April 23rd, 2014
03:46 PM ET

Pope stirs Communion debate with call to woman

By Daniel Burke, CNN Belief Blog Co-editor 
[twitter-follow screen_name='BurkeCNN']

(CNN) - Pope Francis called an Argentine woman married to a divorced man and reportedly told her that she could receive the sacrament of Communion, according to the woman's husband, in an apparent contradiction of Catholic law.

Julio Sabetta, from San Lorenzo in the Pope's home country, said his wife, Jacqueline Sabetta Lisbona, spoke with Francis on Monday.

Jacqueline Sabetta Lisbona wrote to the pontiff in September to ask for clarification on the Communion issue, according to her husband, who said his divorced status had prevented her from receiving the sacrament.

"She 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," Sabetta told Channel 3 Rosario, a CNN affiliate.

A Vatican spokesman confirmed the telephone call but would not comment on the conversation's content.

"It's between the Pope and the woman," said the Rev. Thomas Rosica, a consultant for the Vatican press office.

Rosica said that any comments made by the Pope should not be construed as a change in church doctrine. "The magisterium of the church is not defined by personal phone calls."

It's not the first time Pope Francis has cold-called Catholics, who are often surprised to hear "Father Bergoglio" on the line. (Before he was elected Pope last year, Francis was Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires.)

His informal style, honed during years as a parish priest, has led some to call him the "people's Pope."

Pope Francis leaves New Year's voice mail for nuns in Spain

The Pope told Jacqueline Sabetta that the Vatican would be discussing its Communion restrictions, according to her husband.

Pope Francis and other top Vatican leaders have said the issue will be discussed at a gathering of bishops from around the world in October. The Pope was not pre-empting that debate, according to Rosica.

"To draw any conclusions about this particular situation, that the Pope may be setting an agenda, is incorrect," he said. "The Pope is first and foremost an esteemed pastor, and dealing with a human situation is always complex."

However, Pope Francis has signaled that some sort of change could be on the horizon.
“I think this is the moment for mercy,” the Pope said in July when asked about divorced and remarried Catholics.

Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Muller, prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, reaffirmed church teaching in October that divorced and remarried Catholics may not receive Communion without an annulment.

Muller's clarification came after some German bishops planned to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion.

The issue of divorced Catholics receiving Communion forms a complex and controversial area of church law.

According to the church's catechism, "The Lord Jesus insisted on the original intention of the Creator who willed that marriage be indissoluble."

Canon law further says, "If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery; and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another's husband to herself."

However, the church does allow divorced Catholics who do not remarry, as well as those whose marriages have been annulled, to receive Communion.

Church leaders like Boston Cardinal Sean O'Malley, a close confidant of Pope Francis', have suggested that the church cannot change its laws but could streamline the annulment process, which can sometimes drag on for years.

Jacqueline Sabetta Lisbona told La Red AM910 in Buenos Aires that her husband, not she, has been divorced. That makes little difference in church law, but Lisbona told the radio station that the Pope said he'll use her letter to "support his argument."

Julio Sabetta said he and his wife have been married for 19 years and have two children.

"I'm very happy, because I’m not the only one divorced. There are a lot of people who are divorced, and I hope that … that it happens for all divorced people and all those who want to get the Holy Communion,” Sabetta told Channel 3 Rosario.

CNN's Delia Gallagher and Cindy Rodriguez contributed to this report. 

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Argentina • Belief • Catholic Church • Christianity • Ethics • Pope Francis • South America

soundoff (512 Responses)
  1. ddeevviinn

    Just don't get it.

    I'm not Catholic, and quite frankly I find some of their theology and practice to be suspect. That being said, it would never even cross my mind to hop on a belief forum, or any other forum for that matter, and lambaste someone's particular set of beliefs. I would apply this equally to Protestants, Buddhists, Islamists, Hinduists, Agnostics, Atheists et al. It's one thing to have heated exchange and to banter back and forth defending and challenging ideologies, but this incessant ridicule and mockery of another individuals belief ( or non belief) is disturbing. Ultimately. it simply reveals the character of the individual spewing the hate and speaks volumes of their lack of integrity.

    April 23, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
    • sealchan

      In recent atheist literature there is a debate style willingness to make critical remarks that is commonly emulated here. It is, perhaps, fueled by a desire to have a rational discussion about something that deals with some of the less rational aspects of human experience and truth. Unfortunately, in my opinion, these atheistic arguments carry a lot of rational, logical weight which is not well-countered, in my opinion, by many promoters of faith. I feel that in many ways Christianity has failed to progress morally because it does not address today's moral issues, but rather it avoids them by repeating rules and statements whose value is not questioned. For this reason I can understand the hostility as frustration with an apparent inability to have a rational moral discussion. It is not entirely excusable, but I can understand it.

      April 23, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        Some things are just dumb; plain as the nose on your face stupid and sometimes you have to scream because yelling isn't working either.

        April 23, 2014 at 8:00 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        Sorry, can't buy it. Much of the "ridicule" and "mockery" is generated simply because others believe in a creator God ( you know, the sky fairy, flying spaghetti monster, Jeebus, yadayadayada). Nope, I think it has very little to do with this notion that "
        Christianity has failed to progress morally", whatever in the world that means. Actually, I think I know precisely what it means.

