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It is crucial to understand that, today, what actually prevents ministers of Holy Communion from distributing the Eucharist to divorced-and-remarried Catholics is Canon 915 and the universal, unanimous interpretation which that legislative text, rooted as it is in divine law, has always received.
Francis has, in my opinion, too loosely designated others of his views as bearing “magisterial authority” (recall his comments about the liturgical movement), and he is not alone in making, from time to time, odd comments about the use of papal power (recall John Paul II invoking “the fullness of [his] Apostolic authority” to update the by-laws of a pontifical think-tank in 1999).
Church documents can have both “magisterial” and “disciplinary” passages, of course, but generally, only those teaching parts of such a document are canonically considered “magisterial” while parts of such a document are canonically considered “disciplinary”.
An accompanying note from Cardinal Parolin states that the pope wishes the Argentine document to enjoy “magisterial authority” and that his endorsement thereof has the status of an “apostolic letter”. Granted, little or nothing in these documents endorses or reiterates Canon 915, either, and the apparently studied silence that Canon 915 suffers these days is cause for deep pastoral concern. Even where a special kind of “apostolic letter” is used to make changes to the law—such as John Paul II did in ”, and it references no canons. While Francis—albeit about as indirectly as is possible (through a memo to a dicastery official concerning a letter written by an episcopal conference)—has indicated that his letter to the Argentines and even the Argentine conference letter itself are “magisterial”, the fact remains that the related to faith and morals.
This power was restricted by Clement XIII, 3 September, 1762, to patriarchs, primates, archbishops, and bishops, who petition the Apostolic See for it; they can give the Apostolic blessing on Easter Sunday and on some other feasts.
Prelates who have the use of the pontificalia and jurisdiction over a certain territory can give it only once a year. The superiors of certain religious orders, especially the Franciscans, can give it twice a year in the churches of their own order; they must use a formula and ask permission of the ordinary (30 August, 1763).
This blessing is given to those who are in danger of death by priests who possess the required faculty.
The popes very often delegated to others the power to give this blessing in answer to petitions from princes, at the close of missions, and on such occasions.In 1826, Catholic priest John Marangos began a mission among the Orthodox Christians of Constantinople, where he managed the construction of a small community.In 1878, he moved on to Athens, where he died in 1885 after he had founded a church.Its membership includes inhabitants of Greece and Turkey.After the failure of the attempts by the Council of Lyon in 1274 and by the Council of Florence in 1439 to repair the breach of the East-West Schism between Greek and Latin Christians, many individual Greeks, then under Ottoman rule, embraced communion with Rome.