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How Great Thou Part

A recent Washington Post article explores Pope Francis and his modern views on divorcing Catholics and Communion. The Pope has ignited a conversation which has Catholics, clergy and experts pondering their interpretation of his words and what it means to contemporary Catholicism.

The aforementioned article, which by the way is worth the read, cites the Pope’s following advice to priests regarding Communion and divorce:

Francis says, “I would also point out that the Eucharist ‘is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.'”

(Washington Post article: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/in-long-awaited-document-on-the-family-pope-francis-offers-hope-to-divorced-catholics-says-no-to-gay-marriage/2016/04/07/87be6dae-fb42-11e5-813a-90ab563f0dde_story.html)

These revelations continue to elevate the consciousness of divorcing individuals, their desire to stay close to their faith and the existing dilemma with Communion.

Holy Communion is the highest of the seven sacraments. It is the moment of unity not only with Jesus, but with the Catholic faith. Catholics believe that they should receive communion as often as possible. Why? Because this is Jesus himself and the forgiveness of sins and therefore, strength for all receiving Catholics.

The scripture says, “Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body, for we all partake of one bread.” (1 Cor. 10:17)

Pope Francis continues to deliver a message of unity to divorcing Catholics. It is consistent with his work on Annulment reform.

He has not changed guidelines or hard and fast rules; however, he remains true to his Jesus like teachings. He is steadfast in his message of anti-judgement, tolerance, and hope in embracing human frailties. In doing so, he encourages clergy to be a support system and source of light and unity to divorcing Catholics.

Francis is asking priests to do whatever they can to welcome and/or encourage divorcing individuals back into the faith. It will be up to individual clergy as to how they follow The Pope’s instruction since they are not changes to existing rules.

The Washington Post article quotes a Catholic marriage counselor and writer. This counselor is noted as essentially saying that Pope Francis is letting sinners off the hook. Letting sinners off the hook, really?? This is exactly the type of moral judgement that Francis speaks out against. The judgement which is more indicative of man and the human condition, and not of Jesus.

Isn’t constant and generous redemption what Jesus offered? In fact, isn’t the Bible filled with numerous examples of how Jesus viewed sin as an opportunity for redemption?

But then again, judgement is what is known to man and redemption what is known to Jesus.

This Pope has often been compared to Jesus for his compassion and understanding of the yin and yang of sin and forgiveness – of mistakes and of moving on. Francis is known for unity not exclusion.

Ironically, that is what Holy Communion is about in the Catholic faith – Unity.
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