Lunacy in Lyon

LifeSite has a horrifying article about a development in France… poor poor France.

C’mon, faithful Catholics!  Allons y, traditional co-religionists!  Marry and have lots of kids!

Anyway, back to the Lunacy in Lyon.

Ban on Communion for divorced and remarried is ‘absurd and inhuman’: Cardinal

French Cardinal Philippe Barbarin commended Catholics in new unions who bear witness to true matrimony by refraining from partaking in the Eucharist but[but] clearly opened a door to those who feel they should receive communion while remaining in a second “marriage.”

Cardinal Barbarin, archbishop of Lyon in France and Primate of the Gauls, held a special service last Sunday at his cathedral for Catholics from broken marriages. The event was designed to share reflections on the controversial chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia and how it is interpreted in the diocese[It’s one way in this diocese and another way in that.  Is that unity in the Faith or is that division?] – one of the most ancient dioceses in France that was created in the second century and glorifies saints such as the martyrs Irenaeus and Blandine.

“In the Church, Everyone is Needed” [Not a point that was at issue, of course.] was the title of Cardinal Barbarin’s talk. He said, “Everyone can see whether it is possible or not to change his or her situation; everyone realizes what is best today, for oneself or for those with whom one is now bound by a relationship of love and mutual service.” [And …. how is that determined?  Does the Church’s teaching really play a role anymore?]

Clearly, a new union despite an existing marriage, in the eyes of the French Cardinal, can be defined as a “relationship of love and mutual service.” [It would be interesting to learn how they define “love”.]

Six divorced and “remarried” couples joined in the presentation, including Florence and George, who are active in the local Catholic community and participate in their parish reception service. They now regularly come to Mass together with their family. [They are obliged to participate at Mass anyway.]

From the pulpit, they explained how they would feel “isolated in the pews” at communion time. “The more we found our place, the less we felt a right to it,” they said. At that point, a priest offered to “accompany” them, [And that, friends, was that.] encouraging them to follow a course for people in this situation linked to the “Notre Dame Teams” that help Catholic spouses in the married state of life.

At the end of the course, after a period of discernment with the parish priest of Bron, near Lyon, a special celebration was arranged in which the couple was “blessed.” On the following Sunday, they both received communion. The first question the priest had put to them was: “Are you at peace?”  [OH, YES!  WE ARE!]

It does not appear that they indicated they are now living as brother and sister, nor was there any mention of that in Cardinal Barbarin’s own talk as a completely traditional solution to the problem. He had listened to them from the pews together with the lay participants in a symbolic gesture.


The rest is rather long.  It’s a train wreck.

Hey, they feel good now!

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Unwilling says:

    It’s hard to follow Lifesite’s multiple levels of quotation but in the end, Cdl Barbarin seems to find it acceptable that many will conclude “As to you, just follow your feelings!”

  2. thomistking says:

    This is successor of the great St. Iranaeus. That alone should make us all feel quite ill.

    It is also worth pointing out that this couple is not in “the married state of life.” They are pretending, just as when fornicating couples live together or two homosexuals proclaim their “marriage.”

  3. Steve says:

    Lord, have mercy on us. Thank you for those shepards that speak the truth. May this period of confusion be quickly resolved.

  4. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    “Mutual Service” is what we’re calling it now?

    If I lived in this diocese, I think I have hit the point where I would take my wife and 5 kids to the nearest SSPX chapel and let the bishop know why I stopped tithing to support his heresy.

  5. JabbaPapa says:

    There are three standout examples of confused teaching in the Cardinal’s speech ( full text here – )

    1)Une loi civile, un règlement du code de la route ou une directive pour les impôts, cela s’applique à tous sans exception, tandis qu’une norme morale ou pastorale ne peut jamais s’appliquer à tous les cas particuliers

    He claims that moral norms are not “universally applicable” (???!!??!?!!??), but that the civil law must be applied “without exception” (???!!??!?!!??).

