August 10, 2022
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This AE is basically allowing a sort of economia for each individual priest to determine if divorced and remarried Catholics can receive Holy Communion. I’m against economia, as I believe there are objective moral truths that can not be mitigated. No matter how much the Jimmy Akins and Mark Sheas will try to spin this, it is nothing less than what the Orthodox currently allow.
That’s not entirely accurate. Individual priests cannot dissolve Orthodox marriages; that is left to the local bishop (or bishops) after an examination of the matter with input from both parties. In the Russian Church at least, I would say the standards for dissolution are more exacting than current Catholic annulment proceedings.
Thanks for this Gabriel. I believe that not too long you did have a long discussion on the Orthodox concept of marriage and especially Russian ecclesiatical divorce procedures, which are indeed more exacting than the present annulment process in the Roman Catholic Church, which really border on the hypocritical. And thank you for pointing out that in the Orthodox Church no priest can grant an ecclesiastical divorce, all such matters must be referred to the bishop (I do not know the situation in non-Russian churches since my education is from a Russian seminary). Also, the marriage rite that involve a divorced individual is vastly different than one for those who are having a first marriage. In the present Catholic “divorce” proceedings, the marriage rite for those with an annulled marriage the same rite is used.
I think that the more this document is studied the more bizarre many of its conclusions will become; this is not a copy of the Orthodox ideal at all, but far closer to Protestant Congregationalism.
If what I read in the news today is any indication and true, the situation is dire indeed. When a pro-life American politician can be castigated as not Christian by the Pope for wanting to build walls (the Pope lives behind a fairly high one himself), but Sanders, who supports abortion to the moment of birth, has been invited to speak at the Vatican on social justice issues the situation is truly dire. One is almost speechless.
I never said Orthodox priests dissolve marriages. Nice try though. I said this is similar to economia where priests will determine if a particular person is permitted to receive Holy Communion, even if their livestyle doesn’t line up with Christian morality.
I wasn’t arguing with you; I was just making a clarification.
Economical does not allow someone living “in sin” the right to receive communion. Where did you get this from? Economia is not too different than a dispensation in the Latin tradition.
As an example of economia being applied to the reception of communion is permission for the elderly or sick or those who travel long distances to attend Mass to modify the fast. These are the only cases I know of. To insinuate that any Orthodox priest is applying economia to those in immoral relationships, with the full knowledge of his bishop, borders on the offensive.
Well, if I had to identify the most dubious parts of this document, it would be footnote3 351 and, perhaps, 364:
351. In certain cases, this can include the help of the sacraments. Hence, “I want to remind priests that the confessional must not be a torture chamber, but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium [24 November 2013], 44: AAS 105 , 1038). I would also point out that the Eucharist “is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak” (ibid., 47: 1039).
(Referring to: “Because of forms of conditioning and mitigating factors, it is possible that in an objective situation of sin – which may not be subjectively culpable, or fully such – a person can be living in God’s grace, can love and can also grow in the life of grace and charity, while receiving the Church’s help to this end.351”)
364. Perhaps out of a certain scrupulosity, concealed beneath a zeal for fidelity to the truth, some priests demand of penitents a purpose of amendment so lacking in nuance that it causes mercy to be obscured by the pursuit of a supposedly pure justice. For this reason, it is helpful to recall the teaching of Saint John Paul II, who stated that the possibility of a new fall “should not prejudice the authenticity of the resolution” (Letter to Cardinal William W. Baum on the occasion of the Course on the Internal Forum organized by the Apostolic Penitentiary [22 March 1996], 5: Insegnamenti XIX/1 , 589).
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