The new prefect Ladaria responded in 2014 to a direct question on communion to divorcees
CL / ReL
The new prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Luis Ladaria , SI, responded three years ago, just after the extraordinary assembly of the Synod on the family and therefore before the publication of the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia , A direct question about the possibility that divorced persons who live in an objective situation of adulterymay receive communion.
His answer was formulated, to questions of a French priest, as secretary of the congregation he now leads, and was made known by Father Claude Barthe in L'Homme Nouveau on November 12, 2014. Here is the answer in full:
Full answer signed by Monsignor Ladaria as secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
To the question of a French priest: "Can a confessor give absolution to a penitent who, having married religiously, contracted a second union after divorce?", The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith responded on October 22, 2014 :
A priori divorced faithful remarried from a penitential process that leads to sacramental reconciliation with God and therefore also in Eucharistic communion can not be excluded a priori. Pope John Paul II, in the Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (n. 84), took this possibility into account, specifying the conditions: "Reconciliation in the sacrament of penance, which would open the way to the Eucharistic sacrament, can be given Only those who, repentant of having violated the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely disposed to a way of life that does not contradict the indissolubility of marriage . Serious reasons-such as the education of children-can not fulfill the obligation of separation, "assume the commitment to live in full continence , or to abstain from the acts of the spouses" (John Paul II, Homily for the closing of the Fifth Synod of Bishops ) "(see also Benedict XVI, Sacramentum Caritatis , n.29 ).
The penitential process to follow should take into account the following elements:
1. Verify the validity of religious marriage with respect to the truth, avoiding giving the impression of a form of "Catholic divorce".
2. Eventually, see if people, with the help of grace, can separate from their new partner and reconcile with those from which they separated .
3. Invite remarried divorced persons who, for serious reasons (for example, children) can not separate from their partner, to live as "brother and sister . "
In any case, absolution can only be granted on the condition of being sure of a genuine contrition , that is, "a pain of the soul and detestation of the sin committed, with the purpose of not sinning from now on" (Council of Trent, Doctrine on the Sacrament Of penance , chapter 4, Denz. 897). In this line, it is not possible to validly absolve a remarried divorcee who does not adopt the firm resolution of "not to sin from now on" and therefore to abstain from the acts of a couple , making in this sense everything that is in his hand".
Signed: Luis F. Ladaria, SI, titular Archbishop of Thibica, secretary.