        April 23, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
        • tallulah131

          I have no problem with people believing whatever they want. That's what this country is all about. But it bothers me when people present their beliefs as fact, when they mock and lie about science, when they use religion as an excuse to discriminate against minorities and when they tell me I need to believe what they do or I am a bad person. I was raised to be honest. I will very happily correct outright lies or outright ignorant statements, because silence equals approval.

          April 23, 2014 at 10:42 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          " it bothers me when people present their belief as facts"

          I would imagine if you hold your belief, or unbelief, with conviction, you may also come across as present them "as facts"

          " when they mock and lie about science, when they use religion to discriminate against minorities, and when they tell me I need to believe what they do or I am a bad person."

          I would contend that the above mentioned scenarios are the exception to the rule. The majority of the vindictiveness I find on this forum is directed at those who are simply attempting to present their case for a belief in God.

          April 23, 2014 at 11:32 pm |
        • ddeevviinn


          April 23, 2014 at 11:33 pm |
    • sealchan

      Sometimes, I feel that on both sides there is a lack of appreciation for life's mystery and the difficulty of finding certainty in the midst of one's continual ignorance. We seem to value pointing out each other's flaws more so than discussing how our mutual lack of knowledge might be in the way of mutual understanding. There is no room for difference, only condemnation. But there is also a real gulf of "epistemology" I think that is in play here that I am trying to explore.

      April 23, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
      • whippstippler7

        @ sealchan – I think you've highlighted a major problem. Epistemology – essentially the study of the theory of knowledge. What is knowledge? How can we "know" something.

        To believers, faith is what is needed.

        No non-believers, evidence and the scientific method is required.

        Fair enough – this divide. But what I don;t understand is, believers who believe in and rely upon the scientific method for everything else in their lives – modern transportation, communications, the Internet, etc – suddenly become science-averse when the topic swings to topics such as evolution, creationism, and the age of the earth.

        Why is that?

        April 23, 2014 at 8:42 pm |
    • whippstippler7

      Hey, dd – there is a word of difference between respecting someone's RIGHT to believe whatever they want, and the CONTENT of that belief. Going after the CONTENT of belief is not disrespectful or mean. As other posters have said, some beliefs are inherently, obviously ridiculous. What's wrong with pointing that out?

      April 23, 2014 at 8:04 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        No, this is pretty much a black and white issue. I specified " mockery" and "ridicule". It is blatantly obvious and clearly distinct from pointing out your objections to someone else's beliefs.

        April 23, 2014 at 10:28 pm |
        • whippstippler7

          So, dd, what you are saying – I think – is that the content of ANY belief system should not be held up to ridicule. I t that what you are saying? That ANY belief goes?And consider the societal impact: tax exemptions, legislative exemptions, etc.

          April 23, 2014 at 10:44 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Let me clarify "what I am saying" with a quick comparison.

          It is incomprehensible to me that any intelligent, thinking adult could in any way embrace this position of atheism ( To clarify, I'm referring to " strong" atheism). From my perspective it simply flies in the face of deductive reasoning and common sense. And yet, while I may argue passionately both for my position and against that of atheism, I don't resort to mocking or ridiculing the individual or belief in the manner that is so prevalent here..

          Again, this isn't rocket science. Any casual, unbiased reader on this forum would be able to determine when that line has been crossed. It's often blatant.

          April 23, 2014 at 11:22 pm |
  2. Concert in an Egg

    Catholics are complete idiots. No offense.

    April 23, 2014 at 6:49 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      Just to clarify, and again I don't mean to offend, but Catholics are dumb. Really, really dumb and ignorant.

      April 23, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        Now I am not one to criticize, so please don't take any of this the wrong way.

        April 23, 2014 at 6:54 pm |
      • noahsdadtopher

        Dude ...

        April 23, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Alright I will simmer down.

          April 23, 2014 at 7:23 pm |
        • The Ministry Of Bad Opinion says...

          Oh, don't pretend you're outraged, Noah. You don't think Catholics are Christian at all.

          April 23, 2014 at 7:25 pm |
        • noahsdadtopher


          April 23, 2014 at 7:25 pm |
        • SeaVik

          He doesn't think Catholics are Christian? They're the most legit Christians around. Don't get me wrong, all Christians are delusional, but at least Catholics don't just get to spin their religion to mean whatever the f they want like all the other American created bastar&#ations of Christianity.

          April 23, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
    • highplainzdrfter

      And you're very......"Emotional."

      BTW, the Greatest Education Systems in the world are "Catholic Schools, Universities, and Seminaries." Just because you call us "dumb" doesn't make it so. Again, you have cultural issues with the Church. You've most likely picked a certain lifestyle that you live and you don't like the Catholic Church telling everyone in the public square that your actions are "wrong."

      April 23, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        No, I am just a basic atheist telling you the truth about your religion.

        April 23, 2014 at 7:11 pm |
        • highplainzdrfter


          Atheism? You can't prove God exists or doesn't exist...that is the Genius behind it all, but I can point out to you that the Hints of God's existence are all around us.