    Quite apart from the obvious and blatant backwardness on display here — what then of the Canon Law ?? Or is the Cardinal trying to suggest that French civil law supersedes it in every possible scenario ?

    2)Pour certaines personnes, ce cheminement de la foi passera par le fait d’aller communier, pour d’autres de participer à la Messe sans communier

    So it’s his idea that some of those in adulterous “second marriages” could express their “faith” by means of unworthy reception, whereas some others of those in adulterous “second marriages” could express it by refraining from it.

    hmmmmm, does that sound at all confusing to anyone else ?

    Clearly, he’s just pushing the great big fat liberal “individual conscience” thing again.

    So just as he claims that the laws of men are absolute, and the Law of God isn’t “universal” ; so he claims that the individual consciences of adulterers are sufficient to rid them of the need to obey the Commandment of God.

    3)Un second travail majeur à mener, à mon avis, c’est de réfléchir à la signification du mot Torah, traduit – mal traduit sans doute – par loi. Faisons-le avec les Juifs et les autres communautés chrétiennes.

    Here, he’s attempting to outright deny that “the Torah” means “the Law”, but instead he wants some new — undoubtedly “progressive” and clearly syncretist — “major work” to be done with the Jews and the non-Catholics ; I suppose to entirely get rid of the idea that God’s Commandments are actually Laws, rather than just vague guidelines that the worldly desires of men could simply do away with just as soon as they might become inconvenient.

    Whereas the Hebrew “torah” can certainly often mean “instruction” or “doctrine”, this does not therefore mean that it is not also used with the meaning of “a body of law”, or even “the Tradition”.

    The Cardinal’s Error is of course that just because the Torah means more than just “the law” as such, does not therefore mean that expressions of Divine Law are not to be therefore looked for within, or that they could be ignored by individuals who desire to violate it (which is, of course, all of us on occasion, in our sins). He is making a complete mockery of the ethics and the morals and the Law of our Holy Church, given to us by God in Revelation and divine inspiration.

    And all in the name of “peace” and “mercy”, and in the name of footnote 351, despite the fact that it doesn’t even mention the divorced-remarried in the first place !!

  6. JabbaPapa says:

    Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda :

    If I lived in this diocese

    Some French articles I’ve looked at suggest that only a few of his diocesan priests are following his example.

  7. LJ says:

    1 Corinthians 11
    27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.

    It makes one wonder who bears the greater responsibility, those who tell them what they want to hear rather than the truth, or those who act based on it. St. Paul leaves very little room for equivocation it seems to me, at least on the part of the recipient of Holy Communion, regardless of the sentiments of a particular Cardinal. But Christ himself has harsh words for those in authority who lead others astray.

    It is to be hoped that someone will point out to those couples that a Cardinal does not have the authority to modify Church teaching to make them feel better in the moment, and their immortal souls are quite literally at stake in the matter.

  8. KateD says:

    EOTT? Please tell me the source was EOTT…

  9. SenexCalvus says:

    May I suggest a small amendment to Fr. Z’s concluding sentence? “Hey, they feel good FOR now!” The problem for these innovators is that they have a conscience, and after the novelty of their “reintegration” has worn off, a feeling of DIS-ease will begin to trouble them. At that point, they’ll become restless, and they’ll have to transgress some other salutary boundary to regain the feeling of adolescent exhilaration that drives progressives. Experimental liturgies, alcohol, busyness, a new relationship, social activism — anything to avoid the great silence in which the soul in her poverty stands naked before God. There are many ways to drown out the call to return to our own humanity, but the fix, like that of any addict, doesn’t last long.

  10. Traductora says:

    The other disturbing thing about this, of course, is that it reaffirms the fact that Francis wants to break up the Universal Church and its uniformity of doctrine and practice. Combine this with last week’s insulting letter to Cdl Sarah telling him he’d gotten it all wrong on liturgical translation when he said that the Pope’s latest manifesto did not contradict or replace Liturgiam Authenticam.

