The Archdiocese of Braga in Portugal has released the most in-depth response yet to Pope Francis’s Amoris Laetitia.
The Braga document says that divorced and remarried Catholics may receive Communion after a process of discernment of around six months.
Under the Church teaching reaffirmed by John Paul II and Benedict XVI, Communion is only possible if an individual resolves to live “in complete continence”. The new guidelines appear to say that this is not necessary.
They recommend a lengthy discernment, in which each person reflects on their past actions and how they have affected their spouse, children and community. They will also meet regularly with a priest.
The Archdiocese of Braga is not the first diocese to question the Church’s traditional teaching. In 1993, three German bishops publicly suggested that there could be exceptions.
The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith replied in a letter to bishops, approved by St John Paul II. It said that Church teaching was “binding” and “cannot be modified because of different situations”.