Lets begin in Poland today, where the Polish Catholic bishops said that Amoris Laetitia does not allow Communion for the divorced and remarried. Couples in non-sacramental unions should instead be led to 'true repentance & sacramental reconciliation” with their spouse and children born from those unions.
In a statement issued after their plenary meeting last week, the Polish bishops said the Pope’s encyclical, Amoris Laetitia, has NOT, changed Church doctrine on Holy Communion for the divorced and remarried. Amoris Laetitia must be read as a continuation of the Church's teaching, especially in relation to John Paul II’s exhortation: Familiaris Consortio, which reiterates the Church’s position on divorced and remarried couples on receiving Communion. Fr.Pawel Rytel, the spokesman for the bishops’ conference, said the bishops are calling for “a new approach for divorced and remarried people to be included into the life of the Church, in the light of Amoris Laetitia. However, they cannot be re-admitted to Holy Communion. Although the Polish bishops have yet to publish official guidelines on applying Amoris Laetitia, Fr Rytel said they were in the final stage of a document, which will be released soon.
Catholic leaders in London offered prayers for victims of the fire in a 24-story apartment building which broke out yesterday morning killing at least six and injuring more than 70. Public officials are saying that they expect the death toll to rise in the coming days.
"We pray for all the residents of Grenfell Tower," said Cardinal Vincent Nichols of Westminster. "I pray particularly for those who have suffered injury, those who have died, and all the residents who have are left without a home today, and the entire community that has been affected." Cardinal Nichols praised emergency response teams and the 200 firefighters who worked to contain and extinguish the blaze. Auxiliary Bishop John Wilson of Westminster, who oversees the parishes in the area of the fire, prayed for, "all who have been affected by this fire, especially the victims, their families and friends, and all who are still worried about their loved ones who are unaccounted for. I offer, too, my heartfelt condolences to the families of those who have died."
At the moment, there is no immediate word on what caused the fire but apparently, residents have complained to local authorities several times about fire-hazard issues in that building.
In what the Pope calls as a 'healthy decentralization”, Pope Francis and the members of his international Council of Cardinals discussed the possibility of allowing local bishops, rather than the Vatican, to decide on whether permanent deacons may be permitted to marry or be ordained as priests.
Briefing journalists on the council's June 12-14th meetings, Vatican spokesperson Greg Burke said that the Pope and the Cardinals looked specifically at the possibility of allowing the local bishops conferences to determine whether a permanent deacon who is widowed can remarry or whether a permanent deacon who is unmarried or widowed can be ordained to the priesthood without having to "wait for Rome to make a decision". The council also discussed proposals to increase the participation of laypeople and religious orders in the selection of new bishops.
The Pope is looking at ways to reorganize the Roman Curia and will continue when his council meets again in September.
Finally, US bishops gathered for their June Plenary sessions, have decided to answer the Pope’s invitation to find an occasion to pray for the healing and the reconciliation to those harmed by clergy sex abuse. I leave you with this story from CNS.
I leave you with this story from CNS. Thank you for joining us and we’ll see you again on Monday.