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Is Pope Francis’ New “Amoris Laetitia” at War with Pope John Paul II’s “Familiaris Consortio” teachings?

Following the Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia publication, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Count of Schönborn, affirmed that the Holy Father, Pope Francis still follows the teachings of Pope John Paul II on communion for the remarried and divorced.

The Press inorder to verify vividly Pope Francis’ intentions for Communion for the remarried and divorced in his new document “Amoris Laetitia”, pressed Cardinal Schönborn for answers as to whether Pope Francis by any chance intend to break Pope John Paul II’s teachings in his “Familiaris Consortio” which states that remarried people should not be allowed access to communion unless they live “in complete continence", this can be found in the Paragraph 84 of Familiaris Consortio of St. Pope John Paul II’s teaching.

A journalist asked: “Has anything in the entirety of those paragraphs changed? Does everything still stand as is?"

“I don’t see why there should be a change," said Cardinal Schönborn.

“The Pope is not innovating," the cardinal said. “There are no novelties in this document. But the cautious pastoral care tradition can help here."

Talks have flared before stating that Pope Francis would in his “Amoris Laetitia” publication teach in contrary to Pope John Paul II’s teachings on Communion for the remarried. But Cardinal Schönborn in the “Amoris Laetitia” publication conference made it clear that Amoris Laetitia was a development in continuty with Pope John Paul II’s teaching (the “Familiaris Consortio”).

The St. Pope John Paul’s II’s teaching on communion for the remarried that is found in the Paragraph 84 of Familiaris Consortio is as well included in the Pope Francis’ “Amoris Laetitia” documents. However, that document omitted John Paul II’s statement that “Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage.

“This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children’s upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they “take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples.’"

Cardinal Schönborn was pressed to say whether Francis had contradicted John Paul II, but would not accept the suggestion, saying: “Pope Francis intends to express a global vision and not being entangled in a specific point, which is important, but rather peculiar, rather specific. Discernment itself in some cases, like the help of sacraments, might not be heaven-sent."


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