Watch: Cardinal Napier on Communion and polygamy

“If people in Europe who have remarried…are engaged in successive polygamy, why can’t a simultaneous polygamist have the same advantages?”

Catholic News Service has a brief but interesting video of Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban, South Africa speaking about the Synod on the Family’s discussions of marriage and Communion. While much of the conversation, at least in the media, has been dominated by Western bishops and their concerns about the reception of Communion by divorced and remarried Catholics, Cardinal Napier brings a different perspective to the issue as a prelate from Africa, where polygamy is a real and widespread challenge for the Church:

“For us in Africa I think the situation is going to be: look, if people in Europe who have remarried—as somebody put it today, they are engaged in successive polygamy—why can’t a simultaneous polygamist have the same advantages? After all, in his culture it is quite acceptable for him, it’s natural…so he has no conflict of conscience about accepting Christ and living in polygamy at the same time.”


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About Catherine Harmon 573 Articles
Catherine Harmon is managing editor of Catholic World Report.