Francis, Divorce & the Eucharist: A Direct Vatican Answer is Necessary

by Datechguy | April 23rd, 2014

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Francis, Divorce & the Eucharist: A Direct Vatican Answer is Necessary

I will give you the keys to the king­dom of heaven. What­ever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and what­ever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Matthew 16:19

This story in the Tele­graph sourced from an Ital­ian and Argen­tine sources & a Face­book pages is get­ting a lot of play.

Pope Fran­cis report­edly told a woman “liv­ing in sin” with a divorced man that she is free to take Holy Com­mu­nion, in what appears to be a sig­nif­i­cant depar­ture from Catholic teach­ing.
Jacqui Lis­bona, who is from the Pope’s home­land of Argentina, wrote to the Jesuit pon­tiff to tell him that she had been refused Com­mu­nion by her local priest, who objected to the fact that she was mar­ried to a pre­vi­ously divorced man.

Damian Thomp­son put it well:

CNN & Jake Tap­per is jump­ing on it as will the left in short order I pre­sume, but in all the excite­ment it’s worth­while to take a look at the open­ing line from the story:

In appar­ent break from Catholic teach­ing, Pope is said to have phoned remar­ried Argen­tine Jacqui Lis­bona to say ‘noth­ing wrong’ in her tak­ing Holy Communion

The key word of course in this story are the words “is said”. Jake Tap­per used the words “Report­edly Said” on CNN, Drudge put the story on his site with the word “Claim” & Fr. Z notes a pos­si­ble holes in both the story & the under­stand­ing of what the Pope may have said which directly con­tra­dicts a report from last Decem­ber.

The one thing we do know is this: What we actual know isn’t clear.

“Has Pope Fran­cis just thrown a hand grenade into tra­di­tional teach­ing on divorcees and Com­mu­nion?” Thomp­son tweeted. “The Vat­i­can MUST clar­ify this or the Catholic world will divide into cel­e­bra­tion and panic.”
The prob­lem is that the Vat­i­can isn’t clar­i­fy­ing, hence my use of “weasel words” like “appar­ently” and “report­edly.” And hence the cel­e­bra­tion and panic around the Internet.

Unfor­tu­nately this lack of clar­ity will not stop peo­ple from spin­ning this to their advan­tage. So here is what is nec­es­sary for the Vat­i­can to con­firm or deny ASAP:

a: Did the Pope call the woman in ques­tion? CNN Reports they have.

b: Was the pope aware of the woman’s mar­i­tal sta­tus? (it mat­ters)

c: If the Pope was aware of her mar­i­tal sta­tus , did he tell this woman she is allowed to receive communion?

If this is so this is a huge change big­ger than you might think, because this is not a change in terms of the rules of mar­riage & divorce as Scrip­ture & Christ is rather direct on the sub­ject:

The Phar­isees approached and asked, “Is it law­ful for a hus­band to divorce his wife?” They were test­ing him.
He said to them in reply, “What did Moses com­mand you?

They replied, “Moses per­mit­ted him to write a bill of divorce and dis­miss her.” But Jesus told them, “Because of the hard­ness of your hearts he wrote you this com­mand­ment. But from the begin­ning of cre­ation, ‘God made them male and female.

For this rea­son a man shall leave his father and mother (and be joined to his wife), and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. There­fore what God has joined together, no human being must sep­a­rate.

In the house the dis­ci­ples again ques­tioned him about this. He said to them, “Who­ever divorces his wife and mar­ries another com­mits adul­tery against her; and if she divorces her hus­band and mar­ries another, she com­mits adul­tery.

Mark 10:2 – 12

Since the Pope can not change the words of Christ he would instead be chang­ing Canon law

Can. 915 Those who have been excom­mu­ni­cated or inter­dicted after the impo­si­tion or dec­la­ra­tion of the penalty and oth­ers obsti­nately per­se­ver­ing in man­i­fest grave sin are not to be admit­ted to holy communion.

