The Divorced Shouldn't Feel Left Out, Says Cardinal

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 8, 2005 ( Divorced persons «are not excommunicated» and «they must not feel discriminated against or excluded,» says a Vatican official.

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Cardinal Julián Herranz, president of the Pontifical Council for the Interpretation of Legislative Texts, made these statements today during a press conference to present «Dignitas Connubii» (The Dignity of Marriage), the new document on marriage annulments.

He reminded his listeners that divorced people who have remarried without an annulment «are deprived of Eucharistic Communion.»

This privation takes place while «there is a public and continual situation of sin and the person does nothing to improve his or her situation,» the prelate explained.

Yet, Cardinal Herranz was keen on promoting the pastoral care of divorced people and said that they are «fully members of the Church.»

Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino, secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, endorsed this proposal.

«We speak correctly of the pastoral care of divorced persons which relates to Christians who live in an irregular situation, but are not excommunicated,» he said.

The archbishop added: «It is urgent to assist wounded persons who suffer due to unhappy marital vicissitudes, at times separated and divorced in spite of themselves.»

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