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Polish bishops: Amoris Laetitia does not allow Communion for the divorced and remarried

376th Plenary Meeting of the Polish Episcopal Conference, Księżówka - Zakopane, 6-7 June 2017 (Mazur/Polish Bishops' Conference)

Amoris Laetitia has not changed Church doctrine on Holy Communion for divorced and remarried people, the Polish Bishops’ Conference has said.

In a statement issued after last week’s plenary meeting in the town of Zankopane, the bishops said Catholics in non-sacramental relationships should be led to “true repentance and sacramental reconciliation” with their spouse and children born in this union.

Amoris Laetitia must be read as a continuity of Church teaching, especially in relation to Pope John Paul II’s exhortation Familiaris Consortio, which reiterated the Church’s ban on divorced and remarried couples from receiving Communion.

“Familiaris Consortio and Amoris Laetitia are in the same line, with this linear understanding of these documents” the bishops said.

Fr Pawel Rytel-Andrianik, spokesman for the bishops’ conference, said the bishops call for “a new approach to [divorced and remarried] people to try to include them into the life of the Church, in the light of Amoris Laetitia and in the light of Familiaris Consortio 84.”

However, they cannot be readmitted to Holy Communion.

Although the Polish bishops have yet to publish official guidelines on applying Amoris Laetitia, Fr Rytel-Andrianik said they were in the final stage of revision.