    According to Francis’ latest letter, Magnum Principium does indeed replace it and is in fact to be understood as making the local bishops conference the authority in the translation. This is moreover not necessarily tied to the exact Latin wording of the original, and it looks to me a lot like the dread “dynamic equivalence,” based on a culturally determined “comprehensibility” which is to be decided solely by the bishops.

    I think the program is pretty clear. Francis is really doubling down on this one, since he is requesting Cardinal Sarah to ask the press sources that published the cardinal’s statement to now publish a retraction and Francis’ “correction.”

    We are fast on our way to nearly unrecognizeable local churches, inventing their own liturgies and their own doctrine and practice, and I think this is exactly what Francis wants.

  11. Marion Ancilla Mariae II says:

    Traductora wrote: “We are fast on our way to nearly unrecognizeable local churches, inventing their own liturgies and their own doctrine and practice, and I think this is exactly what Francis wants.”

    Perhaps. But if it plays out this way, wouldn’t it be wonderful if a good number of dioceses chose to allow many more Latin Masses, encouraged pastors to give homilies that address the hot button issues with a take no prisoners approach, and required regular Catechism classes for adults who are going to fill a role in parish life – e.g., catechist, liturgist, etc.. . . . ?

  12. Maria_1 says:

    The problem is people don’t want to suffer anymore. Not even for the Lord.

  13. Elizabeth D says:

    In 6th grade catechism this morning we were talking about who can or cannot receive Holy Communion. Since these kids have had very little instruction I was not thinking of marriage but pointing out that we must sacramentally confess mortal sins, non Catholics cannot receive Communion at a Catholic church etc. One boy said “people who didn’t get married in church can’t receive Communion”. He mumbled something about that being a very common situation. I told him yes, exactly true, he is very intelligent to say that, they need to fix their situation before they can receive Communion. He looked surprised. In all likelihood that affects someone close to him such as his parents, and I wonder if he wasn’t aware these adults were under obligation to do something, and to remedy the situation of not being able to receive Communion by remedying the marital situation. In front of other kids obviously this is not a conversation to get into. How do you tell a kid that objectively speaking his parents (or whoever he may have been thinking of) aren’t really married? Explain it at some other time that isn’t directly a reaction to his comment perhaps. I asked him to affirm that he knows he must do better, that he must marry in the Church, and he assured me of that.

    What he said about it being very common is very true in the Hispanic community (these are Latino children). I don’t know all the factors, which may be complex and may vary, it may partly be because in Mexico a church wedding cannot be valid for civil marriage, you have to separately get your civil marriage, but there is massive incidence of them marrying civilly and not necessarily following through to have a church wedding. This leaves them free to later decide either to marry the civil spouse for real in the Church, OR divorce and remarry someone else in the Church later.

  14. TonyO says:

    Fr. Z, thank you for all that you do here to teach God’s truth.

    Can you please make it clear (as a request from us, the faithful) to your bishop, the Extraordinary Ordinary, that in the coming storm that you have alluded to, good bishops will need to speak out unambiguously on the problem of who to believe, and how to stay with the Church? Those who have been sede vacantists have been telling us for decades that the chair of Peter is vacant. While men of good will have been able to laugh that off over the years, going by what we see – like when Paul VI confounded the contraceptionists who thought they had it in the bag – the past rules of thumb may not be enough. We are already seeing good, wholesome, upright men of the Church ask questions about Francis that are not easily discounted and set aside. Men who have spent decades submitting humbly to the Church’s teaching (just because it was the Church’s teaching) about contraception even when they found the argument a little hard to “get” in detail, are beginning to founder on what “humbly submitting to the Church’s teaching” actually means in the concrete today. And it may get even worse tomorrow. Good bishops are going to be critical in explaining how to stay with the Church in such difficult circumstances, but it means they will have to get out there and say things publicly. Even when it is uncomfortable. Even when they will be criticized by other bishops.

