Cardinal Angelo Scola: Communion for the remarried contradicts Church teaching

Former Archbishop of Milan and onetime favorite to succeed Benedict XVI defends Church’s traditional teaching that divorced and remarried cannot receive Communion unless they resolve to live “in complete continence”

Cardinal Angelo Scola

Cardinal Angelo Scola, a prominent cardinal who in 2013 was the bookies’ favourite to become Pope, has re-entered the controversy over Communion for the remarried.

In a new book-length interview, the former Archbishop of Milan defends the Church’s traditional teaching, namely that the divorced and remarried cannot receive Communion unless they resolve to live “in complete continence”.

This teaching, Cardinal Scola says, “is inherent in the very character of Christian marriage”, because of the close connection between the bond of marriage and the bond between Christ and the Church.

The cardinal has expressed his opinion to Pope Francis during a private audience.

In the interview, according to excerpts reported by L’Espresso, Cardinal Scola says the “heart of the problem” is that marriage and Holy Communion are intimately connected. The Eucharist, the cardinal says, “is the sacrament of spousal love between Christ and the Church.”

Since the Eucharist is “foundational” to marriage, the cardinal says, someone who leaves a marriage and starts a new union has also “excluded himself from the Eucharist”.

He writes: “The non-admissibility of the divorced and remarried to the Eucharist is not a punishment that can be taken away or reduced, but is inherent in the very character of Christian marriage, which, as I have said, lives on the foundation of the Eucharistic gift of Christ the bridegroom to his bride the Church.”

Full story at Catholic Herald.


  1. This again? Is this one of the “more important things” that the church needs to focus on to distract from the papal corruption scandal?

    • St. Christopher says:

      You are wrong, “Anonymous,” per usual. Defenders of Francis want desperately to have his dismal record of fidelity to the True Faith ignored. Looking at “Amoris Laetitia” alone, especially ch. 8, believing Catholics understand that the Vatican is more enemy of orthodoxy than protector. Francis simply does not live the role to protect the Church and its glorious patrimony; in fact, he does not much appear to believe in it. Instead, we are given more of a political voice, one that equates environmentalism with sin, that looks at many issues instead of keys to achieving holiness. The fact of widespread homosexuality in the Church, and the disgusting portrait of McCarrick, are yet further proofs of the moral failures of Francis and…

      • Francis just repeated again that Amoris Laetitia needs to read in it’s entirety and in order. The Vatican is not the enemy of orthodoxy. Generalizations like that are extremely irresponsible. Stupid people on the internet chose to make a big deal out of something in Chapter 8 instead of promoting the Catholic ideal of indissoluble marriage. Francis is more faithful the Church’s patrimony than you are. Learn the Catholic Faith, PLEASE!

      • Your criticisms just highlight your errors. The cafeteria is closed.

    • Ambrosio Milano says:

      This subject is the essence for the reason the Church was established—the Sacraments and worthy reception of them.

      The Church was established br Jesus Himself. Jesus gave us the Sacraments in order ti dispense the grace associated with them.

      He have teaching authority to the Church. From that authority the Church defines the proper disposition needed for a person to worthily receive the Sacraments, especially the Eucharist.

  2. Well good! It’s not like he’s saying something new, just reminding Catholics of Church teaching.

    Thank you Cardinal Scola 🙂

  3. Your Eminence Cdl. Scola,

    You and the Dubia cardinals are the answer to our supplications for remaining true to the Universal Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of a valid marriage.

    We will keep you in our prayers.


  4. You know what else contradicts Church teaching? Saying that the death penalty is inadmissible. And what else? Communion for non-Catholic spouses, as they are doing in Germany. And what else? That homosexuality is only differently ordered, as Fr. Martin and Bishop McElroy say. And what else? So much…

  5. Oh, how I wish that man had been elected pope instead of Bergoglio. Look at all the trouble that would have been avoided… all the confusion and error that wouldn’t have happened. All the good things and teachings and appointments that the church has missed out on.

