to be an appropriate solution, one that is also at the basis of these reflections of mine.” [The Five Cardinals Book™ exploded the Basil point. If you haven’t obtained and read it… what are you waiting for?]

In effect, in that 1972 article the then 45-year-old professor of theology in Regensburg maintained that giving communion to the divorced and remarried, under particular conditions, appeared “fully in line with the tradition of the Church” and in particular with “that type of indulgence which emerges in Basil, where, after a protracted period of penance, the ‘digamus’ (meaning someone living in a second marriage) is granted communion without the annulment of the second marriage: with trust in the mercy of God, who does not let penance go unanswered.”

That 1972 article was the first and last time in which Ratzinger “opened up” to communion for the divorced and remarried. Afterward, in fact, he not only fully adhered to the rigorist [no… not rigorist… faithful…] position of the ban on communion, reaffirmed by the magisterium of the Church during the pontificate of John Paul II, but he also contributed in a decisive way to the argumentation on behalf of this ban as prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith. [Did everyone get that?  So, what Kasper did is doubly dodgy.]

He contributed to it in particular by signing the letter to bishops of September 14, 1994, in which the Holy See rejected the theses in favor of communion for the divorced and remarried supported in previous years by some German bishops, including Kasper:

And then again with a 1998 text published by the congregation for the doctrine of the faith and republished by “L’Osservatore Romano” of November 30, 2011:

Without counting that subsequently, as pope, he reconfirmed and explained the ban on communion a number of times in the context of pastoral care for the divorced and remarried.

[NB] It comes as no surprise, therefore, that Ratzinger should have maintained that it was inappropriate for Kasper to cite his 1972 article in support of his own theses, as if nothing had happened after that year.

This is what led to Ratzinger’s decision, in republishing the 1972 article in the Opera Omnia, to rewrite and expand its final part, bringing it into line with his subsequent and current thinking. [Did you get that?]

What follows is a translation of the new final part of the article as it appears in the volume of the Opera Omnia just out in bookstores, released for publication by pope emeritus Benedict XVI in March of 2014. [Ergo… several months before the October Synod but still within the Synod’s penumbra.  The debate was already escalating.]

Followed immediately by a reproduction of the part replaced, the one cited by Kasper in his own support at the consistory last February. [Compare and contrast.]

In the new 2014 edition, it is specified that “the contribution has been completely revised by the author.”

What follows in Magister’s piece are the actual texts.

Keep in mind that, even as we speak, powers-that-be are working behind the scene to engineer a desired outcome when the next Synod meets in October 2015.

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30 Responses to Benedict XVI reviews his life’s work. He changed his mind about something important.

  1. jbazchicago says:

    A sign of AUTHENTIC humility.
    Most people outside academia don’t realize how rare it is that an academician will review his life’s work and say he was “wrong” or “dubious” on something.

    This tells us so much about Pope Benedict XVI.

  2. Charles E Flynn says:

    From Benedict’s Quiet Counsel to the Synod, by C.C. Pecknold, for First Things:

    While Cardinal Kasper has been busy lobbying for his long-sought proposal to change Church disciplines concerning the indissolubility of marriage, Benedict XVI has been, as he promised, cloistered in prayer and study.

    Though there can be no other way for a pope to “retire,” it must be more than a little frustrating to see Kasper, in his 2014 book The Gospel of the Family, using Ratzinger’s own 1972 essay to support a proposal that Benedict XVI has long since rejected.

    Forty years ago Ratzinger had argued that Communion for the divorced and remarried was permissible, based on patristic precedent, especially St. Basil, who “indulged” a return to Communion after a penitential period. It was an obvious nod to the Eastern Church which had developed this lenient practice in consultation with Byzantine authorities. But a question arises: Why would Kasper utilize Ratzinger’s authority to support a proposal that Ratzinger later rejected? Was Kasper unaware?

  3. Charles E Flynn says:

    Fixed URL:

    From Benedict’s Quiet Counsel to the Synod, by C.C. Pecknold, for First Things:

    While Cardinal Kasper has been busy lobbying for his long-sought proposal to change Church disciplines concerning the indissolubility of marriage, Benedict XVI has been, as he promised, cloistered in prayer and study.

