Historically, the Church has taken the admonition against the unworthy reception of Holy Communion seriously and soberly. The long-standing practice of the Church has been to warn the faithful against the reception of Holy Communion when it is clear that they are in a state of grave (mortal) sin. Confession is essential, along with the firm purpose of amendment necessary for absolution. This has been the clear, unambiguous teaching and practice of the Church from its very earliest days up through modern times.
- The Didache (ca. 100 A.D.) says this regarding the reception of Communion: If anyone is holy, let him come; if anyone is not so, let him repent. Maranatha. Amen.
- In Familiaris Consortio, Pope John Paul II wrote, The Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage (# 84).
- In Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, Pope John Paul II wrote, The Church can only invite her children who find themselves in these painful situations to approach the divine mercy by other ways, not however through the sacraments of penance and the Eucharist until such time as they have attained the required dispositions (#34).
- In Sacramentum Caritatis, Pope Benedict XVI wrote, The Synod of Bishops confirmed the Church’s practice, based on Sacred Scripture (cf Mk 10:2-12), of not admitting the divorced and remarried to the sacraments. … Yet the divorced and remarried continue to belong to the Church, which accompanies them with special concern and encourages them to live as fully as possible the Christian life through regular participation at Mass, albeit without receiving communion. … When legitimate doubts exist about the validity of the prior sacramental marriage, the necessary investigation must be carried out to establish if these are well-founded. Consequently, there is a need to ensure, in full respect for canon law, the presence of local ecclesiastical tribunals (# 29).
- The Catechism says, Today, there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions. In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery,” the Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid if the first marriage was. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God's law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities. Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in complete continence (# 1650).
More on the controversy from Catholic Stand. And HERE. Share