Malta church goes beyond pope in remarriage guidelines

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The Vatican is making clear Pope Francis supports letting divorced and civilly remarried Catholics receive Communion in certain cases by publishing a set of new guidelines in the pope's own newspaper that seem to go beyond even what he has said.

The Catholic Church in Malta issued the guidelines Friday on applying the divisive Chapter VIII of Francis' document on family life that concerns ministering to Catholics in "irregular" family situations.

The Maltese church said that if a Catholic in a new civil union sincerely believes after a path of spiritual discernment that he or she can be at peace with God, "he or she cannot be precluded from participating in the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist."

The Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, published the guidelines in full.