For Bishop Olivier de Germay, bishop of Ajaccio, who assisted at the Roman Synod on the Family, including the divorced and civilly “remarried” does not mean granting them sacramental communion.
The prelate spoke on November 4, 2017, during the assembly of the French Bishops’ Conference in Lourdes, just when the subject of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia came up.
Famille chrétienne published a report on his speech. For Bishop de Germay, the Apostolic Exhortation is made “ambiguous” by the fact that it does not precisely explain whether the “criteria for discerning” a better integration “includes access to the sacraments”.
The bishop of Ajaccio believes that the very meaning of the Eucharist is at stake: “If the Mass is only a meal, then what meaning can there be in participating in the Eucharist without receiving communion?” he explained, adding: “I think that we need to question our practice of systematic communion and rediscover the connection with the sacrament of reconciliation.”
Refusing divorced and civilly “remarried” Catholics access to sacramental communion is not a synonym for “exclusion” or a refusal to “include” them, according to Bishop de Germay, “for Christian life is more than just the sacraments. They can really participate in the Eucharist, not only by hearing the Word, but by uniting themselves to the sacrifice of Christ.”
The prelate concluded: “Accepting not to receive communion is a way of setting oneself free from self-justification and of making an act of fidelity to Christ and the Church.” In other words, it is a way of recognizing that one is unworthy. As Samuel Pruvot from Famille chrétienne commented, the prelate’s speech did not go unnoticed...