VATICAN CITY (CNS): Allowing Catholics who have civilly remarried after divorce to receive Communion not only violates Church law but is an affront to Catholics who live according to the law, the Vatican said.
“The reception of the Body of Christ when one is publicly unworthy constitutes an objective harm” to the Church and to the faithful who obey it, said a declaration issued by the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts.
The only situations in which such couples may receive the Eucharist are if they separate or if they are committed to refraining from sexual relations, said the declaration dated June 24 and released on July 6 at the Vatican.
Reaffirming the prohibition of Communion for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, the declaration chastised “some authors” who have tried to show that the prohibition is not called for by canon law.
According to the canon in question, those “who obstinately persist in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to Holy Communion”.
Because divorce is not recognised by the Church, civil remarriage is not recognised either, and the couple is considered to be living in adultery.