    Though there can be no other way for a pope to “retire,” it must be more than a little frustrating to see Kasper, in his 2014 book The Gospel of the Family, using Ratzinger’s own 1972 essay to support a proposal that Benedict XVI has long since rejected.

    Forty years ago Ratzinger had argued that Communion for the divorced and remarried was permissible, based on patristic precedent, especially St. Basil, who “indulged” a return to Communion after a penitential period. It was an obvious nod to the Eastern Church which had developed this lenient practice in consultation with Byzantine authorities. But a question arises: Why would Kasper utilize Ratzinger’s authority to support a proposal that Ratzinger later rejected? Was Kasper unaware?

  4. Bosco says:

    I’m unsure precisely who and what you mean, Father Z., when you conclude with:

    “Keep in mind that, even as we speak, powers-that-be are working behind the scene to engineer a desired outcome when the next Synod meets in October 2015.”

    Could you kindly elaborate as to who are “the powers that be” are and what the “desired outcome” of those “powers that be” might be?

  5. Bea says:

    Interesting question, Charles E Flynn says:
    “But a question arises: Why would Kasper utilize Ratzinger’s authority to support a proposal that Ratzinger later rejected? Was Kasper unaware?”

    Who knows what lurks in the heart of man, but, I suspect that Kasper hoped everybody else would be “unaware”.

  6. Landless Laborer says:

    Bosco: “Could you kindly elaborate as to who are “the powers that be” are and what the “desired outcome” of those “powers that be” might be?”

    The German Catholic Church. Topping off her war chest, consolidating her power.

  7. jacobi says:

    There is a pre-occupation at present with Holy Communion for the Divorced and re-married and to some extent, for active homosexuals.

    This has little to do with mercy or pastoral care and a lot to do with adopting the current principle fashion in Secular society, a preoccupation with uninhibited sex. It shows the extent to which Secularist ideas have penetrated the Church.

    Note that little is said by the liberal/Modernists about, say, the oppression of the poor (even in so-called advanced countries) or wilful murder (as of the unborn), both sins that Secular society seem happy to look the other way on.

    But one mortal sin has much the same consequences as another and including that it forbids the reception of Holy Communion unless there is Confession and a firm purpose of amendment.

    But they, the liberal/Modernists, will be at it again next year at the second session – and at every opportunity they can find in the meantime.

  8. JARay says:

    May I say that I think that Bosco is being more than a little provocative in his touching little question as to who the powers that be are who are seeking to obtain a “desired result” when the Synod on the Family reconvenes!!!!
    There are many, I am sure, who, like myself, will be looking to see just what stacking will be implemented in those called to attend and those called to report and write up the final judgement on its outcome.

  9. profling says:

    What’s the hierarchy’s obsession with denying communion to the remarried or anyone of good faith, for that matter? This whole thing smells very much like Our Lord’s reproving words to the Pharisees about excluding people from the Kingdom. Look at Mark 2: 15-17.

  10. Supertradmum says:

    That the Pope Emeritus has clarified his own position, now in line with the teaching of the Church, seems to have been overlooked by the American press. This was big news here a bit ago. We need to pray daily for the Pope and the Cardinals. If lay people think that prayer and fasting is not necessary for our leaders, they are hugely mistaken.

    http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1350933?eng=y

    part of this article

    FROM THE POPE EMERITUS TO THE REIGNING POPE

    As for the position of Pope Francis on the question “re-tracted” by his predecessor in the text reproduced above, it is interesting what Cardinal Angelo Scola, the archbishop of Milan, said in an interview with “Corriere della Sera” of December 2:

    > Scola: “Ai divorziati nlente comunione. Credo che il papa deciderà così”

    This is the central passage of the interview:

    Q: On the point of communion for the divorced and remarried, what is your position?

