Jesus and the Samaritan Woman at the Well (1640 or 1641), by Guercino (1591-1666). It was Jesus Who first said (not the Catholic Church): “they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” (Matthew 19:6, RSV) [public domain / Wikimedia Commons]
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The bottom-line question is: “does the Church conform to the larger society and follow all the latest trends and chic fashions, or do we present a Higher Way, a higher path?” Christianity is always gonna step on some folks’ toes; put ’em out, so to speak. That can’t be helped. We can’t “please” everyone. Jesus said it was a narrow path and very difficult. So it’s narrow! Why should it shock or surprise anyone that various people will come up against Church moral teachings, and that it’ll be difficult?
Romans 12:2 (RSV) states: “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Phillips has a wonderful paraphrase: “Don’t let the world squeeze you into its own mould.”
We can be like the Orthodox, who have caved into modernity (I would contend) by simply marrying folks a second and third time. They had already departed from apostolic and patristic teaching on divorce (in the East) by the 7th or 8th centuries.
That is clearly caving into the zeitgeist, and not following apostolic tradition, when it is difficult to do so.
The Church has always required that someone must be in full agreement with Church teaching in order to receive Holy Communion. I have written about this.
Why this is considered controversial has always puzzled me. You gotta be tall (usually) to be in the NBA. You gotta be big and muscular to be in the NFL (and, as it were, also a male in both cases). Gotta know chess to be in a chess club. Gotta meet certain requirements to go to college or get a job or be in a musical group . . .
Gotta be a Catholic (accept all Church teachings) to receive communion . . . .
Ain’t that a “DUH!” moment? Seems so to me . . .