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22 September 2016 | by Christopher Lamb

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If there was any doubt about it before, there is none now. Pope Francis has made it crystal clear that, in his view, there are circumstances when divorced and remarried Catholics can receive Communion. What is much less clear, however, is whether Francis can keep those who oppose this position from declaring war on his papacy.

Francis removed any remaining doubt about his own approach to the communion question last week when he gave his blessing to draft guidelines produced by a group of Buenos Aires bishops which opened the door to the return to the sacraments for remarried divorcees following a period of discernment. The guidelines were designed to help local priests interpret Amoris Laetitia, the Pope’s apostolic exhortation on the family, published on 8 April this year.

The bishops from the Argentinian Pope’s home city were told by Francis they had understood him correctly: in his letter to them he wrote that there were “no other interpretations”.


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