    A: I have discussed this intensely, in particular with cardinals Marx, Danneels, Schönborn, who were in my “smaller circle,” but I am unable to see adequate reasons for a positon that on the one hand affirms the indissolubility of marriage as beyond question, but on the other seems to deny it in fact, almost effecting a separation between doctrine, pastoral practice, and discipline. This way of maintaining reduces it to a sort of Platonic idea, which lies in the Empyrean and does not enter into the concreteness of life. And it raises an educational problem: how can we tell young people who are marrying today, for whom the “forever” is very difficult, that marriage is indissoluble, if they know that in any case there will always be a way out? It is a question that is hardly raised, and this astonishes me.

    Q: So at the synod did you vote with the minority?

    A: If anything with the majority, although I would not put it in these terms: on proposals that did not reach the two-thirds there may have been a cross-party vote. Certainly the position of the magisterium seemed to me, in the reports of the “smaller circles,” decidedly the one followed most.

    Q: And if instead at the end of the synod the pope should take a position that you do not share?

    A: I believe he will do no such thing.

    __________

    English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.

    __________

    The latest three articles from http://www.chiesa:

    26.11.2014
    > The Lenses of the Cardinal, the Sociologist, the Journalists
    All focused on Francis. To understand who he is and where he wants to go. In the Church, at all levels, criticisms of the pope are no longer being silenced. They are voiced openly. Among the cardinals, the most explicit is Francis George

    24.11.2014
    > Vatican Diary / What Francis really thinks about Europe
    He explained this on October 3 to the bishops of the council of European episcopal conferences. The talk has been kept secret. Here it is. On the eve of his voyage to Strasbourg

    21.11.2014
    > There’s a War of Religion, but the Pope Keeps Quiet or Stammers
    In the face of the offensive of radical Islam, Francis’s idea is that “we must soothe the conflict.” And forget Regensburg. With serious harm also to the reformist currents of Islam

    __________

  11. JARay says:

    The hierarchy’s obsession dear “profling” in denying communion to the “remarried”, as you call them, is that they are not “remarried” because of the declaration of Jesus that marriage is “until death they do part”. They cannot remarry because they are already married and any subsequent living arrangement is simply one of living in adultery. That is a mortal sin and makes subsequent reception of Holy Communion a sacrilege.

  12. Nancy D. says:

    http://chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1350933?eng=y

    The nullity of marriage can stem from errors in juridical form, but above all from a lack of understanding. In dealing with the reality of marriage, the Church recognized very quickly that marriage is constituted as such through the consent of the two partners, which must also be expressed publicly in a form defined by law (CIC, can. 1057 § 1). The content of this joint decision is mutual self-giving through an irrevocable bond (CIC, can. 1057 § 2; can. 1096 § 1). Canon law presupposes that adult persons know on their own, on the basis of their nature, what marriage is, and therefore also know that it is definitive; the contrary must be expressly demonstrated (CIC, can. 1096 § 1 e § 2).

    It is important to note that in the interview the “small group” consisting of Cardinal Marx, Cardinal Deneen, and Cardinal Schonborn, along with Cardinal Kasper and Francis, all support “same-sex sexual unions as long as they are private, do not include children, and are not called marriage.

    How can one support same-sex sexual unions and abide in The Word of God, simultaneously?

  13. jhayes says:

    It’s interesting that what Benedict has substituted in his revised version is a suggestion that divorced and remarried persons go forward at Communion time but with their hands folded over their chests to indicate that they want to receive a blessing rather than the Eucharist.

    I would like to add another practical suggestion. In many countries it has become customary for persons who are not able to receive communion (for example, the members of other confessions) to approach the altar with their hands folded over their chests, making it clear that they are not receiving the sacrament but are asking for a blessing, which is given to them as a sign of the love of Christ and of the Church. This form could certainly be chosen also by persons who are living in a second marriage and therefore are not admitted to the Lord’s table. The fact that this would make possible an intense spiritual communion with the Lord, with his whole Body, with the Church, could be a spiritual experience that would strengthen and help them.

    In the past, some people have argued against the practice of requesting blessings in lieu of the Eucharist, and particularly against EMHCs giving blessings, so it is interesting to see Benedict supporting it.

  14. jhayes says:

    Pope Francis answers questions from a newspaper.

    (responding to question about the Synod) I am not afraid.