          "A God that science could either prove or disprove wouldn't be a God, it would be something in the Cosmos. By definition, God is NOT something in the Cosmos, but He is the creator of the Cosmos. That removes the hypothesis from possible Scientific Proof or Disproof. Most Atheist's are scientific positivist – which means not just that they believe in science, but that they believe that Science is the only possible way to know anything. The problem with that position is that it can't be proved by Science. 'There is no proof by the Scientific Method that all proof has to be by the Scientific Method.'" – Peter Kreeft (Professor of Philosophy – Boston College).

          Where does Mathematics (Algebra, Trig, Physics, Chemistry, etc) come from? It's a Universal Language that applies to the whole Cosmos....it it ETERNAL. Where did it come from? Who designed it? It was a accident of design, you say.....hahahahaha. Next.

          April 23, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
        • The Ministry Of Bad Opinion says...

          You can't prove He does.
          Who created God?

          You're a Poe. And not a particularly good one.

          You've proved nothing.


          April 23, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
        • SeaVik

          You don't seem to get it. There's no burden on atheists to prove that your god doesn't exist anymore than there is a burden on us to prove that the tooth fairy doesn't exist. Obviously, they don't exist because they are absurd concepts with literally zero evidence to suggest they exist. The burden of proof lies with those who claim their far-fetched fantasies are real. To believe them with no evidence is absolutely delusional.

          And let's be honest – if any legitimate evidence existed to suggest that a god existed, it would be immediate global news. Unfortunately for believers, no such legitimate evidence exists.

          April 23, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          highplainzdrfter: What you claim to be proof of your god still doesn't prove you god. As for your inept understanding of Atheism, please explain how one goes about proving a negative?

          April 23, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
        • readerpan

          HP adrift
          A god that only leaves "hints of existence" isn't much of a god.

          April 23, 2014 at 10:36 pm |
      • tynkyrbelle

        You thought the world was flat, you thought the sun, planets & stars revolve around the Earth, which you think is only 5,000 old (or is that a different breed of deluded nutwhack Christians?) and you say YOU'RE NOT DUMB???

        I disagree.

        April 23, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          I think you'll find that most Catholics are not young earth creationists.

          That label belongs to a large number of fundamentalist evangelical Protestants.

          April 23, 2014 at 7:23 pm |
    • sealchan

      It does seem morally dumb to say that if you get a divorce you are a lesser Christian. Is there no room for divorcing a murderer, an abuser or a spouse that otherwise fails to provide a safe environment to call a home? And what is the difference if it is called an annulment vs a divorce? I know that some churches will do anything to pressure a couple to stick to their marriage no matter how little one spouse actually tries to work on the relationship. How does this fit in with an atti-tude of forgiveness or understanding or love? How does such absolutism allow for intelligent response to a particular situation?

      April 23, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
      • seangregory1965

        It's not an accusation of being a lesser Christian.

        April 23, 2014 at 7:37 pm |
        • sealchan

          Then why be excluded from Communion? Communion is the centerpiece of the social ritual of the church. It is a public demonstration of the worthiness of each church member to receive the blood and body of Christ. How does exclusion not lessen one's credibility in that context?

          April 23, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
      • readerpan

        A catholic church "annulment" is just a thinly disguised divorce you can get only after jumping through church hoops. The bishops want you to suffer a little before they give you the divorce.

        April 23, 2014 at 10:39 pm |
        • ajk1968

          No. A declaration of nullity decrees there never was a marriage. Many erroneously view it as equivalent to divorce. There are a limited number of reasons for a marriage not to exist. There are three broad classes of reasons for a declaration of nullity: lack of canonical form, a diriment impediment, a defect in consent. I would hazard a guess that many declarations are made based off of Canon 1095 which has to do with the inability to give consent. Recent popes have cautioned diocesan tribunals not to use this inappropriately.

          April 24, 2014 at 12:26 am |
    • seangregory1965

      Anti-theists behave like children and bigots. Grow up.

      April 23, 2014 at 7:33 pm |
      • readerpan

        Wow! Being called children by someone who believes in an invisible magical sky fairy. That stings.

        April 23, 2014 at 10:43 pm |
  3. highplainzdrfter

    Either this woman and her husband are lying or the News Media is reporting it wrong (what's new).

    This isn't rocket science, folks...... You can't take Holy Communion while in Mortal Sin....Pope Francis knows this. If what is being reported is correct – that she is in an Adulterous Marriage with her new husband – then she is living in Mortal Sin and can NOT take Holy Communion..... again, St. Francis knows this. This is such basic stuff that a 6th Grader in Catholic School gets it. There is either more to the story or the story is being fabricated by someone.

    April 23, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      Oh my, I too am living in Mortal Sin... What is to become of me?

      April 23, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
      • highplainzdrfter

        Death, Judgement, Heaven or Hell.

        April 23, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Oh my, I am terribly concerned. What shall I do?

          April 23, 2014 at 6:48 pm |
        • whippstippler7

          @ Egg – keep on banging!

          April 23, 2014 at 8:06 pm |
    • trialwatcher

      St Francis?

