At the inauguration of the new judicial year of Umbria’s Regional Ecclesiastical Tribunal, on March 27th, Cardinal Velasio De Paolis, president emeritus of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See, spoke in his inaugural address on "The remarried divorcees and the sacraments of the Eucharist and of Penance." Beginning with the crisis of the family and of the society, he focused on the need to find the right path, reflecting on the nature and history of the Church, and analyzing some sources of the magisterium and of the discipline for the participation in the sacraments, also in reference to the positions expressed by Cardinal Walter Kasper.
Cardinal De Paolis wrote: "The issue of remarried divorcees presents itself as an irregular situation, because the people concerned are not united by a bond of marriage that the Church recognizes and that is not permissible because the parties are bound by a previous marital bond that cannot be dissolved. The irregularity consists precisely in this new union. Consequently, their cohabitation is contrary to Catholic morality, especially because the Catholic doctrine on sexual morality states that the conjugal act is licit only between spouses within legitimate marriage. This situation gives rise to another irregularity, i.e. access to the sacrament of the Eucharist, which is open only to those who are not aware of any serious sin, and the sacrament of penance, or sacramental confession, which can be administered only to those who have repented of their sin and do their best to not commit it anymore."
For the former president of the Prefecture for the Economic Affairs of the Holy See "this incontrovertibly confirms the traditional doctrine that, in addition to being a doctrine that has been tested for centuries, has a solid foundation in morality and Christian spirituality. [...] Above and beyond the different situations in which the remarried divorcees find themselves, in all situations there is always the same problem: the unlawfulness of the cohabitation of two people who are not united by the bond of a true marriage. Civil marriage, in fact, is not a marital bond; according to the laws of the Church, it does not even have the appearance of marriage, and hence the Church speaks of attempted marriage. In the face of this situation, it is not clear how the divorcee can receive sacramental absolution and have access to the Eucharist."