    – Afraid of what?

    – Afraid of following this trail, the road of the synod. I am not afraid because it is the road that God has asked us to follow. More so, the Pope is the ultimate guarantor, the Pope is there to care for the process. We must move forward. In my last address I said something interesting, I pointed out that we had not addressed any part of the doctrine of the Church concerning marriage. In the case of divorcees who have remarried, we posed the question, what do we do with them? What door can we allow them to open? This was a pastoral concern: will we allow them to go to Communion? Communion alone is no solution. The solution is integration. They have not been excommunicated, true. But they cannot be godfathers to any child being baptized, mass readings are not for divorcees, they cannot give communion, they cannot teach Sunday school, there are about seven things that they cannot do, I have the list over there. Come on! If I disclose any of this it will seem that they have been excommunicated in fact! Thus, let us open the doors a bit more. Why cant they be godfathers and godmothers? “No, no, no, what testimony will they be giving their godson?”. The testimony of a man and a woman saying “my dear, I made a mistake, I was wrong here, but I believe our Lord loves me, I want to follow God, I was not defeated by sin, I want to move on”. Anything more Christian than that? And what if one of the political crooks among us, corrupt people, [is] chosen to be somebody´s godfather. If they are properly wedded by the Church, would we accept them? What kind of testimony will they give to their godson? A testimony of corruption? Things need to change, our standards need to change.

    – What do you think about the solution put forward by the German cardinal Walter Kasper?

    – Kasper’s address to the cardinals last February included five chapters, four of them are a jewel, about the purpose of marriage, open, in depth. The fifth is the question of what do we do with divorcees who have remarried; they are part of our congregation after all. Kasper´s hypothesis is not his own. Let´s look into that. What happened? Some theologians feared such assumptions and that is keeping our heads down. Kasper urged us to seek hypothesis, i.e., he made the first move. And some panicked. And went as far as to say: Communion, never. Only spiritual Communion. And tell me, don´t we need the grace of God to receive spiritual communion? That´s why spiritual communion obtained the fewest votes in the relatio synodi, because nobody was in agreement. Those for it, because there´s not much to it, voted against it; and those who are not for it and would rather go for the other one, because it´s not worth it.

    La Nacion

  15. jhayes says:

    It is important to note that in the interview the “small group” consisting of Cardinal Marx, Cardinal Deneen, and Cardinal Schonborn, along with Cardinal Kasper and Francis, all support “same-sex sexual unions as long as they are private, do not include children, and are not called marriage.

    Nancy D, the only thing about “small group” that I find in the Chiesa article you linked is its quote from an interview with Cardinal Scola

    Q: On the point of communion for the divorced and remarried, what is your position?

    A: I have discussed this intensely, in particular with cardinals Marx, Danneels, Schönborn, who were in my “smaller circle,” but I am unable to see adequate reasons for a positon that on the one hand affirms the indissolubility of marriage as beyond question, but on the other seems to deny it in fact, almost effecting a separation between doctrine, pastoral practice, and discipline

    No mention of Francis, Cardinal Kasper or same-sex marriage.

    Is there something I have missed?

  16. acardnal says:

    Benedict XVI did NOT mention EMHCs giving blessings.

  17. texsain says:

    acardnal,

    If an EMHC can give someone the Body and Blood of our Lord, why can’t they give a simple blessing? Mind you, I’d like to see them do neither in most cases since I believe they are generally unnecessary. Nevertheless, if they can do the greater, it seems they can do the lesser.

  18. jhayes says:

    Benedict didn’t mention details like EMHC’s giving blessings but once you invite people to come forward in the Communion lines with folded arms to receive a blessing can you avoid it? In large churches the priest and deacon may distribute the Eucharist at the front of the nave, but there may be only EMHC’s distributing in other areas of the church.

  19. profling says:

    It all smacks of Pharisaism: “See, we pious, sinless Catholics have to put up with these sinful ones at the communion table. It’s just not right.” Don’t you agree, JARay? Maybe you should also read Mark chapter 2 where Jesus dines with sinners and publicans.