      April 23, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
      • highplainzdrfter

        My bad.....Pope Francis.....yes, thank you.

        April 23, 2014 at 7:06 pm |
    • Concert in an Egg

      "...6th Grader in Catholic School gets it."


      Yep, right across the palm with a ruler.

      April 23, 2014 at 7:06 pm |
      • highplainzdrfter

        Good....they probably deserved it and need it.

        April 23, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Just like they need to be molested by priests?

          April 23, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Supporting child abuse says little for you. How pathetically immoral and scummy of you...please stay away from all children!

          April 23, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
      • readerpan

        "6th grader gets it"
        And by 7th grade most of them know how ridiculous it is. Even the slow ones are figuring it out by 9th grade.

        April 23, 2014 at 10:46 pm |
    • multiversatile

      "This is such basic stuff that a 6th Grader in Catholic School gets it."

      You can say that again. By the 7th grade, I had started to see right through all that religion stuff.

      April 23, 2014 at 7:11 pm |
      • ajk1968

        This is the experience of many people who have never been exposed to an adult explanation of Christianity. I would recommend reading "The Faith Explained."

        April 23, 2014 at 8:34 pm |
    • euphoricrest

      Doesn't the pope have to power to grant a special dispensation via the phone?

      April 23, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
    • tynkyrbelle

      You seem to forget that what the Poop says is loosed on Earth is loosed in heaven, and what is bound on Earth is bound in heaven

      If he stated tomorrow that all humans are now a shade of brilliant purple, all Catholics will have to agree. Holy Jeebus commanded it be so.

      April 23, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
    • readerpan

      He gave her blanket absolution. That's his power as a priest.

      April 23, 2014 at 10:44 pm |
    • mocasea

      That depends... According to the Bible a man may set aside his wife and remarry if his ex-wife was unfaithful. Your lack of understanding of the Bible, and reliance on what you are being told as opposed to discovering it yourself are showing again.

      April 24, 2014 at 2:45 am |
  4. Bootyfunk

    i don't understand how women can be part of this misogynistic club. women cannot assume leadership status and must remain in subservient positions. according to the church, women are not equal to men, something shown over and over again in the bible. the pope gets points again for doing nothing to change the status of women in the male-only hierarchy.

    April 23, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
    • highplainzdrfter

      According the Catholic Theology, the greatest creature every made (besides Jesus) was "The Virgin Mary"; Also, the greatest Saint is "The Virgin Mary." So, a woman is the greatest Saint. What were you saying, again?

      Oh, btw, Jesus only picked men to be Preachers / Priests..... Get over yourself.

      April 23, 2014 at 6:14 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        "According the Catholic Theology, the greatest creature every made (besides Jesus) was "The Virgin Mary"; Also, the greatest Saint is "The Virgin Mary." So, a woman is the greatest Saint. What were you saying, again?
        Oh, btw, Jesus only picked men to be Preachers / Priests..... Get over yourself."

        +++ now that made me laugh. greatest creature ever made? because she was a virgin? you realize that's a well-known mistranslation of the original text? the word "virgin" should have been "young". so she was not a virgin at all, just a young woman. what did she accomplish? having a baby? big deal. what has any woman in the bible accomplished?
        oh, btw, jesus picking only men to be preachers and priests shows how misogynistic he was. the bible specifically says women are to be silent and not to teach men - but i guess you missed that...

        April 23, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
        • highplainzdrfter

          Nice try on the "Virgin" misquote of Scripture.....now we can see why there are 32,000 different Christian denominations trying to interpret a book they can't fathom because of their ignorance of Scripture and the Culture it was written in. I know it sounds like either you're a fallen away Christian or never was one, but you still prove my point that "ignorance reigns."

          Theology 101: Luke 1:34 – And Mary said to the angel, “How will this be, since I am a virgin?”

          So you're trying to tell me that Luke 1:34 actually says, "How will this be, since I am young?" hahahahaha lol. Mary is asking Gabriel how can she get pregnant if she's never been with a man. It is translated "VIRGIN".

          What makes Mary so special? Many reasons, but I'll just quote two: 1) She said "Yes" to the Angel to take God into her womb. This is a major responsibility...she has to raise him, care for him, and she knows it could involve a lot of pain in the end...and it did. 2) Jesus took on Mary's Flesh to redeem the world. The Only Human being that had any connection with Jesus in the Flesh is Mary's Flesh.....it was Jesus sacrifice on the cross with His 'Flesh and Blood' that he received from Mary that redeemed the world. Also, the Early Church Father's saw how special she is when it comes to our redemption. Try reading Revelations 11:19-12:3.....Mary is the Ark of the Covenant. If you understood Old Testament Theology, you'd understand what that means. Again, the God of the Universe....the Creator of everything resided in her womb....that is BIG...BIG....BIG.

          As for men being Priests / Preachers, it has to do with the "Father Figure" – Father's are strong....leaders.... authoritative. Each Gender has its own roll. Women are called to be nurturers, while Men are called to lead. Just because you live in the "Feminist West" and want to be like a man doesn't make your beliefs the "Correct One."

