When I became a Catholic I was admitted to full communion on terms which were perfectly clear to me. I acceded to ‘all that the Catholic Church teaches’; and in particular to the Catechism of the Catholic Church. (For the avoidance of doubt, the CCC also made clear that those were the terms of admission.)
Though I had been an Anglican communicant for all of my adult life – and an Anglican priest for more than forty years – I accepted those terms with equanimity. Had I been married to a catholic I would not have expected to have been absolved from those requirements. It was a statement of my own faith and allegiance which was being required. I could not have expected (nor would I have wanted) to piggy-back on the faith of another.
In the light of all this, how to make sense of the movement to admit to Holy Communion the Protestant spouses of faithful Catholics?
Either I am missing something of great importance, or the proposal is a nonsense intended, not to show ‘mercy’ to individuals in ‘exceptional circumstances’, but to undermine the Church’s settled understanding of the very basis of communion.
What other ‘circumstances’, one must ask, will one day dispense others (for reasons as yet unstated) from the expressions of fidelity required of me?