The Archbishop of Manila has said that there is no all-encompassing answer to the question of Communion for the divorced and remarried.
Speaking to the Catholic Herald at the Flame 2 Youth Congress earlier this month, Cardinal Luis Tagle, said it was not a question of simply saying ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but that every case should be judged individually.
He said: “Every situation for those who are divorced and remarried is quite unique. To have a general rule might be counterproductive in the end. My position at the moment is to ask, ‘Can we take every case seriously and is there, in the tradition of the Church, paths towards addressing each case individually?’ This is one issue that I hope people will appreciate is not easy to say ‘no’ or to say ‘yes’ to. We cannot give one formula for all.”
Speaking about the upcoming family synod, Cardinal Tagle said: “The questions asked were an invitation for people to really examine their conscience. For example, in your parish if you are aware that something is happening are you just aware? Or have you already started doing something? There’s the question of the youth, the elderly, and, in the case of the Philippines, families that are separated by migration because of jobs. We know what is happening and we know about the negative effects. But what are we doing? Are we just talking about it?
“We must remember that this is an international gathering so people are coming from different contexts. It is the same Gospel and the same truth, but you cannot avoid people thinking: ‘How do I present this teaching to my people?’
“No single country, diocese or parish can exhaust all possible responses, so it will be a learning moment where the diversity could help all of us.”
Cardinal Tagle spoke of the need to experience Christ for evangelisation: “An evangeliser must first be evangelised. For how can I share the person of Jesus Christ with others if I have not experienced Him myself?”
The Flame 2 Youth Congress was attended by approximately 8,000 young Catholics.
Surrounded by young people who had gathered for the country’s largest national Catholic youth event at the SSE Wembley Arena, Cardinal Tagle said: “Where there is mercy there is joy. I am only a cardinal and a bishop because of the mercy of God and the kindness of other people.”
The event included prayers incorporating dance and reflection, and ended with exposition and Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament led by Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster.