MANILA, Philippines—Canon law expert Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz on Wednesday said the Vatican rule, prohibiting communion for those who remarried after divorce or annulment, applies to Filipino Catholics.
The issue came out after an international news agency reported that Vatican confirmed the ban following news it had blocked a German diocese from allowing re-married divorcees from receiving the Holy Communion.
“The assumption of that rule is that the couple was married by the Church then they divorced. If they have divorced they may still take communion. But if they re-married they can’t,” Cruz said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer 990AM.
But the retired Archbishop of Lingayen-Dagupan clarified that people, in addition to getting divorced or annulled by the government, may seek a Declaration of Nullity with the Catholic Church.
Those whose marriage was nullified by the Catholic Church may re-marry and take communion.
“Annulment (under the government) is voiding a valid marriage. (Declaration of Nullity) voids (the marriage) from the beginning,” Cruz explained.
He also admitted that it would be difficult to implement such a rule since the church’s policy is not to turn down anyone who wants to receive communion.
“Unless that person is a public sinner,” he said.
Last month, a cardinal in the United States asked the Vatican to declare politicians who supported abortion as public sinners who will be denied communion.
But Cruz said there has been no case of barring people from taking communion in the Philippines.
“If you want to line up (for communion), that is your responsibility,” he said.
Cruz said priests could deny communion but it would probably result in an uproar.