Sunday, October 23, 2005
Proposition 11, on the shortage of priests clearly reaffirms "the importance of the inestimable gift of ecclesiastical celibacy in the practice of the Latin Church." The Synod finds that a proposal for viri probati-- married men who are ordained to the priesthood for a restricted ministry-- is not a proper response to the shortage of priests. Instead the Synod fathers call for renewed efforts to encourage priestly vocations.
Proposition 40, on divorced and remarried Catholics, confirms the Church's traditional teaching that those who are divorced and illicitly remarried "cannot be admitted to Holy Communion," but emphasizes that they remain a part of the Church community and should be welcomed and encouraged to participate in the liturgy should of receiving Communion. The Synod exhorts divorced Catholics to live chaste lives, "according to God's law." Proposition 40 urges Church marriage tribunals to reflect carefully on the essential elements of a valid marriage, and calls for stronger efforts to prepare couples for Christian marriage.
Proposition 41, on admitting non-Catholics to Communion, acknowledges that all Christians, by virtue of baptism, are a part of the Church community. But the communion among Christians "is still not complete," the Synod says, and "Eucharistic communion with non-Catholic Christians is generally not possible." The Synod asks non-Catholics to understand the Church's position, and specifically adds that concelebration of the Eucharist with other Christian groups is excluded.
Proposition 46, on politicians who dissent from Church teaching, says that there is no "Eucharistic coherence" in the behavior of people who violate Church teachings yet receive communion. Stating flatly that "one cannot separate private and public choices," the Synod fathers tell politicians that they should not receive Communion if they support policies that are "contrary to justice and natural law." But the document stops short of saying that bishops should bar such political figures from receiving Communion.