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Awaiting Final Vote: Synod Closing Document Leaves Opening for Divorced and Remarried to Receive Eucharist?

Update: Now the the final document is published, we will provide a video update - hopefully by around 7:00 Saturday evening (eastern time). The final document is not quite the 'conservative victory' some people think it is. Stay tuned - jv

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Awaiting Final Vote: Synod Closing Document Leaves Opening for Divorced and Remarried to Receive Eucharist?

By John Vennari

Rome: October 24, 2015 - 2:25 pm

The Vatican Press Briefing just concluded.

Cardinal Schönborn who spoke at the Briefing seemed to indicate that the final document leaves an opening for divorce and remarried to receive Communion under certain circumstances. If you read the following from
Vatican Insider on what the German bishops proposed, you will get the basic gist of what the final document seems to contain. This is pretty much what Schönborn said was in the final Synod document at the Briefing. In short, even John Paul II’s Familiaris Consortio is being rejected:

VI: According to the “Familiaris consortio”, the only way to gain access to the sacraments is to live as “brother and sister”, that is, abstaining from sexual intercourse when entering a second union. Is this aspect scrapped in your proposal?

Cardinal Schönborn: Our [German] text neither alludes to this nor states it. We do not believe this to be the only way forward. The Familiaris consortio talks about the need for discernment. One new element in our document is perhaps the “internal forum”, which by the way belongs to the classic tradition. In the second of three documents that the German-speaking language group drafted, discussing the three sections of the Synod’s Instrumentum laboris, we quote the texts of St. Thomas, which are at the heart of the move from the speculative doctrinal “ratio” to the practical “ratio” through the exercise of the virtue of prudence: the deeper one goes, the more prudential discernment becomes necessary.

First, the German bishops are engaged in a misuse of St. Thomas. Second, Cardinal Schönborn said at today's Press Breifing that the the issue of Communion for divorced and remarried is not a “black and white issue," and there is a need for "dicsernment" to deal with these issues on a "case by case basis."

Wrong, your Eminence.
No one may receive Holy Communion while living in adultery. Even Pope John Paul II said clearly the divorced and remarried may not receive the Eucharist unless they separate or agree to live like brother and sister.

The bishops are now going to lunch and will vote on the final document this afternoon, paragraph by paragraph. We can only hope if the approach to the divorced and remarried is contained in the document as indicated today by Cardinal Schonborn, it will be voted down. Everything remains to be seen. Stay tuned for our final video report later this evening.

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