Certain affirmations pronounced by Francis regarding the Eucharist have been taken advantage of by some with perverse intentions, sowing discord among the simpler faithful. Due to the high-level discussions that have developed these days, it becomes necessary to clarify certain concepts. The immortal Magisterium of the Church possesses abundant teachings in this respect, reflecting great clarity… and accessible to all: ‘Do not be afraid any longer, little flock’ (Lk 12:32). Catholic doctrine is solidly based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. Can this doctrine possibly be changed or reinterpreted in our times when it was set down by the Son of God himself?
[Francis] When I speak of prudence I do not think of it in terms of an attitude that paralyses but as the virtue of a leader. Prudence is a virtue of government. So is boldness. One must govern with boldness and prudence. I spoke about baptism and communion as spiritual food that helps one to go on; it is to be considered a remedy not a prize. Some immediately thought about the sacraments for remarried divorcees, but I did not refer to any specific cases; I simply wanted to point out a principle. We must try to facilitate people’s faith, rather than control it. Last year in Argentina I condemned the attitude of some priests who did not baptise the children of unmarried mothers. This is a sick mentality.
[Andrea Tornielli] And what about remarried divorcees?
[Francis] The exclusion of divorced people who contract a second marriage from communion is not a sanction. It is important to remember this. But I didn’t talk about this in the Exhortation. (Interview with Andrea Tornielli, December 14, 2013)
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