Communion for Divorced and Remarried Catholics? At this year’s forum in honor of St. Joseph, head of the Holy Family, Fr. Brian Harrison, O.S., S.T.D., will speak on this topic. It’s the now-famous proposal (promoted with particular vigor by Cardinal Walter Kasper and other German-speaking bishops) to officially relax the Church’s discipline that debars divorced and civilly remarried Catholics from receiving the Eucharist. This is without any doubt the most burning and controversial question on the agenda for the upcoming Ordinary Synod of Bishops in October 2015, dedicated to marriage and family issues!
Paragraph 52 of the Final Relatio of last year’s Extraordinary Synod raised this question (although it received less than the 2/3 majority of votes required to make it an official recommendation of the Synod). It tentatively asks whether psychological or social factors might in some cases reduce the subjective guilt for such objectively adulterous unions from the level of mortal to only venial sin (or maybe even no sin at all), thereby opening the way for such couples to receive Holy Communion. Paragraph 52 calls for “deeper study” of this question as part of the preparation for this year’s Synod.
Don’t miss Fr. Harrison’s own answer to this call, in which he will argue the case for maintaining the Church’s discipline in this matter, as recently confirmed by Pope St. John Paul II in his Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, no. 84.