Divorced remarried Catholics may receive Sacraments

Divorced remarried Catholics and those living “in irregular situations” are able to receive holy communion in some cases, Pope Francis says.

In a letter to the bishops of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis has praised their proposals for implementing Amoris Laetitia, including access to the sacraments for those in “irregular family situations,” Vatican Radio reports.

The document by the Argentine bishops is entitled “Basic criteria for the application of Chapter 8 of ‘Amoris Laetitia’,” which sets out ways of “accompanying, discerning and integrating weakness” for Catholics living in irregular family situations.

The chapter focuses on the need to support and integrate divorcees into the life of the Church, specifying that “in certain cases, this can include the help of the sacraments.”

In his letter Pope Francis emphasizes the urgency of formation of priests for the practice of discernment, stressing that this is central to the task of accompanying families in difficulty.

He calls for in-depth catechesis on the exhortation which he says will “certainly help the growth, consolidation and holiness of family life.”

Expressing his appreciation for the “pastoral charity” contained in the bishops’ document, Pope Francis insists “there are no other interpretations” of the apostolic exhortation which he wrote at the conclusion of the two synods on the family in 2014 and 2015, Vatican Radio says.


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