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Saturday, June 09, 2012

Did the Pope give Communion to remarried divorcee?

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KATH.NET - Katholischer Nachrichtendienst

Newspapers speculate: Is the Bavarian Prime Minister a 'remarried divorcee'? - Status of his first marriage is unknown

The canonical marital status of the Bavarian Prime Minister Horst Seehofer (CSU) has become the subject of press speculation. According to a report in a Munich newspaper as far as the Catholic Church is concerend Seehofer is divorced and married again and would therefore be excluded from receiving the Sacrament. Nevertheless, he received Communion from the Pope on 16 April from the Pope. The CSU politician was married to his first wife from 1974 to 1982.

Since his first wife was a Protestant, that marriage was, according to a report of "Focus online" initially only with a civil ceremony. Whether four years later, the church wedding was valid according to canonical legislation or has been canceled retroactively is not known. A spokeswoman for the relevant diocese of Eichstätt explained upon request that they could give no personal information about Seehofer. A spokesman for the Bavarian State Chancellery said the case was a personal matter for the Prime Minister. "The State will not comment." Seehofer has been married since 1985 in civil law for a second time. With his current wife Karin, he has three children. In 2007, an extra-marital relationship of the politician in Berlin hit the headlines. According to the newspapers, Seehofer received Communion on 16 April in the Pauline Chapel in the Vatican causing irritation in church circles. As evidence, the paper shows under the heading "Seehofer has tricked the Pope?" a picture from "Osservatore Romano" of the Pope giving Communion to Seehofer on the tongue. At the Mass, as evidenced by other photos, the Munich Cardinals Reinhard Marx and Friedrich Wetter were also present. In addition, the paper refers to the commemoration of the 20th Death of Franz-Josef Strauss, four years ago. At that time, Seehofer did not receive Communion in the Church of Rott am Inn.

Pope Benedict XVI had on Saturday evening described the exclusion of divorced and remarried from the Sacraments as "a great suffering of the Church today." There was no question of "simple recipes". They must not excluded, "even if they can not receive confession, absolution and the Eucharist," the Pope said. Only if the first marriage was revoked by a church court and declared invalid (annulled) can those affected return to the Sacraments.
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