Sunday, March 26, 2017

Saturday, March 18, 2017

BREAKING: Archdiocese of Vancouver Stands with Christ

Father Pablo Santa Maria of the Archdiocese of Vancouver has posted the following.



http://www.holyrosarycathedral.org/2017/03/16/communion-marriage-and-divorce/




Communion, Marriage and Divorce


Who can receive Holy Communion at Mass? None of us are truly worthy of such a great gift but God’s grace makes us worthy and prepares us to receive this sublime gift through which we are united to Christ and find salvation. We are reminded of this reality at Mass when we prepare for Holy Communion and say “Lord I am not worthy that You should enter under my roof, but only say the word and I shall be healed.”
When it comes to the issue of those who are divorced and remarried, some confusion arises. The following paragraphs are an attempt to give some clarity to this delicate matter and to encourage all of us to accompany those who are on the peripheries of the Church.
DIVORCED, AND NOT REMARRIED.
The Church has always upheld the dignity and vocation of Marriage as a central component of her life: “The matrimonial covenant, by which a man and a woman establish between themselves a partnership of the whole of life, is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring; this covenant between baptized persons has been raised by Christ the Lord to the dignity of a sacrament”. (1)
However, there are instances when a couple has to divorce. Reasons may vary but usually it is for the physical and mental wellbeing, of one of the parties. When there are situations of abuse, violence, neglect, etc. separation and even divorce are a necessary step. Those people who are divorced but are not living with another person either in marriage or in cohabitation, can and should receive Holy Communion if they are not is the state of mortal sin.
THE TEACHING OF CHRIST AND THE CHURCH
“I say to you, whoever divorces his wife – unless the
marriage is unlawful – and marries another commits adultery.”
 – Mt. 19, 31 – 32
In this passage, our Lord is debating with the Pharisees on the nature of Marriage. Here Christ reiterates what he mentioned in the fifth chapter of Saint Matthew’s gospel, that divorce and remarriage are a serious sin. When we know we have committed a serious sin, we should not receive Holy Communion.
St. John Paul II in the Apostolic Letter Familiaris Consortio further reminds the faithful of this truth. Those who are divorced and remarried cannot receive Holy Communion. This is because the previous union still exists. Even though civilly it’s no longer there, in the eyes of Church it still exists.
However, those who are divorced and civilly remarried are not outside the Church. The divorced and remarried should be welcomed as an essential: part of the Catholic community. These members of the Church should share in the life of the Church.They can attend Mass, pray, and take part in the activities of the parish. The children born in these situations are central to the life and mission of the Catholic Church and should be brought up in the Faith.In the recent Papal document Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis reiterates the teaching of Christ and of Pope John Paul II: “In no way must the Church desist from proposing the full ideal of marriage, God’s plan in all its grandeur.” (2)
However, what the Holy Father is also encouraging us to do is to have an examination of conscience and to see how we can help those who are on the peripheries, in this case, those who are divorced and civilly remarried. In some cases they feel ostracized and excluded from the life of the Church. The Holy Father is encouraging all of us, but especially priests to “accompany {the divorced and remarried} in helping them to understand their situation according to the teaching of the Church” (3)
In some cases the first marriage bond may have never existed. To this end a canonical investigation of the first marriage by a Church marriage tribunal may be appropriate, which may help to regularize the second civil union. In other cases, when the first marriage was indeed valid, the Church invites the couple in the second civil union to abstain from marital intimacy so that they may receive the sacraments.
SOME OF THE CONFUSION
In recent days, since the Synod on the Family and the publication of the Papal Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, there has been some added confusion to this matter. There are some who say that the Pope has somehow changed this teaching of Christ, which is not the case. The teachings of Christ cannot be changed or re-interpreted according to the fashions of the time. In a recent interview, Cardinal Muller, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith says that “For us marriage is the expression of participation in the unity between Christ, the bridegroom, and the Church, his bride. This is not, as some said during the Synod, a simple vague analogy. No! This is the substance of the sacrament, and no power in heaven or on earth, neither an angel, nor the pope, nor a council, nor a law of the bishops, has the faculty to change it.” (4)
In other words, neither the Pope nor a bishop can change the teachings of Christ. The Church has always maintained this practice and teaching reminding us of the sanctity of Marriage and the importance of the Holy Eucharist. St. Paul in the First Letter to the Corinthians reminds us all look into our hearts and to see if we are indeed ready to receive Holy Communion as it’s a grave sin to receive Holy Communion when we are in the state of mortal sin. (5)
The ultimate goal of the Church is to accompany those who are hurting and feel excluded and to bring them back into the fold. To encourage them and to lead them to a worthy reception of the sacraments by which they will come to share in the life of our Saviour.
Fr. Pablo Santa Maria
______
Notes:
  1. Catechism of the Catholic Church N. 1601
  2. FRANCIS, Pope, Post Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, 2016.  N. 307.
  3. Ibid, N. 300
  4. http://magister.blogautore.espresso.repubblica.it/2017/02/01/il-papa-tace-ma-parla-il-cardinale-muller-che-ai-dubia-risponde-cosi/
  5. I Cor. 11, 27

Friday, March 17, 2017

Why The Irish Fight

“Irish fight because they love. The more a man loves the more he fights for what he loves. Because the Irish love their country and their God they have more to fight for” - Archbishop Fulton Sheen