Rorate Caeli

Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, President of the Polish Episcopal Conference on the divorced and remarried and spiritual communion

Corrispondenza Romana
April 14, 2015

“The divorced and remarried cannot make spiritual communion” , Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, President of the Polish Episcopal Conference affirmed in an intervention at the Convention “What God joined together…” Marriage, Family and Sexuality in the Context of the Synod of Bishops 2014-2015” which took place on April 14that the Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski University in Warsaw. Archbishop Gadecki, who stood out during the Synod of Bishops in 2014 for his defense of Catholic morality, wanted to respond to those, such as Cardinal Kasper who sustain that if the divorced and remarried can receive spiritual communion, they can also receive the Sacrament. The use that is made of the term “spiritual communion” in order to justify the admittance of the divorced and remarried to the Sacraments is absolutely improper, explained Archbishop Gadecki. Spiritual communion refers, in fact, to people in a state of grace, who, on account of a physical impediment, cannot receive Communion (as happened for example, in the part of Poland occupied by the Soviets after the Second World War).

On the contrary, it cannot refer to those who are forbidden to receive the Eucharist on account of a moral impediment they can freely remove, by abandoning the situation of sin they are in. All those who are in a state of God’s grace can make a spiritual communion. Those who are in a state of sin, can pray, attend Mass, develop their relationship with God, but this relationship cannot be defined as spiritual communion. Pastoral care cannot contradict the Magisterium of the Church, reaffirmed Archbishop Gadecki, recalling that individual Episcopal Conferences do not have the authority to introduce doctrinal novelties, even if they were requested by the majority of Catholics in that [particular] Country. The Church, in fact, must express the sensus fidelium, which does not reflect the sociological majority of the faithful, but the consonance of the faith experienced with the perennial Magisterium of the Church.

At the Convention which took place at the Catholic University of Warsaw in the presence of the principal academic authorities and a great many students, the conferences were delivered by Professors Roberto de Mattei, of the Università Europea di Roma, Tadeusz Guz, of the Catholic University of Lublin, Grzegorz Kucharczyk of the Polish Academy of Sciences and Mathias von Gersdorff of the European Institute of Social Sciences.
[Translation: contributor Francesca Romana]