          April 23, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
        • georgiahedrick

          You, and your handle, are sad and angry.
          Yes, Mary was a Virgin, still is, and yet she gave birth to the Son of God. There is no greater woman created. Wait until the doctrine of Mary, the Co-Redemptrix of the world, is proclaimed. That and that alone, if proclaimed excathedra or 'from the Chair' shall be infallible. Rarely does a proclamation come forth as being 'infallible'. Some poorly educated woman on CNN made a very ignorant statement, to wit: 'ok. The Pope is infallible.' Sorry, lady, you are wrong. Pope Francis is only infallible in a ruling on faith or morals after much study and in a solemn proclamation 'from the Chair of Peter'.

          Ok. You don't want to believe any of this, fine. No man can give you Faith. It is a gift from God. You want to berate Catholic theology? Sad. Yet, doing so must make you feel powerful.

          As to your concept of mistranslations, am I to then assume that you read Aramaic and Greek?

          April 23, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
        • grkchipper

          I don't know about you, but the word used in the original text in New Testament Greek is, "Παρθένος". Having studied Ancient, New Testament Greek, and modern Greek for most of my life, I can assure you that the word and context both mean "virgin". You don't have to believe me and I would love to agree with you, but then we would both be wrong.

          April 23, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        How do you know this? Impossible to verify that Jesus (if he even existed) only chose males.

        April 23, 2014 at 6:38 pm |
        • highplainzdrfter

          How do you know Socrates existed? How do you know Muhammad existed? How do you know any ancient figure existed?

          The Historical evidence for Jesus' existence is all over the place. The historian Josephus reported that Jesus lived in Israel back in the 1st Century; the New Testament reports that Jesus lived back in the 1st Century (the New Testament is very accurate in it's Geography and Culture – as describe in the books); Archaeology has shown us that Jesus is a historical figure; the early followers of Christ were tortured and died for Jesus....it's all there. Just because you don't like what Jesus 'preached and taught' doesn't mean he didn't exist. 99% of all legitimate historians will tell you he is a real person of history.

          April 23, 2014 at 6:53 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Born: Classical Athens

          Died: 399 BC, Classical Athens

          Full name: Socrates

          Spouse: Xanthippe

          Children: Lamprocles, Menexenus, Sophroniscus

          Parents: Sophroniscus, Phaenarete

          April 23, 2014 at 6:56 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          I never said Jesus didn't exist.

          April 23, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
        • The Ministry Of Bad Opinion says...

          Josephus wrote about Hercules, too. He was also real, RIGHT? Why did you discard Hercules to believe in Jesus?

          Don't use Josephus. That's a tainted source.

          April 23, 2014 at 7:11 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        Mary had sex. I know this because in order to conceive a child at that time, she would have had to be sexually active. That is what we sane people call "facts".

        April 23, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
    • trialwatcher

      This is cannon law for women or men. The article does not point out if this woman's husband is Catholic. If not, the wife is "doing nothing wrong" if they married in the Catholic church. And Pope Francis had his reasons for absolving her of sin and allowing her to receive communion.

      April 23, 2014 at 7:01 pm |
  5. bigdcolorado

    I always thought Jesus died for our sins. Not sure why this was ever a rule. I guess the Catholic Church has people that judge even though they were told not to directly by Jesus in Matthew.

    April 23, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      if jesus died for anyone's 'sins', it was his own.
      and the bible is very clear that women are to be silent and NEVER to teach a man.
      christians sure like to cherry-pick...

      April 23, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
  6. alanread1

    Ted and Joan Kennedy were married for 23 years, but Ted, after donating enough money to the Catholic Church, was able to get an annullment ("Catholic divorce"), which dclares that the marriage NEVER EXISTED. FUNNY BUT SO CORRUPT! Cathokic doctrine is very flexible if you're willing to pay for it!

    April 23, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
    • highplainzdrfter

      Hmmmm....so you've seen the full report for the annulment? I doubt it.
      Are there abuses by Tribunals to allow annulments....probably. But they will have to answer to God for their corruption. Most annulments are legitimate.

      April 23, 2014 at 5:59 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        "they will have to answer to God for their corruption"

        lol, guess they won't have to say much.

        April 23, 2014 at 6:40 pm |
        • highplainzdrfter

          I will pray for your soul. You, for some reason, have pain and hatred toward Christianity.....most likely has to do with some s.exual issue. That's your Free Will to choose. But let me tell you this....Jesus Christ is real....Jesus Christ is God. I've had personal experiences in my life that has 100% proven to be that he is Real. So, you just go ahead....play the other side of Paschal's Wager..... good luck.

          April 23, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          You will pray? LOL

          April 23, 2014 at 7:00 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Why do you brainwashed sheep people always jump right to sex when you think something is wrong? This preoccupation would leave one to believe perhaps you are having the identity crisis?

          April 23, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
        • The Ministry Of Bad Opinion says...

          Gotta go with Egg. It isn't the atheists whose thoughts automatically jump below the belt.

          Those who project their behavior onto others are usually the guilty ones.

          April 23, 2014 at 7:18 pm |
      • readerpan

        Ha! and Ha again! You are so gullible.

