True Mercy and the Indissolubility of Marriage | Cardinal George Pell | Catholic World Report
In his foreword to a new book, Cardinal George Pell argues that “one cannot maintain the indissolubility of marriage by allowing the ‘remarried’ to receive Holy Communion.”
The following appears as the foreword to the book The Gospel of the Family: Going Beyond Cardinal Kasper’s Proposal in the Debate on Marriage, Civil Re-Marriage, and Communion in the Church, which will be published by Ignatius Press next month. The book is co-authored by Juan José Pérez-Soba, a priest of the Diocese of Madrid and the director of international research in moral theology at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family in Rome, and Stephan Kampowski, an associate professor of philosophical anthropology at the John Paul II Institute in Rome.
This book is important for many reasons. A courteous, informed, and rigorous discussion, indeed debate, is needed especially for the coming months to defend the Christian and Catholic tradition of monogamous, indissoluble marriage—focusing on the central elements of the challenges facing marriage and the family, rather than being distracted into a counterproductive and futile search for short-term consolations.
The health of an organization can be gauged by observing the amount of time and energy devoted to the discussion of various topics. Healthy communities do not spend most of their energies on peripheral issues, and unfortunately the number of divorced and remarried Catholics who feel they should be allowed to receive Holy Communion is very small indeed.
The pressures for this change are centered mainly in some European churches, where churchgoing is low and an increasing number of divorcees are choosing not to remarry. The issue is seen by both friends and foes of the Catholic tradition as a symbol—a prize in the clash between what remains of Christendom in Europe and an aggressive neo-paganism. Every opponent of Christianity wants the Church to capitulate on this issue.
Both sides in this discussion appeal to Christian criteria, and everyone is dismayed by the amount of suffering caused to spouses and children by marriage breakups. What help can and should the Catholic Church offer?