What will the pope decide?

The countdown is on for his big decision on the family
Pope Francis marries twenty couples at a 2014 Vatican ceremony. (photo from smartloving blog)

Pope Francis marries twenty couples at a 2014 Vatican ceremony. (photo from smartloving blog)

The following comes from a December 28 Crux article by John L. Allen Jr.:

Sometime soon, Pope Francis is expected to issue his own conclusions on the two recent Synods of Bishops on the family in the form of a document, technically known as an “apostolic exhortation.” Veteran Italian Vatican writer Marco Tosatti recently reported that the document could appear as early as February, while others suggest a March release date, perhaps tied to the feast of St. Joseph on March 19.

While the two synods, one held in October 2014 and the other this past October, touched on a wide variety of topics, by far the single most contested question was that of whether to allow divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to receive Communion. It’s become a key test of exactly how far Francis is willing to go in terms of rethinking traditional Catholic teaching and practice.

Logically speaking, the pope would seem to have four possibilities:

• 1. A clear “yes” to Communion for the divorced and remarried, even if it would require some discernment in individual cases.
• 2. A clear “no,” while still stressing that divorced and civilly remarried believers remain part of the Church and can participate in its life in various other ways.
• 3. A call for more study and reflection, saying that the time isn’t right to make a decision.
• 4. Decentralizing the question to some extent by offering broad guidelines and then encouraging local bishops to make decisions.

Tosatti believes that Francis will choose door No. 4, using language that won’t be seen as a clear win for the “yes” camp associated with German Cardinal Walter Kasper, but which will encourage greater latitude for local bishops.

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  1. The Holy Father’s “own conclusions” cannot make right what is clearly wrong. One must be in a state of grace in order to receive Communion, and what is sinful in one locale is sinful in another. Period, simple, and the pope should be clear and concise in explaining these things.

  2. John Patrick says:

    Have a feeling we already know.

  3. If his conclusions go against Church doctrine he should be declared a heretic.

  4. Linda Maria says:

    The Catholic Church and her top leaders, all need to close the doors on the worldly, secular “Death Culture,” and start PRACTICING THE CATHOLIC FAITH!! And show all Catholic laymen, how to correctly practice their precious Faith! Be a genuine and true Light for Christ, in the darkness and death, of the modern world!!

  5. May the Holy Spirit (Holy Ghost) guide the Holy Father’s decision.

  6. I have said litanies to the Holy Spirit and to St. Peter, Price of Apostles, asking for the guidance for the Holy Father in making his decision and for all the Church.

  7. I think that declaring the “Year of Mercy” is already a big clue how the Pope will respond.

  8. If the Holy Father were to make an outlandish statement that goes against traditional Catholic morality and dogma, then he would automatically be branded a heretic, and eventually he would be forced to resign. The trouble is, many cardinals are behind him, so there could be another contemporary version of the Western Schism.

  9. Condemnation for receiving Holy Communion unworthily – 1 Cor 11:27-30.

    Requirements for Receiving Holy Communion:
    CCC # 1415, 1451, 1355.

    CCC is the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition” (aka CCC; 1997; dark green cover in the USA.
    The CCC contains the Doctrine of the Faith.

  10. If the Pope (or any Bishop) allows some people who choose to continue living in the state of Mortal Sin to receive Holy Communion – it is only logical that ALL people choosing to live in the state of Mortal Sin, be allowed to do so as well.

    A sexual relationship with the valid Spouse of another is adultery.

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