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Maltese Bishops Say Cohabiting Couples Must Not Receive Communion

By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS Staff Journalist In a joint statement issued today, the bishops of Malta and Gozo say cohabiting couples should not present themselves for communion. According to The Times of Malta, the bishops issued the statement in reaction to media inquiries about the issue. While reassuring these couples that they were loved in the same way that the Church loves all its members, “the Catholic Church insists that couples who live together without being married should not receive Holy Communion,” the statement said. "The Church does not impose this as a punishment, but because the way of life of such people goes against the sacrament of marriage." They went on to explain that living together outside of marriage goes against Church teaching and that those who receive the Eucharist must be one in unity with Christ and the Church. The Church, set up by Christ, must be a faithful witness of its teachings, which it does through its members, they said. The bishops also confirmed that persons who were separated or divorced and were not involved in a physical relationship with someone outside of marriage, could continue to receive Communion. While promising to continue to offer cohabiting couples spiritual help, and to encourge them to attend Mass and participate in the life of the church, the Bishops are urging these couples to become informed about the teaching of the Church, to renew their confidence in God's mercy, and seek conversion. © All Rights Reserved, Living His Life Abundantly®/Women of Grace®  http://www.womenofgrace.com

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