A French friend of ours wrote to the Pope the other day, scanned the handwritten letter, and sent us a copy via email. The letter so impressed us that we asked her permission to translate and post it, which she granted. We’ve withheld her name and address to preserve confidentiality, but we’ve kept her sometimes eccentric use of punctuation and capital letters.
To: His Holiness Pope Francis
Convent of St. Martha
courtesy of the postman and the Blessed Virgin
As the niece of a priest, I am very attached to the Church and to the Pope. I pray for you and your intentions every day, in giving thanks for your Election.
If I take the liberty of writing to you, it is to ask you to shed some “Light” on the delicate situation of my divorced and remarried friends, who are excluded from Communion and from the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Personally, I have been a widow since November 5, 1973, at which point I was expecting our third child. Thanks be to God, my children have now become beautiful adults, in good health. On a spiritual level, they are seeking, and my 4 year old grandson is not officially baptized, although his “Nana” did it discreetly the first time she visited him. She remembered her catechism, especially because she and her twin sister were not expected to live (together, they weighed a total of 7 lbs. at birth!!!!), and so were baptized immediately on January 12, 1948. We have just celebrated our 66 years of survival!!!
The doctor “didn’t want to take care of” my sister. She became a beautiful contemplative Benedictine nun and is very happy in her monastery. I am certain that baptism saved us, and that God “put her aside” on that day!
Let us return to the reason for my letter. Jesus said, “Come and eat, ALL of you.” He didn’t say: except for So-and -So!! If he were to come back, he would be very disappointed ; he would be angry at seeing his children deprived of the best, of what is Essential, while a criminal, after a good confession, can receive the Body of Christ. But it’s more complicated if the “crime” is to be divorced and remarried!!! In the Catholic Church, it is better to be a criminal than to be divorced. Jesus said, “What God has united, let not man put asunder”…….but HE HIMSELF separates them, by death…..!!
Every Christian can ask for a marriage annulment; crowned heads do it freely and obtain annulments quickly, as opposed to the humble!!… The Church goes so far as to push the divorced to suicide, to solitude, and it condemns those who remarry, most of whom were not responsible for the divorce, to this ENORMOUS injustice, this ENORMOUS suffering. Personally, I could have chosen to remarry, I could even do so now, but I refuse to do so. Nevertheless, Jesus said, “Love one another.”
You will tell me that the Church has evolved throughout the centuries: before, the divorced and those who had committed suicide were buried like dogs. Now the Church welcomes them and recognizes that sickness, depression, or a bad combination of medicines may have led them to such misfortune. But did the Church apologize to their families for the many years (of injustice)? Unfortunately NO! If I have not left the Church, it is because the Blessed Virgin is holding me by the hand. God has given me the grace to see this.
Why have certain people left to join the Protestants, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc.? One could ask why there aren’t more “clients” in your seminaries and your churches; the reasons lie not only on the side of the “faithful”.
With this letter I am not trying to settle a score with the Church, but rather to present a Mountain of unanswered questions on behalf of my divorced and remarried or unbelieving friends!…!
I hope that you will find time to answer me, in spite of your very busy schedule, and write me what you intend to do, in terms of actions, rather than good, anesthetizing words for all of your poor sinners!
I follow regularly KTO (a French Catholic television station), where I have the joy of being in communion with you in prayer and various services, and where you can reach out to those who are isolated, elderly or sick.
Thank you for all that you are doing. May God bless you and keep you. I assure you of my respect and my prayers.