“the grave danger of misunderstandings..”, Senior Milan official says the Divorced and remarried are now asking for Communion

The priest in charge of Confession at Milan cathedral says there has been a growing “demand” for absolution and Communion

Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, has begun to change attitudes to Communion in the archdiocese of Milan, according to a senior official.

Monsignor Fausto Gilardi, who is in charge of Confession at Milan Cathedral, in an article for the Milan archdiocese website, says that there has been an increasing “demand” in the diocese from the divorced and remarried for absolution and Communion.

Mgr Gilardi’s piece, which has been translated for the news website Crux, claims that some priests have changed their practice. He says that some have “opened a ‘teller’s window’ for consultations”.

Mgr Gilardi comments that this seems to contradict Amoris Laetitia’s warning against “the grave danger of misunderstandings, such as the notion that any priest can quickly grant ‘exceptions’”.

The article says that other priests have asked divorced and remarried people to enter a pastoral process, but he does not really specify whether Communion is a possible goal.

Mgr Gilardi writes that in the last few days, the divorced and remarried have mostly not been “disappointed” by the invitation to a “journey”.

He also says that pastors “aren’t called to impose a norm, but to lift up the value expressed through that norm’”.

Since its publication, Pope Francis’s encyclical has generated differing interpretations. Much of the debate was over footnote 351, which some argued implied that the Pope wanted the Eucharist to be a possibility for divorced and remarried couples.

Last week, however, Pope Francis said that he couldn’t remember writing the footnote.

Recent major statements on the subject, by Pope St John Paul II and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had reaffirmed the Church’s traditional practice, which is that the divorced and remarried are not to take Communion unless they live “in complete continence”.

At the press conference following the publication of Amoris Laetitia, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn said that he didn’t “see why there should be a change” from John Paul II’s approach.




  1. jerry Reply

    I find it sad that Jesus was all about forgiveness yet the church is so resistant to forgive. People make mistakes, they sin that is what it means to be human. The church claims to want to save souls but they deny the vary means to those in need.

  2. Margarett RBC Zavodny Reply

    Confession must be made with a firm purpose to amend the sinful situation. The Church is not resistant to forgive, people are resistant to repent! If one is in a state of mortal sin, receiving the Eucharist further compounds that sin. Confession must be sought, and a true sorrow for sin and firm purpose of amendment of one’s life is necessary. No one is denied the means; they deny themselves the means by not wanting to obey.

  3. Milla Mamah Reply

    Yes in a situation whereby the woman unilaterally work away from the union without the man divorcing the woman what will be the faith of the man when it comes to issue of receiving holly communion? what is the position of the church in this respect?

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