Monday, June 11, 2012

Supporting Divorced Catholics in Freiburg

We all know that for years many, many priests worldwide have been quietly violating the Catholic Church's prohibition on offering Communion and other sacraments to divorced and remarried parishioners. Now a group of brave priests and deacons in the Archdiocese of Freiburg in Germany have posted a public, signed statement on the Internet indicating that they are doing just that and calling on the Church to change its policies in that area.

The statement says that "in our communities, remarried divorced people take communion and receive the sacraments of reconciliation and the anointing of the sick, with our approval" The signatories appeal to the notion of salus animarum suprema lex, i.e. that the salvation of souls is the highest law, and say "we are aware that we often act against the regulations currently in force canonically in the Roman Catholic Church."

As of this date, 177 priests and deacons have signed the statement. This statement is a follow-up on the memorandum issued a year ago by 240 German-speaking theologians calling for church reform.

The Archdiocese of Freiburg responded with a communique saying that putting the statement on the Internet was neither helpful nor constructive. It said, however, that it plans to reach out to the initiators of the statement and begin a dialogue with them on this issue.

1 comment:

  1. Tricky. If it's not first understood and agreed that this sort of thing is not sinful, then far from being supportive of divorced Catholics,it could be destructive for them instead.

    It pays to have a firm groundwork before encouraging people who may be in a state of mortal sin to receive the Blessed Sacrament.