Card. Napier: Communion for the divorced and remarried? How about Polygamists?

The Archbishop of Durban, South Africa, Wilfred Card. Napier, a hero in the Synods on the Family, has opined on Twitter:

Yes… he gets it.

The Five Dubia of the Four Cardinals are important because they seek clarity about the the perennial teaching of the Church not just about the issue of Communion for the divorced and remarried, but about a whole slate of serious questions that touch on the nature of moral acts, what the Sacraments are, who Christ is.


See the Catholic Herald piece HERE

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Kathleen10 says:

    I’m not a cradle Catholic. I attended a Baptist Church periodically, as a child. I never went to CCD, but RCIA as an adult. I received baptism, confirmation, and married in the church at 25, all on the same day. I am continually amazed by how beautiful the faith is/was, and how little of it I know offhand. Many here and on other Catholic blogs know gobs more than I do, and to many it seems second nature, like breathing.
    And even I can see how things are from here. If these men are successful we’ll have something, but it won’t be Catholicism.

  2. DU says:

    Progressives remind me of a quote by C.S. Lewis to the accommodating priests of his day. “Jesus Christ did not say, ‘Go into all the world and tell the world it is quite right.'”

  3. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    Good for Card. Napier. Shall we call this the sixth dubium?

  4. SenexCalvus says:


    Great Lewis quote! Progressives never recognize how ironic their conception of themselves is. While “prophetic witnesses” in their own eyes, they merely repeat lies that first became fashionable among atheists decades earlier. Listening to their cant is like watching reruns from the 70s.

  5. Peter Stuart says:

    Napier’s been praising AL to the skies so I don’t know what he’s on about now. As for heroes… are you talking about the Synods where SSA Catholics like me struggling to be faithful got zero representation at the table, while New Ways Ministry got multiple turns at the mike?
    And now papal mouthpiece Spadaro tells me 2+2=5 in real life. And I’m supposed to trust this outfit?
    No. BS. All BS and a mile wide.

  6. Rod Halvorsen says:

    Peter Stuart nails it.

    This is getting just plain bizarre. Is there no simple integrity, common sense or consistency left among the prelates?

    When I read Napier’s question I was shocked. It’s as if he just woke up from a deep sleep. Where has HE been? First, his statement is obvious to anyone who has read AL, and second because unless this is a conversion moment for him, it is an inexplicable statement from one of the prime salesmen of AL. Has Napier experienced an Epiphany at Epiphany? If he has, I want to hear a public apology and confession for his past nonsensical remarks about AL. Otherwise I don’t trust him. Not one bit.

    From the guy who rejects the legitimacy of the dubia he now concocts one of his own? Hopefully this is a turning point for the Cardinal, but at this point I have inherent reason to trust a Catholic Cardinal until time and action prove their intentions and beliefs.

  7. Rod Halvorsen says:

    Edit: That would be “NO inherent reason”, obviously.

  8. iamlucky13 says:

    I wonder if he’ll catch some flak for the “misfits” part. Some may find calling him insensitive or judgemental a simpler response than addressing his actual point.

    I suspect his word choice was first of all intended mainly to refer to polygamists, and secondly intended to be strictly literal – as in the sense that not only polygamists, but also the divorced and living as if remarried don’t entirely fit in with those able to fully participate in the sacraments. In such use, the word is not necessarily pejorative.

  9. Traductora says:

    Peter Stuart, I think one of the problems for a lot of the Cardinals and bishops is the sheer magnitude of the stream of heresy pouring out from the Vatican. Many of them struggled to make sense of AL and force what seemed like a few little streams of errant thought into a more or less orthodox channel, but now the Vatican – either through Francis himself or through his mouthpieces – has simply opened the floodgates. And the Cardinals and bishops don’t know what to do now, because they have almost waited too long to do much of anything.

