Mar 26, 2017

"I cannot say"

It seems to me I often hear Pope Francis answer questions about whether divorced and civilly re-married Catholics can receive the Eucharist that there are dependencies, and that he will add the phrase "I cannot say" when gray areas are discussed. Since I believe the doctrine of Papal Infallibility, I'd argue that the Holy Spirit may be in action here, when the Pope adds "I cannot say." In other words I take this literally.

With this in mind, I take note of what the Pope said to the Chilean Bishops recently, as reported in the Catholic Herald with links to the original Spanish.

The Chilean bishops were speaking to the newspaper El Mercurio, which paraphrased their remarks and included a few direct quotations. Here’s the key passage:

¿Comunión a los divorciados? Con la misma decisión, el Pontífice negó que su objetivo con el sínodo al que convocó sobre la familia haya sido autorizar la comunión de los divorciados. Les habló de que no hay “moral de situación”, dicen otras fuentes. “Nos cuesta mucho ver los grises”, les habría dicho, cuando contó un caso personal, familiar suyo. “Tengo una sobrina casada con un divorciado, bueno, católico, de misa dominical y que cuando se confiesa le dice al sacerdote ‘sé que no puede absolverme, pero deme su bendición'”.
The Pope says a few separate things here:

* The objective of the Family Synod was not to authorise Communion for the remarried (“autorizar la comunión de los divorciados”).
* “It’s not a matter of ‘situation ethics’.” (“Les habló de que no hay ‘moral de situación.’”)
* It’s difficult for us to see grey areas. (“Nos cuesta mucho ver los grises.”)
* His niece is married to a divorced man who doesn’t take Communion, but tells the priest: “I know you can’t absolve me, but give me a blessing.” (“Sé que no puede absolverme, pero deme su bendición.”)

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