        April 23, 2014 at 10:57 pm |
  7. jonathanlk

    It is man made rules just like this which distort the intent of religion. Love unifies, brings people together connects peoplem while hate is fundmentally divisive, and separates them. People make mistakes including sometimes in deciding who they marry. Sometimes it doesn't work, and maybe it can't work for various reasons. Don't try to force a square into a round hole. Get divorced if you can't make it work. Take your lessons learned and try again. Punishing people eternally for not marrying Mr or Mrs right is not right, it is ludicrous. People going through divorce have enough suffering. I'm sure being condemned by the Church on top of it really helps, no doubt.
    I hope the pope did this. Finally a pope breaks a rule in the name of common sense.

    April 23, 2014 at 5:43 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      "It is man made rules just like this which distort the intent of religion."
      +++ religion IS man-made. humans get credit for the good parts and the bad parts.

      April 23, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
  8. Reality

    Much ado about nothing as said sacrament is null and void as all the Christian sacraments are.

    To wit: For communion, said sacrament fails rigorous historic testing.

    See for example: http://wiki.faithfutures.org/index.php/016_Supper_and_Eucharist

    An excerpt:

    "At the same time, Luedemann concludes that the portrayal of Jesus celebrating such a ritual on the night before his death is not historical. He is clear that there is "no generic relationship" between any actual final meal and the Lord's Supper understood in cultic terms. He also denies the Passover character of the supper as a Markan creation. Like Meier (below), Luedemann does accept the saying (Mark 14:25) about drinking wine in the kingdom of God as authentic. He concludes: (this saying) "hardly came into being in the early community, for in it Jesus does not exercise any special function for believers at the festal meal in heaven which is imminent. Only Jesus' expectation of a the future kingdom of God stands at the centre, not Jesus as saviour, judge or intercessor."

    April 23, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
  9. wildrosejmj

    I can guarantee you that what the woman is saying the pope said, is not what the pope said. And even if he did say it, that alone does not change the teachings of the Church. A person who is divorced and remarried can not receive Communion and neither can the person they are living with unless an annulment is granted for the first marriage.

    April 23, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Maybe the 'church' should focus more on the child abuse scandal then on the personal lives of others. This pope isn't an idiot like most of his underlings...he apparently has clued in to the fact that if he doesn't work to bring the RCC in to the 21st century, he stands the chance the church will crumble-it may take many more years but eventually it will happen.

      April 23, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
      • wildrosejmj

        The Church has done more to deal with the child abuse problems than the teacher's unions or any other religious denominations who also deal with child abuse scandals. If you take the time to research a little you will see that there is just as much child abuse everywhere else, if not more.

        April 23, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          no, they haven't. you're giving credit where it's not due.
          what have they done?
          they know about priests molesters but haven't produced their names.
          instead, they hide them.
          they bribe parents not to call the police.
          they don't cooperate with authorities during investigations.
          they try as hard as possible NOT to pay victims resti.tution.
          in chicago, they paid lawyers $11.5 million to fight against the victims.
          what have they done?

          April 23, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          How very wrong you are! The church hasn't done enough and until every pedophile within is turned over to the authorities for persecution, they won't have done enough.
          I would go so far as to say that any organization that covers up child abuse is not doing enough.

          bishopaccountability.org has a list of the many pedophiles within the RCC

          April 23, 2014 at 6:30 pm |
        • Concert in an Egg

          Huh?!? They are sick creeps protecting the very worst sort of people on earth.

          April 23, 2014 at 6:41 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      "I can guarantee you that what the woman is saying the pope said, is not what the pope said."
      +++ how can you provide such a guarantee? were you there? did you hear the conversation?

      April 23, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
      • wildrosejmj

        Did you?

        April 23, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
        • Bootyfunk

          and notice i didn't make the erroneous claim that i know whether something was said or not, as you did.

          and i noticed you didn't answer the question.
          how can you make such a guarantee?

          April 23, 2014 at 6:19 pm |
  10. euphoricrest

    Congratulations Mrs. Lisbona!

    You are no longer an adulteress; you are now a cannibal!!

    April 23, 2014 at 5:18 pm |
    • highplainzdrfter

      Maybe you need to read John 6:22-59 and Matthew 26:26-29 again. Try some Early Church Father's as well.

      April 23, 2014 at 5:44 pm |
      • Concert in an Egg

        Why would anybody ever CHOOSE to be catholic?

        April 23, 2014 at 6:43 pm |
      • euphoricrest

        Yeah, read it. You must be new to catholicism, or not one. Sad to say, I partook of the gruesome ritual of Transubstantiation when I was young. Ate the corpse, drank the blood.

        April 23, 2014 at 7:17 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Reading comprehension is not a skill of yours, is it?
      She was not the one previously married, her hubby is. Either way neither have anything to apologize for, neither did anything wrong (we do not know what ended his previous relationships, so we have no reason to judge).

      April 23, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
      • euphoricrest

        Evidently, my reading comprehension is far better than yours, Skippy.

