Malta’s bishops have said that remarried people should receive Communion if they think they are at peace with God.
In a new document, “Criteria for the Application of Chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia”, the bishops said that if “a separated or divorced person who is living in a new relationship manages, with an informed and enlightened conscience, to acknowledge and believe that he or she are [sic] at peace with God, he or she cannot be precluded from participating in the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist”.
St John Paul II and Benedict XVI reaffirmed the Church’s perennial teaching that divorced and remarried Catholics cannot receive Communion, except possibly when they endeavour to live “as brother and sister”.
But the Maltese bishops said that avoiding sex with a new partner may be “impossible”.
The new document, which was published by L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper, underlines divisions among the world’s bishops over the Church’s traditional teaching in the wake of Amoris Laetitia. The bishops of Poland and Costa Rica, several North American bishops, and others, have reiterated the traditional teaching, while others have diverged from it.
John Paul II and Benedict XVI taught that remarried couples could only receive Communion if they live “in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples”. The bishops say this may be “impossible”. Critics of the document, such as Fr Brian Harrison, have argued this contradicts the teaching of the Council of Trent, that God’s grace makes it possible to keep the commandments.
Nearly four out of 10 Causes are from Italy, says Vatican
an overwhelming number of canonisation Causes in the past decade have originated in Italy, according to the head of the Vatican office responsible for investigating them.
Of the 351 dossiers documenting the holiness of candidates for sainthood received by the Congregation for Saints’ Causes between 2006 and 2016, nearly 40 per cent – 139 causes – were from Italy, said Cardinal Angelo Amato, the congregation’s prefect.
The cardinal spoke at the start of a two-month course offered each year by the congregation to teach future postulators to navigate the “laborious Church process” of promoting a Cause. The dossier, called a positio, documents the virtues, miracles or martyrdom of a candidate as part of a process for determining his or her holiness.
Between 2006 and 2016, he said 43 countries around the world submitted at least one positio. There were 139 from Italy, 60 from Spain, 22 from Poland, 13 from Brazil, 10 from France, eight from India and seven each from the United States, Mexico, Colombia, Germany and Hungary. England and Wales sent three Causes to the Vatican – the same number as Canada, Puerto Rico, Chile, Peru and Romania.
Palestinians open Rome embassy
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has thanked Pope Francis for his support for the country’s new embassy to the Holy See.
“This is a sign that the Pope loves the Palestinian people and loves peace,” Mr Abbas said before heading to the inauguration of the Palestinian embassy to the Holy See in Rome. The Pope told Mr Abbas: “It is a pleasure to welcome you here.” The Vatican said the two leaders spoke of the contribution of Catholics in the region.
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