Communion possible for some divorced Catholics-cardinal

Majority of German synod bishops said to support Kasper position

(ANSA) - Rome, October 7 - The majority of German bishops taking part in the extraordinary synod on the issues facing the modern family support the position of Cardinal Walter Kasper on possibly allowing some divorced and remarried Catholics to receive the Eucharist, the head of the German Bishops Conference said Tuesday.
    "We discussed and explored this theme and I have informed the secretariat of the synod in writing," Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich said Tuesday.
    Kasper is well known as a liberal theologian and was appointed by Pope Francis as a synod speaker for the two-week event that officially opened on Sunday and got down to work Monday.
    As president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Kasper is known for addressing the issue of more leniency in offering Communion for divorced Catholics.
    He addressed a consistory of cardinals on the subject of family as part of the synod of bishops examining issues ranging from divorce to contraception to homosexuality and in vitro fertilization.
    One day earlier, the synod that includes some 200 bishops from around the world also considered a senior cardinal's suggestion that divorced Catholics who remarry in civil courts still belong to the Church.
    It may be that simplifying the process to annul marriages is one possible solution to the problems related to divorce and remarriage among Catholics, said Cardinal Peter Erdo of Hungary.
    "The divorced who remarry in civil courts belong to the Church, they have the need and they have the right to be cared for by their pastors," Erdo said.
    He added that there had to be a better way to help Catholics, whose marriages were falling apart, to stay in the Church and that making the annulment process more simple and understandable could help couples.
    Vatican observers have previously warned that the synod would likely see a clash between bishops who would like to see the Church adopt a more open stance to divorced Catholics and defenders of the doctrine as it stands.
    In fact, Kasper's position had previously prompted five conservative cardinals to defend the current rules on this issue in a book entitled Remaining in the Truth of Christ.
    No official results are expected after the synod, which is part of a longer-term program that began last year with an extensive survey of Catholics around the world, and is expected to lead to a review in a year's time of all the work to date.
    The synod will use a working document, the Instrumentum Laboris, which was compiled on the basis of feedback gathered from a survey of priests and laity.
    The document said that many Catholics show "difficulties" in accepting the Church's doctrine on "birth control, divorce...
    homosexuality, unmarried couples, faithfulness, sex before marriage and in vitro fertilization".
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