        Yup, right there in the article:

        Canon law further says, "If a husband, separated from his wife, approaches another woman, he is an adulterer because he makes that woman commit adultery; and the woman who lives with him is an adulteress, because she has drawn another's husband to herself."

        April 23, 2014 at 7:13 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          You do comprehend that Canon law is not realistic, right?
          How is it her fault that his marriages failed? Was she having an affair with him before his marriage failed?-That is the only way she could possibly be to blame for it failing and even then he can't be so stupid that he'd let another person take the fall for his own actions.
          In a court of law, she would not be held accountable, so realistically she isn't!
          The church needs to keep its nose out of the bedrooms of people and start cleaning up its own yard-too many pedophiles roaming freely.

          April 23, 2014 at 7:24 pm |
  11. ugetthefacts

    hey pope!! still deflecting? Ignoring the children abused? Keep your bishops lobbying to stop laws that would help children victims. You really are one cruel human.

    April 23, 2014 at 4:56 pm |
    • highplainzdrfter

      The Church has and is cleaning up the Abuse Scandal. How about you clean up your neighborhood of children being abused....1 in 10 men have s.exually abused a child....1 in 15 women have s.exually abused a child. This means – Fathers, Mothers, Aunts, brothers, cousins, teachers, professors, friends of children have abused them s.exually. It just isn't a few Priests, it's an epidemic in this country all across the board. Grow up.

      April 23, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
      • Bootyfunk

        the pope has done ZERO to change church policy, dogma or doctrine on the matter. the church still hides priests they know to be molesters. do they produce a list of names? no. in fact, in cities with legal cases against the church for molestation, the church often transfers funds away from that particular church so they won't have to pay resti.tution to the victims. what has the pope actually DONE about the problem? nothing. a few flowery words: "we're gonna really come down on the molester priests this time." same thing the last pope said.

        April 23, 2014 at 6:15 pm |
        • highplainzdrfter

          You're just a hack.....can't even get the facts straight....you have an AX to grind toward the Catholic Church. The Church has paid a huge price for these scandals and has been cleaning it up for the past 12 years. Also, you do realize that Lawyers are involved on every level, correct? Confidentiality in each case exists.....it's not the right of the public to know what exists. Also, Benedict XVI had addressed and cleaned up most of the scandals. St. Francis's role is now to fix Public Relations. Again, get over yourself.

          April 23, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
        • ugetthefacts

          the vast of children suffering from the illness caused by the cover ups. Many are mentally ill and others have committed suicide. This pope ignores them. In fact this pope deflects from the truth, the cover ups. The cover ups continue.

          April 23, 2014 at 8:07 pm |
        • ugetthefacts

          less than 1% of abused children received help.. Meanwhile thios pope allows bishops to lobby against children victims.

          Imagine the horrors as these children suffer from the life long illnesses caused only to see the pope enabling bishops to lobby against them. Lost lives and they are spit on by the pope

          April 23, 2014 at 8:09 pm |
      • ugetthefacts

        wrong.. the pope enables the bishops to lobby against children victims. The pope protects pedos and denies abused children.

        He deflects as usual

        April 23, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
  12. kabelme

    "The Lord Jesus insisted on the original intention of the Creator who willed that marriage be indissoluble" That can only be correct if the Lord himself performed the nuptial. Since this never happens, marriages by "man" can and are dissoluble. Finally a Pope who recognizes this issue, and allows imperfect (yet repentant) people to take communion.

    April 23, 2014 at 4:52 pm |
  13. ugetthefacts

    the pope is the chief pedo protector,,

    April 23, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
  14. ausphor

    Trying to keep bums in the pews at all costs. They have been evolving ever since the book of silly became religion, why stop now?

    April 23, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
  15. colin31714

    Ah yes, the doctrine of transubstantiation, one of my favorite Catholic superst.itions. They believe that bread and wine turns into the flesh and blood of Jesus after a priest says some hocus-pocus over it in mass of a Sunday morning. And it is not merely a symbolic change, according to them, it actually changes.

    Odd, when you look at it, it still looks like bread and wine. Lol you gotta love the Catholics, they are just so Dark Ages in the childish cr.ap they believe.

    April 23, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
    • etiendelamothecassel

      thankfully it still tastes like bread & wine. if only they gave us a beer hats to put wine in.

      April 23, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
      • ausphor

        Can you get a Ritz cra-cker and a Bud instead?

        April 23, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
    • DisconsolateChimera

      Not any more. Vatican II decided transubstantiation was out, representation was in. But still creepy.

      April 23, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
      • MarylandBill

        No, Vatican II did not do away with transubstantiation. It was and remains the teaching of the Catholic Church. My guess is that you went to a Catholic Highschool in the 1970s or 80s? The teaching in theology was particularly bad during that period.

        April 23, 2014 at 4:54 pm |
    • MarylandBill

      Yeah, people here are not bi.g.oted against Catholics.

      April 23, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
    • anaximander3

      The priest doesn't say "hocus pocus", he says "hoc est corpus meum".

      April 23, 2014 at 5:07 pm |
    • highplainzdrfter

      As I said to some guy above: Try reading John 6:22-59 and Matthew 26:26-29 in light of the Early Church Fathers. Also, every Christian Denomination up until about 1530 believed in the "Real Presence" of the Eucharist....even Martin Luther. It was John Calvin who pretty much changed the Theology for Protestants.

