Amoris Laetitia Does Permit Communion for some divorced and remarried couples, who are not living in chastity. The claim that AL seems to permit this is wrong; it does permit Communion.
Why? It is clearly stated in AL that objectively grave sins are not always actual mortal sins. And so the Sacraments can remain available to persons who are living in grave sins, but having difficulty reconciling their lives with Church teaching.
Catholic teaching only absolutely requires communicants to be baptized Christians not unrepentant from actual mortal sin. Priests who are aware of actual mortal sin can make an act of perfect contrition, say Mass and receive, and confess later. AL recommends confession before communion (in footnote 351), and only says that some persons in irregular situations may have access to confession and communion.
Peter holds the keys. The Pope permits divorced and remarried persons (who are still having sex) to receive Communion, in some cases, if they are not conscious of actual mortal sin. AL recommends consulting with a priest, confession, and then communion. This is not contrary to Catholic teaching; it is a discipline that is within the authority of the Pope.
Jesus refused to allow the woman caught in adultery to be stoned. Francis refuses to tell the divorced and remarried that they may never receive Jesus in Communion, unless they are first free from all objectively grave sins. The Pharisees of today are often themselves guilty of heresy and schism, for rejecting papal authority and Church teaching on papal charisms, yet they would prevent suffering sinners from receiving strength to change by means of the Eucharist.
And if you think that is wrong, then you yourself must not receive Communion if you are guilty of unconfessed objectively grave sins. And that includes:
* sex outside of marriage
* any other sexual grave sins
* grave scandal for the way you speak about the Pope
And in particular, since we are speaking of objectively grave sins which might not be actual mortal sins, it is heretical and schismatic, and therefore gravely immoral, to deny the dogmas of:
* the papal charism of truth and never failing faith
* the Apostolic See is free from blemish, stain, and has never wandered from the true faith
* the First See is judged by no one
* the supreme teaching authority of the Pope
* there is no appeal from papal decision to anyone but God
* that non-infallible teachings require religious assent (sins against this truth can be venial or mortal)
* the papal charisms listed here and here
and grave failure to believe other dogmas, such as:
* the Real Presence
* And so many other teachings.
The conservative Catholic subculture does not hold the keys; the Pope does. When he opens, no one can close.
Very many Catholics today receive Communion while still committing grave sins in their lives without repentance. If they were all refused Communion, the pews would be empty and the parishes and dioceses would fail.
And do not tell me that the sins of the divorced are different because they are public. The heretical and schismatic clamoring of the papal accusers is very public. And hidden grave sins require one, on the basis of conscience, to refrain from Communion. It is not only public sins that prevent reception.
Francis is absolutely right.
My dear Friend,
I don’t believe your dear Mother for her eternity.
Yours faithfully in union of prayers.
Would you be so kind as in praying also for my family and me?
Congratulations and sincerely yours.
When I make confession […] I ask my Priest to hear my Confession after Mass (if it is not Saturday Confession), but I abstain from Communion. My Priest has told me that if I have arranged to have Confession after Mass I do not have to abstain in that Mass. Is this correct?
After reading another comment, referencing the Baltimore Catechism, and looking up the Council of Trent, and code of canon law, I have to change what I wrote to this:
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.
Trent permits reception of Communion, with confession later, for priests who do not have another priest available for confession [Decree on Eucharist, chap. 7]. The Baltimore Catechism does not permit this to laity. However, Canon law does. This shows that this decision is of discipline, which is changeable. However, the obligation to be in the state of grace (and to be a baptized Christian) is not changeable.
I’m sorry I gave the wrong advice. You would need a grave reason to receive Communion first, and then go to Confession. It would qualify as a grave reason if, in your situation, you would generally not be able to go to Communion, as Confession would so often be needed, and your confessor agrees with this (which we know he does). In other words, if you would end up with no Communion, week after week, then that would qualify as grave, since the Lord wishes us to be strengthened by the Eucharist, even saying that “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you.” However, if you are usually or relatively often able to go to Confession on Saturday, and then receive communion on Saturday or Sunday at Mass, then you would not have a grave reason.
There were two priests at my Parish today (Father was giving a special Mass at the old school for teenagers looking into the Missions) and when I brought up your point Father told me to ask the other. He said it was OK as long as it was not something like murder.
I don’t know. The previous priest at the the Parish said yes, but when I did this with a visiting Monsignor I was told I was wrong. I will pray about it.
As long as I am here, Good Friday my Penance was to spend three hours in silent meditation on the Stations of the Cross at a certain time. I told me family (twice) of this time. While at it my aunt began calling me on my landline and my cell phone repeatedly (we were planning to go out later that day and she had forgotten my Penance). I was afraid she was going to call the police (I am 63 and live alone) and I could not focus on the meditations. Father gave me a Blessing. Does this cover the Penance ? BTW, you really are going to have to do a generic questions thread again.
Confessions and absolution are valid even if you do not do the penance. A penance of a certain amount of time can be broken up into smaller amounts of time to reach the total.
Baltimore Catechism states:
405. May we receive Holy Communion after committing a mortal sin if we merely make an act of perfect contrition?
We may not receive Holy Communion after committing a mortal sin if we merely make an act of perfect contrition; one who has sinned grievously must go to confession before receiving Holy Communion.
Thanks, Matt. I’ve updated my response to Thomas, based on your concern and other sources. I’ve also contacted him by email to notify him of the change.
You really must be naïve not to know that divorcing your spouse after being married in a Catholic Church and then marrying another person in a civil ceremony, is considered a gravely immoral sin. Jesus himself states you are committing adultery. I think that a person having difficult with this one major Church teaching is fooling himself. However, a person could say that the first spouse was just impossible to be married to anymore and not fair for them to have rest of their lives suffering.
I think most Catholics have difficulty reconciling their lives with Church teaching on contraception. They justify it that they just can’t afford it, prior difficult pregnancies, or mostly the psychological stress of raising many children in this modern society. I hardly ever see large Catholic families Typically 1-3 kids. Even seeing 4 kids is rare.
I’m not saying the Pope is wrong here but I think he should have included a statement that very few should be naive or having difficulty with the Church teaching.
Not every grave sin has the full culpability of actual mortal sin. Pope Francis has the authority to permit reception of Communion by any baptized Christian not conscious of unconfessed actual mortal sin. Peter holds the keys. The discipline for Communion that I would prefer is different from what Pope Francis has chosen, but I submit to his authority.