  20. acardnal says:

    jhayes, EMHCs are currently prohibited from giving blessings. Those who wish to receive a blessing can get in a communion line with an ordained cleric distributing. Not complicated.

  21. robtbrown says:

    profling says:

    It all smacks of Pharisaism: “See, we pious, sinless Catholics have to put up with these sinful ones at the communion table. It’s just not right.” Don’t you agree, JARay? Maybe you should also read Mark chapter 2 where Jesus dines with sinners and publicans.

    It has nothing to do with Pharisaism. There are two matters involved:

    1. Giving scandal, i.e., giving others the impression that certain behavior (e.g., in a bad second marriage or promoting abortion) is OK for Catholics. This promotes immortality.

    2. In so far as you like Scripture, I recommend 1 Cor 11:27, whose traditional interpretation is that receiving Communion in mortal sin is a sacrilege, which is even more serious than adultery or promoting abortion.

    If someone is in an adulterous (or worse–unnatural) union or promoting abortion, there is the strong possibility of them being in mortal sin. Giving them Communion, therefore, does them harm rather than good.

  22. Indulgentiam says:

    +JMJ+
    @profling…
    “Pharisaism”??—you just had to go there.
    The battle cry of the…nope…won’t resort to name calling. I’ll try to keep it adult and on pointe.
    Interesting that you should choose Mark 2. Because, it is just around the corner from Mark 2 that Our Lord clearly and unambiguously defines doctrine. It is my understandings that the questions the synod is raising have already been clearly defined by Our Lord Himself and is Doctrine…that not even the Pope, ANY Pope has the right to change. To wit…”And he saith to them: Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another, committeth adultery against her.”Mark 10:11

    Mark 10 is pretty straight forward stuff. What is wrong with the the folks that are so concerned with those they consider marginalized outcasts is that they want everyone to forget the wrong these people have done, at the expense of those they’ve wronged. These bleeding hearts bleed for the wrong doers but not for the wronged. Bet these folks have never had to look into the eyes of a child and answer the question “why doesn’t daddy like me as much as his new kids? Why didn’t he like us enough to stay?
    GOD in HIS Infinite Wisdom has made rules to keep us from hurting the innocent and our own souls. I think this synod needs a reality check. It wouldn’t hurt them none to visit with a few broken families and talk with the folks left behind to deal with the mess a divorce makes. The U.S. Department of Correction sites that over 70% of prisoners come from broken homes. Sit with that…meditate on it…and after a while your heart will bleed, first, for the disrespect of man to Our Father’s loving kindness and wise council, and then, rightly, for the victims of the sin and not the selfish sinners who want forgiveness without amendment.

  23. Grumpy Beggar says:

    As I understand it, the way in which the CDW has interpreted Familiaris Consortio , would imply that in general, not even ordained ministers should be blessing non-communicants during the Holy Communion rite.

    Adoremus has a nice brief comprehensive article on this subject.

    Of course, if one were absolutely burning with the desire to be blessed with a consecrated Host in close proximity to the Communion rite, they would always be free to attend an exceptional Mass – such as the weekly traditional Mass for the sick celebrated Wednesdays at St. Joseph’s Oratory. During this particular celebration, just prior to Holy Communion, the presider comes down from the sactuary holding high the consecrated Host, and he stands among the people and blesses them with the Host from several locations. During the blessing of the sick the Agnus Dei is usually sung (in French [Agneau de Dieu] ) and as the priest moves each time to the next station , commonly a passage from scripture of one of Jesus’ healing miracles is read out loud.

    I guess it isn’t impossible, but I admit to struggling a little trying to believe that Pope Benedict XVI encouraged non-communicants to come forward to receive a blessing from extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion holding the Host during the Communion rite. It might be a little easier if someone could provide a link to Pope Benedict XVI’s exact words from a credible source concerning this . . . any possibility of one ?

  24. Grumpy Beggar says:

    texsain says:

    acardnal, If an EMHC can give someone the Body and Blood of our Lord, why can’t they give a simple blessing? Mind you, I’d like to see them do neither in most cases since I believe they are generally unnecessary. Nevertheless, if they can do the greater, it seems they can do the lesser.

