Cardinal Angelo Scola, a prominent cardinal who in 2013 was the bookies’ favourite to become Pope, has re-entered the controversy over Communion for the remarried.

In a new book-length interview, the former Archbishop of Milan defends the Church’s traditional teaching, namely that the divorced and remarried cannot receive Communion unless they resolve to live “in complete continence”.

This teaching, Cardinal Scola says, “is inherent in the very character of Christian marriage”, because of the close connection between the bond of marriage and the bond between Christ and the Church.

The cardinal has expressed his opinion to Pope Francis during a private audience.

In the interview, according to excerpts reported by L’Espresso, Cardinal Scola says the “heart of the problem” is that marriage and Holy Communion are intimately connected. The Eucharist, the cardinal says, “is the sacrament of spousal love between Christ and the Church.”

Since the Eucharist is “foundational” to marriage, the cardinal says, someone who leaves a marriage and starts a new union has also “excluded himself from the Eucharist”.

He writes: “The non-admissibility of the divorced and remarried to the Eucharist is not a punishment that can be taken away or reduced, but is inherent in the very character of Christian marriage, which, as I have said, lives on the foundation of the Eucharistic gift of Christ the bridegroom to his bride the Church.”

Full story at Catholic Herald.