Monday, 21 September 2015

BREAKING NEWS: Communique of the Polish Bishops' Conference: Holy Communion cannot be given to the divorced and remarried; "it remains the unchangeable teaching of the Catholic Church..."

Warsaw,  Poland, 21, 09, 2015 

"The Position of the Polish Bishops prior to the Synod of the Family" 

"Marriage is a divine and human reality that Jesus Christ raised to the dignity of a sacrament" state the Polish Bishops Conference in the introduction to their beautiful pre-synodal statement on the family. 

In this short, concise, but wide ranging statement, the bishops beautifully address the needs of the family, the defense of life [making specific reference to domestic issues], the generosity of those who are raising large families, the care of poor families, those disabled; the need to draw near to those who are called to the single life....

The bishops warn of a divorce mentality when regarding the process of annulments within the Church, citing Pope John Paul II's address to the Roman Rota in 2000 that the man does not have sovereignty over the "law of God, natural or positive". I wrote about this address earlier this year, in which the sainted Pope reminded the Rota that the Pope has no power to change the Law of God. 

The bishops also recall the pastoral care needed to those who have the unfortunate tragedy of living in a broken family; through separation and divorce. The issue of homosexuality is not raised: the bishops have been clear about it in the past. For example, their 2013 pastoral letter on Gender Ideology. 

On the issue of Holy Communion for the divorced and civilly "remarried", the bishops address the issue with utmost gravity: it is a doctrinal issue. In referencing Sacred Scripture, Sacramentum Caritiatis, 66, and Canon Law  the Polish Episcopate outlines the doctrinal reason why the teaching in "unchangeable". The line in the sand is drawn. 

The Polish Bishops wrote: 

No.9. In connection with the discussion of Holy Communion for the divorced, and those repeating and remaining in civil unions, we are grateful to Pope Francis, for his reminder that "the Eucharist is not a private prayer or beautiful spiritual experience....Nourishing ourselves of that “Bread of Life” means entering into harmony with the heart of Christ, assimilating his choices, his thoughts, his behaviour" (Angelus Address, 8.16.2015). To lead such a Eucharistic life, it is necessary to deepen one's worship of the Eucharist (Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis, 66).

It remains the unchangeable teaching of the Catholic Church speaking about the fact that in order to receive Holy Communion one must be in the state of sanctifying grace (1 Cor. 11, 26-29; 1 Cor 6, 9-10; Code of Canon Law, can. 916).

(translation. Toronto Catholic Witness. You may use it freely, but please credit us. 

The original in Polish may be read here. 

[ canon. 916. Anyone who is conscious of grave sin may not celebrate Mass or receive the Body of the Lord without previously having been to 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 resolve to go to confession as soon as possible].

1 comment:

Jonah said...

There is a very disturbing discussion of Cardinal Kasper and the Polish bishops in Michael Davies' last interview with John Bishop:

John Bishop: Cardinal Kasper? Oh he is the German.

Michael Davies: Yes. He and his fellow German, Lehmann, were made Cardinals. You see there is no chance of Cardinal Ratzinger being made Pope. The job of Kasper and Lehmann is to go to the conclave and stop anyone Ratzinger supports from being made Pope. It is interesting, Pope John Paul II wouldn’t appoint Kasper and Lehmann at first and a week later he did.

JB: Yes. Their appointment came as a shock to a lot of orthodox Catholics.

MD: Well do you know where the pressure came from? The Polish hierarchy. Because they get so much money from the Germans. So Kasper and Lehmann said, ‘You scratch our backs and we’ll scratch yours.’

JB: Is that genuine? An inside story?

MD: Oh yes definitely. The Polish hierarchy put the pressure on.

So now you know how the Germans operate, and the vulnerability of the other nations. Pray. Hard.