Source: Associated Press
By NICOLE WINFIELD
VATICAN CITY (AP) — Four conservative cardinals who publicly questioned Pope Francis’ opening to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics are pressing their case and arguing that the issue is dividing the Catholic Church.
In a new letter, the cardinals ask Francis for an audience, noting he never responded to their written request for clarification in September.
Francis published “Joy of Love” last year, opening the door to letting civilly remarried Catholics receive Communion. Church teaching says these Catholics must either obtain an annulment of their first marriage or abstain from sex, if they want to receive Communion.
Since then, bishops and bishops’ conferences around the world have issued different interpretations of what Francis wrote. More conservative bishops have reaffirmed traditional church teaching on the indissolubility of marriage; others have taken Francis’ opening and gone further. The bishops of Malta, for example, said sometimes it might be “humanly impossible” for the new couple to abstain from sex.