Nation & World News

Pope OKs Communion For The Divorced? Not So Fast, Vatican Says

By Mark Memmott on April 24th, 2014

The Vatican on Thursday sought to tamp down speculation that Pope Francis wants to reverse church teachings and allow divorced and remarried Catholics and their spouses to take Communion.

Religion News Service walks through what happened after word surfaced earlier this week that the pope reportedly called a woman in Argentina and told her it is OK for at least some divorced Catholics or their spouses to receive that sacrament.

The woman, Jacqueline Sabetta Lisbona, had written to the pope about her anguish because she felt she couldn’t receive Communion since her husband’s previous marriage had ended in divorce and they had not been married in a church. According to The Washington Post, “the last time she tried to take the Eucharist was last year, but the local priest … denied her communion.”

Her husband, Julio Sabetta, tells CNN that his wife “spoke with the pope, and he said she was absolved of all sins and she could go and get the Holy Communion because she was not doing anything wrong.”

After that news hit the Web, the Vatican weighed in. NPR’s Sylvia Poggioli notes that Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi said in a brief statement that nothing about church teachings should be inferred from any personal calls made by the pope.

In that statement, Lombardi does not dispute the accounts of what the pope reportedly said. But he does say that the pope might have been misinterpreted, according to the Vatican’s English translation of Lombardi’s statement:

“That which has been communicated in relation to this matter, outside the scope of personal relationships, and the consequent media amplification, cannot be confirmed as reliable, and is a source of misunderstanding and confusion.”

“Therefore,” Lombardi continues, “consequences relating to the teaching of the Church are not to be inferred from these occurrences.”

Pope Francis is known to pick up the phone. Agence France-Presses notes that:

“The pope has previously been reported making calls from the practical to the intense, including calling his newsagent in Buenos Aires to cancel a subscription and comforting a mother grieving over her murdered daughter.

“The Vatican rarely makes official comment on reports of the calls, which often rely solely on the person in question saying that they have been called by the pope — who has been dubbed ‘the cold call pope’ by the tabloids.”

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Reid Backs N.Y.’s Schumer To Succeed Him As Senate Democratic Leader

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid made the endorsement on Nevada Public Radio after saying earlier today that he won’t seek re-election in 2016.


People gather at the Stockholm Olympic Stadium in 2013 to show support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community of Russia.

He, She Or Hen? Sweden’s New Gender-Neutral Pronoun

The latest edition of the dictionary of the Swedish language contains a new pronoun among its 13,000 new words — hen, to go along with he (han) and she (hon).


A Houthi Shiite fighter stands guard Thursday as people search for survivors under the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi airstrikes near Sanaa Airport in Yemen.

Saudi Arabia Pounds Rebel Targets In Yemen On 2nd Day Of Air Campaign

Airstrikes and anti-aircraft fire rocked the capital, Sanaa, while Houthi rebels continued their push into southern Yemen. Meanwhile, Arab foreign ministers gathered in Egypt.


Schedule 2 narcotics Morphine Sulfate, OxyContin and Opana. Liquefied as an injectable, Opana has been connected to a major abuse problem in rural southern Indiana.

Indiana Suspends Ban On Needle Exchanges To Combat HIV Outbreak

The state’s governor says he would temporarily OK a program in one county after dozens of new infections were reported stemming from the injection of the prescription drug Opana.


A Southwest Airlines pilot and co-pilot preparing for a flight from Dallas last year. In the wake of the Germanwings crash this week, many European airlines are rushing to adopt a two-person cockpit rule similar to the one already in place in the U.S.

Airlines Worldwide Rush To Adopt ‘2-Person’ Cockpit Rule

In the wake of the apparently deliberate crash of a German airliner, carriers in Europe, the Middle East and Asia say they will emulate a U.S. rule requiring two people in the cockpit at all times.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments