The future Pope Benedict offers Holy Communion to the Protestant Abbot of the Tazie Monastery at Pope St. John Paul II's Requiem Mass:
It seems Pope Francis wasn't kidding when in His Holiness first few months as pope he stated that the Eucharist is not a Reward for saints but a Medicine for sinners. Somehow, I think it isn't either/or, but both/and.
But Vatican Radio confirms that in some situations, Pope Francis endorses Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried even if they are engaging the what is called the "marital act."
[Pope Francis] was responding to a document by the bishops entitled ‘Basic criteria for the application of chapter 8 of ‘Amoris Laetitia’
which details ways of ‘accompanying, discerning and integrating
weakness’ for Catholics living in irregular family situations. That
chapter focuses on the need to support and integrate divorcees into the
life of the Church, specifying that “in certain cases, this can include
the help of the sacraments”.
Over the years, I have repeatedly spoken of what I was taught about the "internal forum" in the seminary of the 1970's and what the late Bishop Raymond Lessard of our diocese stated.
It basically has to do with the "external forum" that of the annulment procedure having been dead ended not by a valid decision against nullity of a marriage on canonical trial, but because there are no witnesses to provide testimony to prove validity or invalidity.
In that case, the priest discerns with the couple who are engaging in the marital act whether or not they can return to Holy Communion. This is based upon listening to what they have to say about their previous marriage and what kind of civil union they now experience. If no scandal is given, permission is given to receive the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion, although the civil marriage cannot be convalidated. It is a decision of conscience.
Let's face it, for the past 2000 years people have been receiving Holy Communion with an illicit moral issue in their lives. Ultimately, it is between them and God at the time of their personal judgement. I am quite willing to leave it to God and His justice. I despise being a policeman when it comes to those who present themselves for Holy Communion.