'They always belong to the church': Pope Francis speaks on remarried Catholics, makes controversial statements
Pope Francis declared that divorced Catholics who remarry, as well as their children, deserve to receive better treatment from the church. He warned pastors against considering these couples as if they were excommunicated.
MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic Online) - According to the Catholic teaching, divorced Catholics who remarry are living in sin and are barred from receiving Communion, leaving many of these people feeling eschewed by their church.
Pope Franics carries a crying child
Pope Francis' focus on mercy in church leadership has encouraged hope among many "barred" Catholics that he might eliminate the Communion ban. Catholics who divorce after a church marriage, but don't take up a new union, such as a second marriage, can receive Communion. In Francis' latest statements on divorce, Francis didn't go that far. But he asserted that an attitude change in the church is needed.
"People who started a new union after the defeat of their sacramental marriage are not at all excommunicated, and they absolutely must not be treated that way," Francis told pilgrims and tourists during his first general audience after a summer break. "They always belong to the church."
He added that the church must always "seek the well-being and salvation of persons."
In his papacy, Francis has frequently suggested seeing situations through the eyes of others. "If we look at these new ties with the eyes of young children... we see ever more the urgency to develop in our community true welcome toward people living in these situations," he said.
Other than being widowed, the only possible way for Catholics, who marry in the church, to remarry is getting an annulment. That long, difficult process basically includes investigating whether the marriage never existed in the first place. Grounds for annulment comprise of refusal by a spouse to have children, for instance. Previous popes protested annulments in some areas, notably in the United States, where it was being granted too generously.
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Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for AUGUST 2017
Artists. That artists of our time, through their ingenuity, may help everyone discover the beauty of creation.
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