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ROME (ChurchMilitant.com) - Cardinal Peter Erdö, general relator for the ongoing Synod on the Family, is saying most of the Synod Fathers are opposed to the idea of giving Holy Communion to civilly divorced-and-remarried Catholics.
In an interview last week with a Hungarian Catholic newspaper, His Eminence said, "The majority is of the conviction that, according to the Church's law, whoever lives in an invalid marriage may not then go to Holy Communion."
While he said he believes the Synod will clarify the Church's teaching on marriage, Cdl. Erdö also said the Church must show pastoral care for people who live in families that have been wounded or live in contradictory circumstances to the Church's ideal.
The cardinal has recently indicated he doesn't support any loosening of the Church's admittedly tough moral doctrines. In a Vatican press conference this past June, he was asked about the Synod Fathers' opinion regarding divorced-and-remarried Catholics being allowed to receive Holy Communion. He responded by saying Jesus' own teaching on adultery was "very demanding" and "scandalous even in His own day."
His Eminence noted that many people have disagreed with the Church's teaching on marriage throughout history. "[T]he Church has always known that Her message on marriage contains something difficult and provocative," he said. "We need to keep the seriousness of this fact in mind and yet still seek to address the situations of the world today."
Earlier today, however, his colleague, Abp. Bruno Forte, when asked about this very issue of divorced-and-remarried Catholics being allowed to receive Communion, indicated that something would indeed change. "The Synod will not lead to any changes in doctrine but it will lead to something. The Synod has to say something," he responded in answer to the question. "Times change and situations change."
Archbishop Forte is the special secretary of the Synod and was responsible for the gay-friendly language of last year's Midterm Relatio, which said homosexuals have "gifts and qualities to offer the Christian community." When asked about this language by Church Militant's Michael Voris, the archbishop responded, "It is not easy to answer such an ontological question. What I want to express is that we must respect the dignity of every person."
Since both Cdl. Erdö and Abp. Forte are in official positions involving the Synod proceedings, it appears that only time will tell whether the Synod Fathers decide to recommend to Pope Francis that the Church abandon Her practice of forbidding anyone in the state of mortal sin, including divorced-and-civilly-remarried Catholics, to receive Holy Communion.
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