    Indeed, one way a bishop might do great good with respect to the coming storm is to start laying the groundwork, publicly, even now when it is mainly clouds on the horizon and a few strong gusts. Such as by writing a series of articles on faithfulness, study, discernment, trust, humility, and courage, and how they all fit together in a whole package that will see a person through such difficult times. For example, if he has been writing these for a year or two, and then APPLIES this backdrop to a specific event that happens in, say, 2019, people will see that his concrete solutions stem from standing principle, not just an ad hoc momentary feeling or prejudice.

  15. Marion Ancilla Mariae II says:

    The present situation reminds me of a scenario in which a wife, who takes very seriously Saint Paul’s directives about wives being submissive to their husbands, is at first, happy with her kind, gentlemanly and devout husband, and he is happy, too. And this over a decade or so. And then gradually in his middle age, a mood disorder – bipolar – overtakes the husband, and over time he becomes . . . not himself. And let us place this scenario in an era before our own – the turn of the twentieth century, or earlier – before we had mental health professionals who understood brain chemistry and before we had pharmaceuticals to help manage a patient’s symptoms of a mental health disorder.

    This husband and father becomes unreasonably angry and argumentative and demanding at times, causing the wife to feel distressed and distraught, and the children upset, too. At other times, he frightens the family by speaking of grandiose schemes and trying to incite his family to participate in the most outré endeavors which even the children know are sheer madness. At yet other times, the unfortunate husband becomes silent, sullen, and withdrawn, refusing to speak or eat, and sleeping all the time, even missing work days.

    Yet this devout and faithful wife beseeches God to help her and the children to retain their own sanity, which seems to be continually undermined from living with the ill man (the wife confides to her closest sister that she herself has begun to feel as if *she*, too, is going mad). How can she remain a faithful wife, and remain *properly* submissive to a mentally ill husband and father, without becoming ill herself? And how can she guide her children to behave with the obedience and love due to a father, even a mentally ill one, while yet inculcating in them the sound moral training, the necessary common sense and ability to take life in stride?

    He is not violent or physically aggressive, but difficult.

    Her only recourse is daily Mass, the reception of the Sacraments, regular spiritual direction from a holy priest, regular visits to her home by the parish’s pastor, who gently and tactfully discusses his behavior with the unfortunate man . . . and on her part, much, much prayer.

    Locked into this incalculably difficult marriage, she will have to be a saint to navigate her way through to the very end.

    And it is the very feelings of helplessness and of sheer effort of the will to maintain her own self-control, and the need to rely constantly on God for strength and guidance that will *turn* this wife *into* *a* *saint*!!

    Please, I would ask you not to take away the impression that I’m intending to characterize the Holy Father or any of the bishops as ill in any way. I most certainly do not intend doing so. The above paragraphs set down only a moderately good analogy, which fails in many ways. But the point is: in striving to find ways to be a faithful, loving, and submissive wife to a very difficult husband, while yet adhering only to what she knows to be right and true and good and *real* for herself and her children, this woman, through needing to depend utterly on God, is transformed into a saint.

    And, perhaps for us, too, in striving to find ways to be faithful, loving, and submissive members of Christ’s Body, whom His Diving Majesty graciously wills to be led by these shepherds – shepherds who seem to intend to lead the sheep into inarguably treacherous, uncrossable, and barren domains, the sheep must humbly and respectfully remain true to what they know to be right and true and good and *real.* They must, instead of following the shepherd’s direction to step over a cliff, gently balk and turn aside, innocently and artlessly, like little children who grow weary, and even though called by their father, can’t take another step, and throw themselves down upon the grass to rest. But the sheep are not resting; they are remaining faithful to the Good Shepherd, while yet remaining closely and meekly with the shepherds His Divine Majesty has placed over them. But they won’t go over the cliff, either, and they ingenuously communicate to the shepherd that they won’t go over the cliff.

