4 – The Church cannot have closed doors, not even to the Sacraments

The constant changes in a society in which God is increasingly ignored present real pastoral challenges for the Church. Nevertheless, faithful to its mission, She cannot betray certain principles despite having to adapt some aspects of pastoral praxis to the new circumstances.

However, it is no novelty that for quite some time, many voices have been raised, both within and outside the Church, regarding an allegedly ‘excessive frugality’ in administering the Sacraments. On reading Francis’ words on the necessity of not closing doors to the Sacraments for any reason, within the Apostolic exhortation Evangelii gaudium, these same voices grew in passion… It was the dawn of long awaited novelties!

What could have been the intention of the Holy Father in bringing up this problem? It is opportune to recall certain concepts…



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Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter the various parts of our study


Sacred Scripture

Whoever receives the Eucharist unworthily ‘eats and drinks judgment on himself’

Council of Trent (Ecumenical XIX)

It is necessary to be in the state of grace to receive the Eucharist

Pius X

Frequent Communion, but in the state of grace and with upright intention
Necessity of a firm resolution to never sin in order to receive Communion

Catechism of the Catholic Church

Confirmation also requires the state of grace
Necessity of confessing mortal sins in order to approach the Eucharistic table
Eucharistic ‘intercommunion’ with communities derived from the ‘Reformation’ is not possible

Code of Canon Law

Only the baptized may receive the Sacraments
In order to receive the Sacraments one must be suitably prepared
The Sacraments may only be administered to Catholics

Pontifical Council for Interpretation of Legislative Texts

Necessity of adequate dispositions in order to receive the Sacraments
Frequent Communion - only without the awareness of grave sin
Obstinacy in manifest grave sin closes the doors to the Sacraments
Cases of states of sin which close the doors to the Eucharist
Communion should be denied to the publically unworthy

John Paul II

The Tridentine doctrine regarding the reception of the Sacraments is still in effect
One may not receive the Eucharist while conscious of grave sin without previous confession
The danger of seeking paths of mercy other than those established by God

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith

Concrete application of the prohibition of Communion for divorced persons in second union


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