Pope Francis has said that next month he will meet with a group of eight cardinals to discuss the issue of divorced and remarried Catholics. The pope also referred to the scandals that have beset the Church, confirming that it is necessary to face the most serious problems with clarity, but without pessimism.
“The problem,” Pope Francis said, “cannot be reduced merely to a matter of who can receive communion or not, because to pose the question in these terms does not enable an understanding of the real problem.”
“It is a serious problem regarding the Church's responsibility towards families living in this situation. ... The Church must now do something to solve the problem of marriage annulment,” the Pope said during a meeting with the clergy of the diocese of Rome, in the Basilica of St. John Lateran, in the Vatican.
He said the issue will also be considered during the next Synod of Bishops which will focus on the anthropological relationship of the Gospel with the person and the family, according to the Vatican information service bulletin.
During the meeting, Pope Francis who invited the priests to feel free to ask any question they chose, affirming that he considered himself above all to be a priest, said he was afraid of feeling otherwise.
“I would be afraid of feeling a bit more important; I am afraid of that, because the devil is cunning ... and makes you think you have power, that you can do this and that ... But thanks to God, I haven't yet lost that fear, and if once you see that I have lost it, please, tell me, and if you can't tell me privately, say it publicly.”
Pope Francis also referred to the scandals that have beset the Church, confirming that it is necessary to face the most serious problems with clarity, “but without pessimism”, since “holiness is greater than scandal”.
“The Church will not collapse”, he said. “On the contrary, the Church has never been in better form and is experiencing a very positive moment; one need only read her history.
”There are saints recognised even by non-Catholics, such as Mother Teresa of Calcutta, but there is also the everyday holiness of ordinary mothers and women, of men who work every day for their families, and this brings us hope,” he said.