      As for John 6, what happened to Jesus followers after he commented about "Eat my flesh"? Most of them left and couldn't believe what he was saying....he was saying that you must "eat (chew) on his flesh"...eat it....Spiritual Food.....a Communion with God. The Jews found this hard to believe and so have you.....are you following in the footsteps of those Jews who 'walked away'?

      April 23, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
    • ajk1968

      Colin: Your words are one who has never studied any of what he condemns.

      I'll take you on one point: prove that just because the bread and wine do not undergo a change in appearance that they do not undergo a change of substance.

      April 23, 2014 at 8:31 pm |
      • readerpan

        Prove they do. No one Can prove a negative.

        April 23, 2014 at 11:07 pm |
        • ajk1968

          What? All forms of modus tollens end up proving a negative. Indeed, any proposition can be formulated as a negative via the contrapositive.

          Using elementary formal logic:
          "because the bread and wine do not undergo a change in appearance that they do not undergo a change of substance"
          ="if they do not change appearance, then they do not change substance"
          ="S->A" (the contrapositive of the previous)
          My proposed challenge can be proved by showing that "if there is a change in substance, then there is a change in appearance."

          Note that I am not trying to prove transubstantiation happens, I am merely pointing out that the notion that it doesn't happen because the appearances do not change is incorrect reasoning – or at least "Colin" should be able to demonstrate that every change in substance coincides with a change of appearance. This is a statement I'm quite sure "Colin" is not up to proving; therefore, he should not make rash judgments based on assumptions he cannot back up.

          Philosophically, because appearance is an "accident" (technical term) of human nature, it is not of the essence of the individual substance. That is, the way I appear does not change whether or not I am human. Similarly, the idea that Jesus would look like bread does not mean he does not have a human body. To make this argument, one would have to successfully argue that there are certain essential aspects to the appearance of human substance. This would go against thousands of years of philosophical thought.

          April 24, 2014 at 12:08 am |
  16. Dyslexic doG

    ONE DAY: "Listen to me! This is the word of god! See, here in the book! It's the word of god! How can we argue with the word of the creator of the universe. God said it so it must be true."

    NEXT DAY: "Oh, you want to change it. Oh, OK, That's alright. We can change it."

    April 23, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
  17. eoyguy

    I would like to personally welcome the Catholic church to the 19th century...

    April 23, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
  18. new-man

    Mr. Francis is correct, you can take co.mmunion.
    if you're unwilling to get into a church that teaches the word of God, at least read it for yourself.

    Taking communing worthily just means you discern the meaning of the bread and wine.
    You take the bread/biscuit by faith, knowing that by His stripes you were healed. That means one should be able to manifest healing just by taking communion.

    In like manner, you take the wine/drink by faith, knowing that through His shed blood you have redemption of sins.

    Lady, all your sins- past, present, and future are already forgiven, long before you were born. That is our God!

    April 23, 2014 at 4:15 pm |
    • new-man

      also, co.mmunion can be taken anywhere -not just in a church. It can also be taken at anytime, and as often as you wish to take it.

      April 23, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
    • Dyslexic doG

      did jesus have stripes?

      April 23, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
      • johnbiggscr

        I think he was in Stripes. I think he was the little guy that threatened to cut everyone.

        April 23, 2014 at 4:44 pm |
    • ajk1968

      Your beliefs are not what the Christians of the first centuries believed.

      April 23, 2014 at 4:41 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      "Lady, all your sins- past, present, and future are already forgiven, long before you were born. That is our God!"

      Ah the grand ole free pass...no matter what mistakes you make, no matter who you may offend or hurt...as long as you have your jesus in your corner all is well...no wonder there are more Christians in jail than there are non-believers.

      April 23, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
      • new-man

        don't worry, you will have your opportunity to bring your "unblemished lamb" before God- you know, the one that took all your transgression upon himself, and who died as you.

        since we both know that Jesus isn't your "lamb" and you feel fully qualified to represent yourself before a Holy God, just be prepared to receive whatever verdict comes down to you.

        God doesn't look at the sinner, He looks at the sinners sacrifice – who for the believer is the unblemished lamb of God/Jesus.

        I know who my "lamb" is, can you say the same.

        April 23, 2014 at 5:11 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          See what you simply ignore is that what you see as evidence, I see as bunk. I'm not worried about your god any more than I'm worried about a magical unicorn showing up in my yard.

          April 23, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
  19. georgezeller


    April 23, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
  20. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV


    April 23, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      It's time the abstract theological constructs of Catholicism come tumbling down.

      Like "life begins at conception, therefore contraception is a sin" and other theologically sound but pragmatically ridiculous artifices disintegrate.

      April 23, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      Pope Francis really is a breath of fresh air for the Catholic church.

      April 23, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
      • ausphor

        Funny how people do not seem to mind the smell of their own farts and deplore the farts of others. So fresh air may be in the nose of the sniffer.

        April 23, 2014 at 4:49 pm |
1 2 3 4
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.