    And these sheep, too, need to depend utterly on God at every moment, because they know they are on a tightrope on one side of which is His Divine Majesty and on the other side are the shepherds who seem to be not quite “with the program. And it is, perhaps, by means of these sheep’s very predicament, that they, too, will be transformed into saints.

    But not if they become openly rebellious or disorderly or if they allow resentment or anger toward the misguiding shepherd to fester in their hearts! Instead, they must utterly surrender to Jesus Christ, even when remain huddled peacefully on the grass instead of following the shepherds into what they know to be the uncrossable barren wastelands.

    And, perhaps, so, too, is the predicament in which many of us find ourselves. Through navigating it with humility, love, devotion, and utter dependence upon the good God for everything, may we, too, imitate the saints, to the greater glory of God, and thus find ourselves worthy when it comes our time to present ourselves before the just Judge. Amen.

  16. Aquinas Gal says:

    I’m sorry to read this about Cardinal Barbarin. I liked him because a few years ago he had led the charge against the legalization of homosexual “marriage” in France. He seemed very solid. I pray for him and all bishops, they are facing difficult days.

  17. ProbateGeek says:

    And to think – all those years I spent longing for communion while awaiting a radical sanation (Can. 1161 §1.). Silly, silly me…

  18. JabbaPapa says:

    Aquinas Gal :

    I’m sorry to read this about Cardinal Barbarin. I liked him because a few years ago he had led the charge against the legalization of homosexual “marriage” in France. He seemed very solid. I pray for him and all bishops, they are facing difficult days.

    He seems to have veered very liberal-wards since he was (IMO rather unjustly) accused of some supposed “cover-ups” of child abuse, even though he was not the Bishop of Lyons at the time.

    These “cover-ups” BTW are alleged to have occurred during the period when Pope Benedict XVI had privately instructed all Bishops to organise the systematic reporting of any accusations of child abuse (outside confession of course) to local Police or other authorities, but where publicly the Church was still bound by the errors in this area from the 1917 Code of Canon Law that had been maintained in the 1983, so that until Pope Benedict was able to change the Law, which took some time, the authority in these cases continued to reside with each Bishop individually, with every potential for local mistakes as well as mistakes even in the Congregations and Dicasteries at the Holy See.

    None of which is Cardinal Barbarin’s fault personally, but he seems to have developed a defense strategy against the muck-raking morals charges being brought against him whereby he’s trying to present himself as a cheerful “progressive” prelate encouraging of “diversity” and “modernity”.

    Which is understandable to a certain degree — think about how you personally might be forced to react in the face of this manner of false accusations — but I think he’s beginning to take the defence of his personal public morals versus his “moral majority” accusers a bit too far towards appeasing them.

  19. Mrs. Amen says:

    Ugh. “At that point, a priest offered to “accompany” them, [And that, friends, was that.] encouraging them to follow a course for people in this situation linked to the “Notre Dame Teams” that help Catholic spouses in the married state of life.”

    Notre Dame Teams, or as they are known here in these USA, Teams of Our Lady being dragged into this mess really distresses me. Teams’ mission “brings together couples united by the Sacrament of Matrimony, and who wish, together, to deepen the graces of their Sacrament. It offers married couples a pathway toward love, happiness and holiness. This movement’s aim is to help couples live fully their Sacrament of Marriage.”

    Nothing about this indicates any ridiculous accompaniment of divorced and civilly remarried couples to receive our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament whist they continue in their adulterous state. There exists no graces of the “Sacrament of Matrimony” in their relationship to deepen. Teams of Our Lady are specifically for “couples whose marriage is recognized in the eyes of the Catholic Church.”

  20. Pingback: MONDAY CATHOLICA EDITION – Big Pulpit

Comments are closed.