In America, there are over 30 million Catholics and a subsection of them are a growing problem for the Papal regime in Rome. That would be the 11 million of them who have divorced and are slowly fading away from the church.
That's because the Catholic Church doesn't recognize divorce. Millions of Catholics in the U.S. who remarried outside the church without first obtaining an annulment — a declaration by the church that their marriage was never valid — are banned from receiving Holy Communion, one of the religion's most important rituals. However, the recently-installed Pope Francis may be the man who could change the way Catholic divorcees are treated within the church.
In October 2014, Pope Francis called a meeting of Catholic bishops, known as synod, to discuss family issues. A second Vatican synod is set to gather this October after the pope returns from his historic visit to the U.S. Bishops are expected to decide whether to recommend changes to how the Catholic church should integrated the divorced, then it will be up to the pope on whether to take any action.
The pope, who will attend the Meeting of World Families in Philadelphia in September, has said the church should make it easier for some divorced Catholics to remarry and receive other sacraments, so they can fully participate in the church life.
"Love, Don't Judge": Divorced Catholics Look to Pope Francis for Acceptance (NBC Philadelphia)
Image via Wikipedia