Pope Francis on Divorce and Remarriage...
During his August 5 general audience, Pope Francis addressed the issue of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, saying they “are not, in fact, excommunicated—they are not excommunicated—and they absolutely must not be treated as if they were,” reported Catholic News Service (CNS).
In his first general audience since June, the pope resumed his talks addressing various issues facing families, saying, “Today, I want to draw our attention to another reality: how to care for those who, after the irreversible failure of the matrimonial bond, have undertaken a new union.”
According to Church teaching, in most cases such couples are not permitted to receive Communion. But bishops at the extraordinary Synod of Bishops on the family last October and preparing for the general synod October 4-25 have been studying and discussing possibilities for allowing some of these couples to return to the sacraments.
“How can we tell these parents to do everything possible to raise their children in the Christian life, giving them the example of a convinced and lived faith, if we keep them at a distance from the life of the community as if they were excommunicated?“ the pope asked.
As the studies and discernment continue, Pope Francis said, it is essential that Catholic pastors “openly and coherently demonstrate the willingness of the community to welcome and encourage” divorced and remarried couples and their families to participate in Church life.
Love Is Our Mission: Pope Francis in America is a rich collection drawn from Catholic News Service photographers and journalists to be released October 30. It will be a keepsake for anyone interested in the papal visit. Learn more about the book, and about Pope Francis’ visit, by clicking here.
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