Why would Pope Francis tell Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari that sooner or later all the divorced who ask will be admitted to communion? Why would he say that? That even though confessors would would have to make their own judgments on a case-by-case basis, that sooner or later "... at the end of faster or slower paths, all the divorced who ask will be admitted"? (Report)
Certainly the motivation must be "mercy"; but doesn't he see that this is a bit like administering an examination that's impossible to fail? that after while nobody will take the examination seriously any more? Whatever the status of this report, it hardly helps to allay the concerns of faithful Catholics. Should we therefore simply close our ears and eyes to them?
And, speaking of "mercy," what about the "mercy" for those spouses who have suffered the deprivation of divorce and abandonment but continued to live chaste and celibate lives in fidelity to their vows? Do we simply ignore them as the moral equivalent of the Prodigal Son's elder brother who needn't concern us?
Remember Marshall McLuhan's dictum: "The medium is the message." In a world that has forgotten the question, it will mean little to state that Christ is the answer. In a world that has no understanding of contrition and repentance, "mercy" will be voided of any substance beyond unconditional social acceptance. In a school where nobody fails, there can no longer be any credible talk of examinations. The medium of "mercy" is quickly becoming the universal solvent of the Catholic deposit of faith and morals.