Friday, April 8, 2016
FOR THOSE IN IRREGULAR MARRIAGE OR MARRIAGE LIKE SITUATIONS, NO, NO, NO TO HOLY COMMUNION, BUT YES TO THE ABILITY TO CONFESS AND BE FORGIVEN FOR OTHER SINS WHILE NOT ALLOWING A RETURN TO HOLY COMMUNION!
BUT THIS LITTLE FOOTNOTE DOES SEEM TO OPEN THE DOOR TO SOMETHING TRULY NEW AND NOVEL ABOUT THE SACRAMENT OF PENANCE: PARTIAL ABSOLUTION FOR A SERIOUS SIN, LIKE ABORTION, FOR SOMEONE IN AN IRREGULAR SEXUAL UNION WHICH DOES NOT ALLOW FOR REGULARIZING THAT UNION OR IN ANY WAY ALLOWING FOR HOLY COMMUNION!
What is novel in this approach, is that it is therapeutic and for the forgiveness of a sin that is no longer being committed. It is a partial absolution--something novel and I'd have to study more about it.
Discernment Cardinal Schonborn says, was a key word in Pope Francis’ Exhortation. It is very “Jesuitical” – discernment of spirits – and that leads him to an attitude that was already present in Pope Benedict’s teaching, in Pope [St.] John Paul II’s teaching, that the Church offers help to those who are in so-called “irregular situations”. He adds a little note, where he says, “In certain cases, also, the aid, the help of the sacraments.” That’s all he said.
Cardinal Schonborn states, "I think it is fairly clear: there are circumstances in which people in irregular situations may really need sacramental absolution, even if their general situation cannot be clarified."
The example Cardinal Schonborn uses actually comes from Pope Francis in describing the situation of a woman who has committed the grave sin of abortion, who wants to go to confession to seek forgiveness of that sin of abortion, but she is in an irregular marriage not recognized by the Church.
Schonborn says Pope Francis has taught that "a priest has to help this person to be freed from her burden of having had an abortion for which she is now repentant. Even if the priest can't tell her that her marital situation has been regularized by this absolution, you cannot let her leave the confessional with the burden of her grave sin of abortion she finally had the courage to come and confess.
Cardinal Schonborn concludes "that was the example he (Pope Francis) had given, and I think it is a very good example for what this little (foot) note could mean in certain cases: i.e. “[…]even the help of sacraments.”