Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s suggestion of couples receiving a blessing, “Spiritual Communion,” from the priest
The article calls us to consider a currently popular scholarly interpretation of 1 Cor 11:27-29, which apparently guided Pope Francis in emphasizing the communal aspect of the Eucharist in Chapter 5 of Amoris Laetitia. Understanding this approach provides us a possible hermeneutic for understanding the call for communion for the divorced and civilly remarried found in Chapter 8.
Even the Pope himself has said he isn’t a theologian and has leaned heavily on others in this area. Given the current theologically “one sided” elevation of the communal aspects of 1 Cor 11 it is understandable that the Pope, repeating their ideas and guidance, applied this same communal approach as a culturally acceptable solution to the issue of the divorced and remarried that is discussed in Chapter 8.
Its sad that our current Pope doesn’t have an ear for one of the great theologians of our time, Pope Benedict XVI. His very traditional and Catholic “both/and” approach in explaining the mystery of the Eucharist as the body of Christ in reality and communally not only fosters a continuity with tradition while integrating current theological thought but it also points to a wise solution that has generally been ignored, “spiritual communion.” The Pope emeritus still has much to teach us but it’s not what the hedonistic culture wants to hear. They just want what they want even if it makes things worse by feeding their desire for acceptance, not forgiveness.