Pope Bends Divorce Rules for Woman: Reports
But Vatican says it's not a shift in church policy on taking communion
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Apr 25, 2014 8:25 AM CDT
Pope Francis arrives outisde at St. ’ Ignazio church in Rome Thursday.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

(Newser) – Word has it that the pope told a woman in Argentina it was OK to take communion, even though she was married to a man who'd been divorced. The reports have prompted questions about whether the Catholic Church is changing its teachings on the matter—but the Vatican says it was a personal call and "consequences relating to the teaching of the church are not to be inferred." As NPR recounts, Jacquelina Lisbona had written to the pope seeking clarification on whether she was eligible for communion.

The pope called Lisbona, her husband tells CNN, and "said she was absolved of all sins and she could go and get the Holy Communion because she was not doing anything wrong." According to the Daily Mail, the pope's call came seven months after the letter; he apologized for the lateness and said her question was one "that we are discussing at the Vatican, because a divorced person who takes communion is not doing any harm." More from the church:

  • While the Vatican says the call occurred, the conversation "is between the pope and the woman," says a spokesman, via CNN. "The magisterium of the church is not defined by personal phone calls."
  • The church is preparing for some serious crowds this Sunday as popes John Paul II and John XXIII are canonized, NPR reports. Rome's mayor says the city can cope, but a tour manager isn't so sure. "In a city which is nearly 2,800 years old and with a population—some say 2.5, some say 4 million—if 3 million people are coming in a city like this, there will problems without doubts." St. Peter's Square and its surroundings can handle some 250,000, a Vatican spokesman says.

View 1 more image
More From Newser
My Take on This Story
To report an error on this story,
notify our editors.
Pope Bends Divorce Rules for Woman: Reports is...
Show results without voting
You Might Like
Showing 3 of 56 comments
Apr 26, 2014 2:01 AM CDT
The Pope is a humble man who realizes that his God does the judging and that his priests shouldn't be so judgmental. Wise choice. But I fear most humans love to be judgmental. So I wish him well.
Apr 25, 2014 11:30 PM CDT
Gotta applaud him for being realistic but he'll have a fight on his hands with the old establishment that will wanna stick to doctrine. Reminds me of the Republicans that urge immigration reform being shouted down by the base that doesn't like it. It's hard to buck the old guard and bring in new ideas. Maybe allowing birth control/contraception and priests marrying will be next....or he could mysteriously die in his sleep. They won't ever get rid of the entrenched cabal of pedophiles if they don't start allowing priests to marry. A lot of those old hard line rules have outlived their usefulness....if they were ever useful in the first place. Change is always a fight, no matter how just it is or how much it is needed.
Apr 25, 2014 9:22 PM CDT
Which again shows that every Christian no matter how devout cherry picks the bible. Time you the anti-gays versus are ignored too because, like prohibitions against shell fish and murdering insolent children, we know these versus are not true or moral.