Tags: America's Forum | Pope Francis | francis | benedict | catholics | divorce | gays

Ray Flynn: Popes' Disagreement on Marriage 'Healthy for Church'

By    |   Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 02:00 PM

The differences between Pope Francis and former Pope Benedict over the Catholic view of marriage and divorce is "healthy" for the Church, says Ray Flynn, former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See.

"Pope Benedict now is making some innocent comments of what he thinks are in the best interest of the Church," Flynn told J.D. Hayworth and Miranda Khan on "America's Forum" on Newsmax TV Wednesday.

"He feels an opening, an invitation to express his point of view," he said. "I don't see them in conflict, necessarily. I see them as healthy, but nonetheless it has to be formalized." 

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"A healthy debate is good for the Church, and I wouldn't look at it as any kind of heresy or any kind of division that is taking place," Flynn said.

"Healthy debate is a good thing, even in the Catholic Church," he added.

Former Pope Benedict said in an interview with a German newspaper that he is reformulating his previous statements on marriage, in which he said that Catholics who divorce and remarry may be readmitted to the Church. He is now saying that in terms of the "doctrine of the indissolubility of marriage" that there should be a "consequence in terms of admission to communion."

The Italian press has said that Benedict's statements put him odds with Pope Francis, who hosted a synod of Catholic bishops at the Vatican in October to debate how the Church should approach divorced and remarried Catholics as wells as homosexuals.

Francis closed the synod saying that the Church needs "to respond courageously to whatever new challenges come our way."

"Anything Pope Francis says is picked up and it's discussed across the world," Flynn said. "That's a healthy thing."

"When Pope Francis said, 'Who am I to judge?' Well that was the opening for all of us, for everybody, including cardinals, including bishops, including people who don't agree with the Catholic Church, to weigh in," he said.

"That's what's happening in the issues of divorced Catholics or the issues of contraception," he said. "Those issues now are on the table."

"Pope Francis is allowing this debate to happen because he is open and engaging and he sees this as healthy for the Catholic Church."

However, Flynn added that "the issue of abortion and life — I don't think they're on the table at all."

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The differences between Pope Francis and former Pope Benedict over the Catholic view of marriage and divorce is "healthy" for the Church, says Ray Flynn, former U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See.
francis, benedict, catholics, divorce, gays, marriage
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2014-00-10
Wednesday, 10 Dec 2014 02:00 PM
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