Can. 916 A per­son who is con­scious of grave sin is not to cel­e­brate Mass or receive the body of the Lord with­out pre­vi­ous sacra­men­tal con­fes­sion unless there is a grave rea­son and there is no oppor­tu­nity to con­fess; in this case the per­son is to remem­ber the oblig­a­tion to make an act of per­fect con­tri­tion which includes the res­o­lu­tion of con­fess­ing as soon as possible.

and the Cat­e­chism

1385 To respond to this invi­ta­tion we must pre­pare our­selves for so great and so holy a moment. St. Paul urges us to exam­ine our con­science: “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. Let a man exam­ine him­self, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks with­out dis­cern­ing the body eats and drinks judg­ment upon him­self.” Any­one con­scious of a grave sin must receive the sacra­ment of Rec­on­cil­i­a­tion before com­ing to communion.

and guide­lines dat­ing back as far as 70 AD and the Didache.

Put sim­ply if the Pope can’t change what is mor­tal sin or not, he might be able to decide uncon­fessed and more impor­tantly unre­pented Mor­tal Sin is no longer an imped­i­ment to the receiv­ing of communion.

If he did so, this would be a heaven shak­ing change to not only Catholic doc­trine, but to this Pontiff’s entire push of peo­ple toward the sacra­ment of confession.

Or this could pre­fig­ure a set of guide­lines toward deal­ing with mar­i­tal sins dif­fer­ently than oth­ers in terms of the Eucharist. This would still be huge but not as earth shat­ter­ing and chang­ing the rules con­cern­ing mor­tal sin as a whole.

Now I’ve said more than once that if we take media reports con­cern­ing the Pope at face value we are fools, addi­tion­ally as any per­son who ever saw the Uncle Gus show will tell you a story repeated changes so we don’t know if it is being reported wrong after repeated tellings, or if it was sim­ply mis­un­der­stood. We nei­ther can dis­count the pos­si­bil­ity that either the hus­band is lying about what the Pope, or Fran­cis looked at this woman’s per­sonal appeal as Jesus did the Canaan­ite woman (Matt 15:21 – 28) or with the Samar­i­tan woman (John 4:1 – 42), is this just another ques­tion of media Pope-​a-​dope?

We don’t know the answer to any of this, it’s also pos­si­ble that the spokes­peo­ple at the Vat­i­can don’t know the answer to this either, my strong sug­ges­tion is they find out ASAP and bluntly and clearly say what has happened.

Every sin­gle day this is not resolved the result will be con­fu­sion and harm to the church and the body of Christ.

As to every­one else I would strongly advise any­one, par­tic­u­larly a priest from act­ing as if doc­trine has been changed until we have some­thing firm.
******************************************************************

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If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?

 

I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Matthew 16:19

This story in the Telegraph sourced from an Italian and Argentine sources & a Facebook pages is getting a lot of play.

Pope Francis reportedly told a woman “living in sin” with a divorced man that she is free to take Holy Communion, in what appears to be a significant departure from Catholic teaching.
Jacqui Lisbona, who is from the Pope’s homeland of Argentina, wrote to the Jesuit pontiff to tell him that she had been refused Communion by her local priest, who objected to the fact that she was married to a previously divorced man.

Damian Thompson put it well:

CNN & Jake Tapper is jumping on it as will the left in short order I presume, but in all the excitement it’s worthwhile to take a look at the opening line from the story:

In apparent break from Catholic teaching, Pope is said to have phoned remarried Argentine Jacqui Lisbona to say ‘nothing wrong’ in her taking Holy Communion

The key word of course in this story are the words “is said“. Jake Tapper used the words “Reportedly Said” on CNN, Drudge put the story on his site with the word “Claim” & Fr. Z notes a possible holes in both the story & the understanding of what the Pope may have said which directly contradicts a report from last December.

The one thing we do know is this:  What we actual know isn’t clear.

“Has Pope Francis just thrown a hand grenade into traditional teaching on divorcees and Communion?” Thompson tweeted. “The Vatican MUST clarify this or the Catholic world will divide into celebration and panic.”
The problem is that the Vatican isn’t clarifying, hence my use of “weasel words” like “apparently” and “reportedly.” And hence the celebration and panic around the Internet.