  6. Steve Seitz says:

    As long as Francis forces the Church to turn inward and ceaselessly argue with itself, the longer she’ll be off Mission.

    This is exactly what Cardinal Mahony did to the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Just as with the Bergoglio election, I had high hopes when Mahony was named Archbishop of Los Angeles. Sadly, both men are radically expensive catastrophes and are/were stewards at a time when society most needs the radiance of Christ and His church.

  7. William Robert says:

    So remarried Catholics who made a mistake in the selection of their first spouse and obtain a divorce cannot receive communion; however, priests, nuns, bishops and cardinals who break their vow of chastity and molest and rape children, engage in adultery and lie can continue to celebrate the Mass and receive communion. Something is not right!

    • Remarried Catholics who have not been granted a decree of nullity cannot receive communion.
      Priests, bishops and cardinals who break their vow of celibacy should get to confession before celebrating Mass and receiving communion.
      Those who molest and rape children will be removed from priestly ministry and may not wear priestly clothing nor present themselves as a Catholic priest. They cannot celebrate the Mass in public. If they have confessed and been absolved of their sins, they will be able to receive communion.
      Receiving communion when not in a state of grace is another mortal sin which would need to be confessed.

    • Linda Maria says:

      Wait a minute! The Catholic Church does not recognize civil marriages and divorces! A Catholic couple civilly married, still must arrange a Church wedding, in order to receive Holy Communion! And a Catholic couple wishing to end their marriage, must apply for a Catholic annulment– which Pope Francis now offers, free of charge!– or else, they cannot receive Holy Communion!

      • A Catholic couple should not marry in a civil ceremony. It is a grave sin.
        A Catholic couple that is civilly married, must have their marriage convalidated before they can receive Communion. They should abstain from the marital act. They have to confess their sins before the convalidation ceremony..

      • A Catholic couple wishing to end their marriage should not. If civil divorce is necessary to protect safety, children or property, both parties can receive communion. They can apply for a declaration of nullity if they feel that the marriage was not valid. If they obtain a declaration of nullity, they are free to remarry (except in some cases.)
        If they have married before obtaining a declaration of nullity, they may not receive Holy Communion or go to confession unless they abstain from the marital act.

  8. Steve Seitz says:

    Your statements contain an error. A person who marries and divorces can receive the Eucharist after they’ve gone to confession and received absolution. You’re confusing this case with another: those who attempt a second marriage.

    • Linda Maria says:

      No– a priest cannot give Absolution in Confession, to penitents who are civilly divorced! In the eyes of the Church, they are still married! The Church does not accept divorce!

      • In some cases, divorce may be the only solution to a morally unacceptable situation…
        We [bishops] understand the pain of those for whom divorce seemed the only recourse.
        We urge them to make frequent use of the sacraments, especially the Sacraments of Holy Eucharist and Reconciliation…
        USCCB, Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan 2009

  9. William Robert says:

    Steve: note that I wrote “remarried Catholics” in the first sentence of the post.

  10. William Robert says:

    Anonymous: your comment above applies only if the violators are caught. This often happens many years later after the perpetrators have abuse many children or adults.

    • Can. 916 A person who is conscious of grave sin is not to celebrate Mass or receive the body of the Lord without previous sacramental confession unless there is a grave reason and there is no opportunity to confess; in this case the person is to remember the obligation to make an act of perfect contrition which includes the resolution of confessing as soon as possible.

  11. I think the wording of this article points directly to the problem in the Church today. The author states “The cardinal has expressed his opinion to Pope Francis during a private audience.” When a Cardinal proclaims
    a dogma of the Church (CCC1639) its not opinion! The eternal Truths of Jesus Christ are relegated to a set of mere platitudes if they are not universal.
    Pray and Fast

  12. William Robert says:

    Anonymous: Canon Law 916 is a nice rule; however, it does not address the real problem. How many times can a priest who is sexually abusing children or sexually involved with an adult go to confession to confess these horrific sins and then return to the Altar?

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