More compassion needed in debate on remarried Catholics

Dear Editor, It was disheartening to read the ‘Letter from Rome’ by Cindy Wooden in the issue of August 27. The notion that a group of theologians and canon lawyers spent three days engaged in semantics aimed at placing conditions on the mercy and compassion of Christ poses certain challenges to the debate. Likewise, the distasteful and utterly irrelevant reference and sanction on when couples are requested to abstain from sexual relations in order to receive the Blessed Sacrament during Easter and on “special occasions” is demeaning on all fronts. Why can’t clerics stay out of other peoples’ bedrooms?

Please, let’s give the discussion the dignity it so desperately deserves. Let’s leave sex out of it altogether. What possible difference does it make whether a couple have sexual intercourse during the Octave of Easter? Is Christ more present in the Eucharist during Holy Week, Christmas or special occasions? Surely he is always 100% present in the Eucharist on any day and at all times?

With regard to the idea of divorced and remarried couples being required to walk a “penitential path” before being allowed to receive only highlights the disconnect of the magisterium to the pain and suffering already experienced by those whose marriages have failed, a process often likened to a living hell. Where is the path of mercy and compassion?

This debate requires only one question; which of these options would Christ ask: ‘Did you have sex with your partner on Spy Wednesday’ or ‘Do you believe you have been called to the supper of the Lamb?’ What would Jesus do?

Yours etc.,

Margie Kennedy,

Donaghmeade, Dublin 1