Unfortunately this lack of clarity will not stop people from spinning this to their advantage. So here is what is necessary for the Vatican to confirm or deny ASAP:

a: Did the Pope call the woman in question?  CNN Reports they have.

b:  Was the pope aware of the woman’s marital status?  (it matters)

c: If the Pope was aware of her marital status , did he tell this woman she is allowed to receive communion?

If this is so this is a huge change bigger than you might think, because this is not a change in terms of the rules of marriage & divorce as Scripture & Christ is rather direct on the subject:

The Pharisees approached and asked, “Is it lawful for a husband to divorce his wife?” They were testing him.
He said to them in reply, “What did Moses command you?

They replied, “Moses permitted him to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her.” But Jesus told them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.

For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother (and be joined to his wife), and the two shall become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, no human being must separate.

In the house the disciples again questioned him about this. He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.

Mark 10:2-12

Since the Pope can not change the words of Christ he would instead be changing Canon law

Can.  915 Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.

Can.  916 A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to celebrate Mass or receive the body of the Lord without previous sacramental confession unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition which includes the resolution of confessing as soon as possible.

and the Catechism

1385  To respond to this invitation we must prepare ourselves for so great and so holy a moment. St. Paul urges us to examine our conscience: “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. Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself.”  Anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion.

and guidelines dating back as far as 70 AD and the Didache.

Put simply if the Pope can’t change what is mortal sin or not, he might be able to decide unconfessed and more importantly unrepented Mortal Sin is no longer an impediment to the receiving of communion.

If he did so, this would be a heaven shaking change to not only Catholic doctrine, but to this Pontiff’s entire push of people toward the sacrament of confession.

Or this could prefigure a set of guidelines toward dealing with marital sins differently than others in terms of the Eucharist.  This would still be huge but not as earth shattering and changing the rules concerning mortal sin as a whole.

Now I’ve said more than once that if we take media reports concerning the Pope at face value we are fools, additionally as any person who ever saw the Uncle Gus show will tell you a story repeated changes so we don’t know if it is being reported wrong after repeated tellings, or if it was simply misunderstood.  We neither can discount the possibility that either the husband is lying about what the Pope, or Francis looked at this woman’s personal appeal as Jesus did the Canaanite woman (Matt 15:21-28) or with the Samaritan woman (John 4:1-42), is this just another question of media Pope-a-dope?

We don’t know the answer to any of this, it’s also possible that the spokespeople at the Vatican don’t know the answer to this either, my strong suggestion is they find out ASAP and bluntly and clearly say what has happened.

Every single day this is not resolved the result will be confusion and harm to the church and the body of Christ.

As to everyone else I would strongly advise anyone, particularly a priest from acting as if doctrine has been changed until we have something firm.
******************************************************************

Olimometer 2.52

This blog exists as a full time endeavor thanks to your support.

The reporting, the commentary and the nine magnificent seven writers are all made possible because you, the reader choose to support it.

For a full month of all of what we provide ,we ask a fixed amount $1465, under $50 a day.

This month we are behind with 7 days to go we need $1115 for a full pay month. We can make our goal if we can get $159 per day We need 6 $25 Tip jar hits we can make that goal.

If you think the work we do here for the conservative movement is worth it, please consider hitting DaTipJar below .

Naturally once our monthly goal is made these solicitations will disappear till the next month but once we get 61 more subscribers  at $20 a month the goal will be covered for a full year and this pitch will disappear until 2015.

Consider the lineup you get for this price, in addition to my own work seven days a week you get John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit) and Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  on Sunday  Linda Szugyi (No one of any import) on Monday  Tim Imholt on Tuesday,  AP Dillon (Lady Liberty1885) Thursdays, Pastor George Kelly Fridays,   Steve Eggleston on Saturdays with  Baldilocks (Tue & Sat)  and   Fausta  (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.

If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?

 

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