In this Holy Week of 2016, the sentiments and pain of Christ’s Passion being renewed is mingled with deep apprehension about the distressing situation the Church is in. The greatest worries regard the impending Apostolic Post-Synod Exhortation Pope Francis signed on March 19th and which will be published just after Easter. According to the Vatican journalist Luigi Accattoli “rumors foresee a text of no striking doctrinal or juridical affirmations, but rather will include many innovative practical choices regarding marriage preparation and couples in irregular situations: not only for the divorced and remarried but also for cohabiters, marriages with a believer and non-believer and for those only civilly-married.” (Corriere della Sera, March 20th 2016)
What will these “innovative practices” be? The document’s key word is “integration”. Those who are in an irregular situation will be “integrated” into the community: they could become catechists, liturgical animators, godparents for Baptism and Confirmation, best men/bridesmaids at weddings and so on; all activities the traditional praxis of the Church to this day has forbidden them owing to their state of public sin. Yet, Alberto Melloni writes in “La Repubblica”, March 19th “on Communion for the divorced and remarried no novelties are expected. Seeing as the problem is to legitimize a praxis (…), not establish it theologically”. The document does not anticipate a “general rule” of access to the Eucharist, but would allow confessors and individual bishops to permit admission to the Sacraments “case by case”. The novelty, Melloni explains, is based on facts not on words, “by giving responsibility and restoring effective powers to bishops, marking, as Cardinal Kasper said, a real “revolution”.
(Emphasis supplied.) Read the whole thing there.