Pope tells woman in irregular marriage she can go to Communion

Pope Francis has reportedly told an Argentine woman living in an irregular marriage situation that she can go to Communion.

On Easter Monday, Pope Francis phoned the home of Jacqueline Sabetta Lisbona, who had written to him in September.

She has been in a civil marriage with her husband for 19 years and they have two children.

But her husband has not received a Church annulment of his first marriage.

Mrs Sabetta Lisbona was told last year by her parish priest that she could not receive Communion.

She was also told she could not go to Confession in her current situation.

Pope Francis reportedly told her to receive Communion in a different parish.

“A divorcee who takes Communion is not doing anything wrong,” the Pope reportedly told her.

Pope Francis reportedly told Mrs Sabetta Lisbona that some priests are more papist than the Pope.

The priest who denied her Communion has since left ministry so he can marry.

He will be able to receive Communion.

Pope Francis also reportedly told the woman he was “dealing with the issue” of Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics.

The Pontiff has previously called for mercy in such situations.

The issue is likely to be discussed at a synod on marriage and family life in October.

The Vatican confirmed the call from Pope Francis did take place.

But spokesman Fr Thomas Rosica said the contents of the conversation were private and in a pastoral situation.

Fr Rosica said the comments by the Pope should not be seen as a change in Church doctrine.

“The magisterium of the Church is not defined by personal phone calls,” he said.

Another spokesman, Fr Federico Lombardi, said the contents of the conversation could not be confirmed as reliable.

He called it “a source of misunderstanding and confusion”.

According to a Religion News Service blog, some pastors would be likely to try for a pastoral approach in cases like Mrs Sabetta Lisbona’s.

They would tell her she should go to Communion as they try to regularise her situation by marrying the couple in the Church.


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