Source: FSSPX News


On the subject of the non-access of remarried divorcees to communion, the encyclical Ecclesia de eucharistia, recalls the right of the Church : "Judgment on the state of grace belongs to the person himself, since it is a judgment on his own conscience. However, in case of an outward behavior which is gravely, obviously and lastingly contrary to the moral norm, the Church in her pastoral care for the common good order and out of respect for the Sacrament, cannot but feel concerned. This situation of open moral contradiction is dealt with in the norm of Canon Law on non-admission to eucharistic communion of those who "obstinately remain in a grave and manifest sin". III, § 37

The thing is particularly unpleasant for cardinal Kasper who, in 1993, had advocated a contrary opinion. Indeed, together with the bishop of Mayence, Mgr Lehmann — now president of the bishops’ conference of Germany — and Mgr Saier, bishop of Freiburg in Brisgau, he had written a pastoral Letter explaining that if the remarried divorcees could in conscience justify their situation, there was no reason for denying them communion. At the time, this pastoral Letter did not go unheeded, Rome intervened without however obtaining a public recantation — "soft schism oblige".

Interviewed by the magazine "Trenta Giorni" of May 2003, cardinal Kasper accepted to come back on the polemic, not without a certain annoyance :

"We did not state that the remarried divorcees, understood as a sociological category, could approach the Eucharist", he comments today. "We merely suggested that, in the evaluation of individual cases, pastoral discernment is opportune. The rule is maintained, in the sense that any person who asks to receive the sacraments must evidence a sincere intention of conversion". For the cardinal, "there are however cases where, for instance, people cannot manage to give proofs that there marriage is null, and yet they are certain that it is null."

We are in the presence of a subjectivist conception which scorns Canon Law and the social aspect of marriage. The truths recalled in the encyclical will not changed minds warped by an idealist philosophy and a modernist theology.