  10. DeGaulle says:

    If Peter and Rod are correct that Cardinal Napier has been lukewarm, at best, on AL up to now, perhaps this apparent change in his stance might be a straw in the wind. The non-committal usually like to be on the side that’s winning.

  11. Ann Malley says:

    …and yet +Napier is the same who insisted he was only thinking of the poor children when he insisted that adulterous second marriages should not be called adulterous. (All the while ignoring the reality of injustice inflicted on the children of a first marriage.)

    If he has since changed his mind, owning the slippery slope of lying to children, and rearing them in blatant error, then great.

    But the good Cardinal banned any number of those who called him on this issue on twitter. Insisting that he was only taking such a position to pastor to the poor children. (The very same who are, out of clerical cowardice, and an unwillingness to speak the truth in charity so as to teach, growing up to know nothing of the Faith and what it means.)

  12. Rod Halvorsen says:

    DeGaulle: Very interesting statement. Possibly the man is the canary in the mineshaft of Bergogianism?

  13. rtattersall says:

    Can we play softball?
    Father, I wonder if you might provide your thoughts on the scenario presented in this CRUX piece from today:

    To me, it seems that the priest has not really helped this poor woman. Inside or outside the confessional, it doesn’t appear to me that all avenues to regularize her situation have been exhausted. This piece seems to suggest that A.L. is simply about cutting corners.

  14. Rod Halvorsen says:

    Regarding the “cutting of corners”, I have every confidence in the acumen of Cardinal Burke to present a lock tight and overwhelming case in favor of the perennial teaching of the Church on the issues at hand…..IF…he has the guts to do so.


    So it is not for knowledge or even wisdom I pray for Cardinal Burke, for both of those I am absolutely certain he already possesses. Rather, for Cardinal Burke I pray for plain old manly courage to make the case clearly and without one single speck of ambiguity.

    True pastoral care must start with what can only be called rigid doctrinal purity.

    God did NOT say: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt nibble only a bit of it”…

  15. rtattersall says:

    Check out the response from Edward Peters to the “case study” I referred to. It reminds me of what happens when a rookie hockey player celebrates overmuch after scoring a goal. It is found here:

  16. Filipino Catholic says:

    Would that we had a Paul, a Vincent Ferrer, a Catherine of Siena, a Savonarola, any of these among those elevated to the sacred purple so that they would make their stand known loud and clear. Even a James or John (the Boanerges) would be fine by me, though their words would lack charity.

  17. chantgirl says:

    rtattersall- Ed Peters eviscerates Fr. Keller’s hypothetical case for communion for a woman living in an unrepentant state of adultery. Crux should, as a sign of dialogue, publish Peters’ response.

    Fr. Keller seems to either not really understand what it is to be Catholic if he desires to suggest someone should stop assisting at Sunday Mass, or to understand what the Eucharist is if he thinks that sending a woman like this to receive communion in a protestant church would help her. Does he realize that encouraging a Catholic to receive communion in a Protestant church is essentially lying to her? She would receive something, but it wouldn’t be Christ, and it would entail her leaving the faith for a fake Eucharist only so that she could feel she belonged and numb her conscience to her ongoing adulterous relations? What cowardly, harmful advice!

    The Keller Crux piece is emotional blackmail.

  18. robtbrown says:

    Rod Halvorsen says:

    Peter Stuart nails it.

    When I read Napier’s question I was shocked. It’s as if he just woke up from a deep sleep. Where has HE been?

    The publication of the dubia has freed up certain people to speak openly about the flaws of AL.

    A similar situation existed over 30 years ago with the documents of Vat II. Since the closing of the Council only the SSPX would dare criticize it. Then Cardinal Ratzinger took over at the SCDF, and from time to time he would note Vat II flaws. Others then felt free to speak of their criticisms.

  19. robtbrown says:

    Traductora says:

    Peter Stuart, I think one of the problems for a lot of the Cardinals and bishops is the sheer magnitude of the stream of heresy pouring out from the Vatican.

    What specific heresy?

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