German Bishops, according to the National Catholic Reporter, are seeking “to allow remarried Catholics to make a “responsible decision in conscience” to receive sacraments after consulting their priest.”
Meanwhile, “they have simultaneously denied the sacraments, including confession, to those who opt out of paying Germany’s “church tax.””
The Church in Germany currently receives some $7 billion in Church tax (2012 and 2013), so there is a lot at stake.
On divorce, the teaching of Jesus Christ is clear:
“Now I say this to you: anyone who divorces his wife – I am not speaking of an illicit marriage – and marries another, is guilty of adultery.” (Matthew 19:9) In doing so, he overturned “the accommodations that had slipped into the Old Law.” (CCC 2382). Whilst Jesus forgave the adulterous woman, it was conditional, “Go away, and from this moment sin no more.” (John 8:1-11).
A divorced person who remarries is living in a state of permanent grave sin and as only a person in a state of grace may receive Christ in Eucharistic communion, it follows that a person living in these circumstances cannot receive communion.
If the German Bishops are worried about losing the income from tax, they should also recall the words of Jesus, “No servant can be the slave of two masters … You cannot be the slave both of God and of money”. (Luke 16:13).
The German Bishops need to choose between authentic Catholic teaching that comes directly from the mouth of God through His Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ that leads them and their flocks to eternal life or the compromise that provides comforts and riches in this mortal life that may lead to eternal damnation.
Meanwhile, instead of discussing watering down the Church’s teaching on divorce, the leaders of the Catholic Church should be strengthening the preparation of engaged couples, ensuring that they are absolutely certain about the road along which they intend to travel and the consequences of any future break-up of that union, both in terms of their faith, their families and society in general.
After all, the Sacrament of Marriage is a foretaste of the joys of heaven.
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