Can Sinners Receive Communion? Adulterers Can't Receive Communion Says Nigerian Priest

A well-respected African theologian stated that adulterers in Africa know and accept that their sin bans them from receiving Communion.

According to Rev. Paulinus Odozor, a Nigerian priest and an associate professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame, the issue brought about by Pope Francis' controversial Amoris Laetitia does not affect his homeland.

The controversy about the apostolic exhortation erupted in November 2016, when four senior Catholic officials published a letter addressed to the Pope to clarify certain points in Amoris Laetitia (Latin for The Joy of Love).

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The four cardinals questioned portions of Chapter 8 of the exhortation, stating that allowing divorced and remarried couples to receive Communion contradicts age-old Church and biblical doctrines. They argued against giving Communion to Christians who committed grave sins — such as adultery and cohabitation.

Odozor delivered an address in Sirius XM's "The Crux of the Matter" on March 20, stating that the issue was not up for debate in Africa. The Nigerian priest is the main organizer of African Christian Theology — a major conference in Rome that's scheduled from March 22 to 25.

"We settled that long ago... everyone's okay with it," Odozor said, referring to the prohibition of giving Communion to divorced and remarried couples. "Basically, our problem in Africa is not with divorce, remarriage and Catholics receiving the sacraments. Our problem is what to do with polygamy and polygamous families and so on."

He said that people who are subject to the described situations will not present themselves to Holy Communion because they already accepted the rules.

"It's not an issue," the priest said. "Especially given that people now have a chance to examine their marriages and ask if they were validly done [through the annulment process]. If it was validly done, then, well ... too bad!"

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