    As indicated in the linked articles above, “Lay people, within the context of Holy Mass, are unable to confer blessings. These blessings, rather, are the competence of the priest .”

    If we were to continue, and say for the sake of argument, someone wasn’t aware of that. Even outside of Mass, the act alone of a lay person taking a consecrated Host in their hands and “blessing” someone with that Host, is an imitation convergent toward Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament – which can only be conferred by bishops, priests or deacons.

  25. jhayes says:

    the act alone of a lay person taking a consecrated Host in their hands and “blessing” someone with that Host, is an imitation convergent toward Benediction of the Most Blessed Sacrament – which can only be conferred by bishops, priests or deacons.

    Benedict didn’t suggest the form of the blessing. Most times that I have seen a priest give a blessing to someone in the Communion line, he either puts his hand on the person’s head or traces a cross on the person’s forehead. I haven’t seen anyone making a sign with a Host as you have described.

    If Benedict’s suggestion of giving a blessing were adopted, it seems likely that the form of the blessing and the designation of those who can give it (clergy, EMHCs?) would be added to the GIRM.

  26. profling says:

    Sorry, but the 1 11 Corinthians quote is not interpreted as having to do with sinlessness of the recipient, but rather with faith in Jesus’ presence in the sacrament. The last argument, that the reception of Holy Communion is harmful, is totally specious and has no basis in any theology.

  27. Indulgentiam says:

    @profling

    ENCYCLICAL LETTER
    ECCLESIA DE EUCHARISTIA
    OF HIS HOLINESS
    POPE JOHN PAUL II

    the Pope stresses: “The judgment of one’s state of grace obviously belongs only to the person involved, since it is a question of examining one’s conscience. However, in cases of outward conduct that is seriously, clearly, and steadfastly contrary to the moral norm, the Church, in her pastoral concern for the good order of the community and out of respect for the sacrament, cannot fail to feel directly involved. The Code of Canon Law refers to this situation of a manifest lack of proper moral disposition when it states that those who ‘obstinately persist in manifest grave sin’ are not to be admitted to eucharistic communion” (EDE 37; cf. CIC 915).

  28. GordonB says:

    I think the BEST solution is concerted effort to increase greater respect for the Eucharist and actually decreasing unconsidered, routine, eat-and-run, entitlement mentality (as suggested by The Pope Emeritus): There is another point of view that imposes itself on me. The impossibility of receiving the holy Eucharist is perceived as so painful not last of all because, currently, almost all who participate in the Mass also approach the table of the Lord. In this way the persons affected also appear publicly disqualified as Christians (I mean, aren’t gossipers, unjust bosses possibly just as unworthy to receive communion as the divorced and remarried?):

    I maintain that Saint Paul’s warning about examining oneself and reflecting on the fact that what is at issue is the Body of the Lord should be taken seriously once again: “A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself” (1 Cor 11:28 f.). A serious self-examination, which might even lead to forgoing communion, would also help us to feel in a new way the greatness of the gift of the Eucharist and would furthermore represent a form of solidarity with divorced and remarried persons.

  29. Indulgentiam says:

    @GordonB says: ” A serious self-examination, which might even lead to forgoing communion, would also help us to feel in a new way the greatness of the gift of the Eucharist and would furthermore represent a form of solidarity with divorced and remarried persons.”

    I’m sorry, I really don’t understand the logic behind this statement.
    Firstly, because of the great importance of Holy Communion to the health of the body and soul. See–
    MIRAE CARITATIS
    ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII
    ON THE HOLY EUCHARIST
    http://w2.vatican.va/content/leo-xiii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_28051902_mirae-caritatis.html

    Secondly—Solidarity:unity (as of a group or class) that produces or is based on community of interests, objectives, and standards.
    Our “solidarity” we owe, if we are Catholic, to the Catholic Church. Our loyalty should be to GOD first. We owe HIM Charity first. Where is the Charity in walking into the House of GOD and refusing to approach HIM, only to stand with a sinner who, for whatever reason, refuses to leave his sinful ways and approach GOD in all humility?