Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Sunday Sermon, February 12 -- Invalid Marriages and Holy Communion (Father Ryan Erlenbush, Corpus Christi Parish)

Despite the confusion in the world (and even among members of the Church hierarchy), marriage is indissoluble and those who are divorced and remarried (without an annulment) are guilty of living in public adultery. These are the words of our merciful Lord Jesus: "Whoever divorces his wife - unless the marriage is unlawful - causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery." (Matthew 5:32)

It was the pharisees who believed in divorce and remarriage, it was Jesus who condemned it as adultery. There are some in the Church (even some cardinals who should know better) who are modern day pharisees in this regard.

The Church has always taught and continues to teach that we must accompany all people, including the divorced and remarried. But this "accompaniment" cannot include giving communion to those living in public adultery. The priest (or even a lay person) is mandated by Canon Law to refuse communion to those who are married outside the Church.

What is required for those married outside the Church to receive communion? Simple answer, they must separate.
Those who have a wholly unusual and grave reason why they cannot separate (perhaps related to having young children at home, for example) may continue to live together as "brother and sister" with separate bed rooms etc. However, although this would allow them to receive absolution in the confessional, they still would not be permitted to receive communion publicly - as this would cause scandal.

Pope Francis has not changed this at all. Amoris Laetia has changed nothing at all regarding Canon Law in general, or Canon 915 in particular -- those who claim otherwise are the "blind leading the blind" straight into the pit.


From the Code of Canon Law, Can 915: "Can.  915 Those who have been excommunicated or interdicted after the imposition or declaration of the penalty and others obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion."

From Familiaris Consortio, 84 (Pope St John Paul II): "The Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried.  […] Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children's upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they 'take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples.'"

From Sacramentum Caritatis, 29 (Pope Benedict XVI): "Finally, where the nullity of the marriage bond is not declared and objective circumstances make it impossible to cease cohabitation, the Church encourages these members of the faithful to commit themselves to living their relationship in fidelity to the demands of God's law, as friends, as brother and sister; in this way they will be able to return to the table of the Eucharist, taking care to observe the Church's established and approved practice in this regard. This path, if it is to be possible and fruitful, must be supported by pastors and by adequate ecclesial initiatives, nor can it ever involve the blessing of these relations, lest confusion arise among the faithful concerning the value of marriage."

Listen online [here]!


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