German bishops defend position on communion for the divorced and remarried

From Catholic News Service:  Church officials in Germany defended plans by the country’s bishops’ conference to allow some divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion, insisting they have the pope’s endorsement. “We already have our own guidelines, and the pope has now clearly signaled that certain things can be decided locally,” said Robert Eberle, spokesman [Read More...]

Pope calls on priests to be “servants of the sacrament” of forgiveness, says he goes to confession every two weeks

From his Wednesday audience: Speaking to the the faithful during the weekly General Audience in St. Peter’s Square, Pope Francis said the Church accompanies us on our journey of conversion for the whole of our lives, calling us to experience reconciliation in its communal and ecclesial dimension. He said that we receive forgiveness through priests [Read More...]

What it takes to get married in a Catholic church—UPDATED

Most of us know that it varies from parish to parish. Some places will decline to marry couples who are living together, or mandate that they separate for a period of time before the wedding. Other parishes (including my own) will not marry couples who do not live within the parish boundaries. It’s really a [Read More...]

Archbishop: no communion for polluters

Details:  Archbishop of Naples Crescenzio Sepe didn’t mince words when speaking about the issue of pollution on Wednesday, going so far as to say, “Those who pollute are not in the grace of God and can not take communion.” His remarks came in the wake of revelations that local mafia had buried cancer-causing toxic waste around the [Read More...]

Number of baptisms falling

Cathy Lynn Grossman at Religion News Service takes a closer look at what’s causing this, across many denominations: Last month, Pope Francis gave the sacrament a boost when he called a pregnant, unmarried woman to encourage her faith and offered to baptize her baby. While his main message was anti-abortion,  his call also reminded Catholics that children [Read More...]

Vatican reaffirms teaching on communion for divorced and remarried Catholics

From CNS:  Amid rising expectations that the Catholic Church might make it easier for divorced and remarried members to receive Communion, the Vatican’s highest doctrinal official reaffirmed church teaching barring such persons from the sacrament without an annulment of their first, sacramental marriage. But Archbishop Gerhard L. Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine [Read More...]

On non-Catholics and Communion. Again.

After last week’s discussion about what to say at weddings and funerals about receiving Communion, canon lawyer Ed Peters has read over some of the announcements in that post and has a suggestion:  There are various reasons why one might not approach for Communion. One might not have fasted for an hour before Communion time [Read More...]

The Francis Effect

“Every day, I hear from Catholics who, like me, are reconsidering their lives, their actions, their faith practice, all because of an Argentine priest who proclaims, ‘I am a sinner.’ The pope isn’t getting this reaction by outlining a list of do’s and don’ts. Instead, the world’s parish priest proclaims the message of God’s mercy [Read More...]

Archbishop: rules on Communion reception could be relaxed

Hot on the heels of this item, on non-Catholics and Communion, a reader alerted me to this, from The Tablet in London: Restrictions on Christians from other denominations receiving communion in the Catholic Church could be relaxed, the Archbishop of Birmingham has said. Archbishop Bernard Longley, who is co-chairman of the Anglican Roman Catholic International [Read More...]

All are welcome—except those who aren’t: addressing non-Catholics and Communion at Mass—UPDATED

A deacon from the midwest dropped me an e-mail this morning about a practice he’s witnessed frequently: priests at some Masses (notably weddings or funerals) who give strict instructions to the congregation about who may or may not come forward to receive Communion. I told him that, while I know this is done, in my [Read More...]


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