Issued by the bishop, on the behalf of a divorced and remarried member of his diocese, after a careful examination of his case according to the norms promulgated by the pope. This is the proposal of an Australian theologian to remedy the current confusion
by Sandro Magister
ROME, November 24, 2015 – As the story is generally told, the big winner at the synod was the German Church, the world’s pioneer in overhauling the discipline of Catholic marriage.
But to hear what Pope Francis told the bishops of Germany on their “ad limina” visit, on Friday, November 20, the judgment to be taken from this is not that the German Church is the most advanced in the world, but the exact opposite. It is the most devastated.
The pope read the bishops of Germany the riot act.
– He lamented the lack of a “Catholic profile” in charitable institutions and schools.
– He denounced the collapse of Mass attendance and the “disappeared practice” of the sacrament of penance.
– He protested that “new structures are always being inaugurated for which there are ultimately not enough faithful.”
– He called upon the bishops to be “teachers of the faith,” of that faith which is “transmitted and experienced in the living communion of the universal Church.”
– He admonished them that in theological faculties “fidelity to the Church and to the magisterium does not contradict academic freedom.”
– He reminded them that in the parishes “the valuable collaboration of the lay faithful cannot become a substitute for the priestly ministry or even make it seem optional,” because “without the priest there is no Eucharist.”
– He urged them to “protect life unconditionally from the moment of conception until natural death,” because “we cannot make compromises here without becoming guilty ourselves of the culture of the disposable.”
There was just one question, however, that the pope did not address: communion for the divorced and remarried, which in Germany – but not only there – has become a common practice, essentially authorized by many bishops, independently of what was said at the synod and without waiting for the pope to draw from this – as is his prerogative – the concrete decisions.
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Source: Hypothesis: A Rescript That Would Authorize Communion