On October 18, 2017, on website Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, Marco Tossati revealed a few snippets of a document the Polish bishops are preparing to publish about interpreting the exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Here are a few excerpts from Tossati’s article.
“The Polish bishops’ conference recently met in Lublin to discuss and draft a document on guidelines for reading the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The Nuncio Salvatore Pennacchio, who has represented the Sovereign Pontiff to the Church in Poland for just over a year, was also present. It is not known when the document drafted by the Polish bishops will be published; but we are able to deliver in advance a few points that, although succinct, are nonetheless central and revealing of the reading the bishops made of the exhortation.
According to the indiscretions of an excellent source, we can say that the Polish bishops refuse the possibility of allowing Communion for couples living more uxorio, that is without being united by the Sacrament of Marriage. It is obvious that the same applies to cohabiting couples. Naturally, this decision also applies to the divorced and remarried, for whom the first union is still valid in the eyes of the Church. They cannot receive sacramental Communion, nor spiritual communion as long as they are in a situation of open contradiction with the Eucharist, which represents the conjugal bond of our Lord with His faithful Church, a bond that is indissoluble and fecund.
The bishops vigorously emphasize, however, that the Church does not intend to reject these persons or even less to discriminate negatively against them. All possible means of salvation must be offered and presented to them (conversation, retreats, education, adoration, assistance at Mass). Their public situation prevents them, however, from receiving the Eucharist.
Priests are asked to minister to these couples and families by accompanying them, aiding them to raise the objective obstacles of their situations in prayer, penance and hope.”
After the very broad interpretations of Amoris Laetitia—especially by the Argentinian bishops, with the approval of Francis—there is no doubt this Polish document will turn the spotlight yet again toward the widening cracks that separate the bishops’ conferences of different countries.