Bishop Galantino said that couples living in irregular marital situations face de facto discrimination

The secretary-general of the Italian bishops’ conference has said that the Church must do more to welcome “unconventional couples”.

Bishop Nunzio Galantino of Cassano all’Jonio, who was appointed secretary-general of the Italian episcopal conference by Pope Francis, said: “Couples in irregular matrimonial situations are also Christians, but they are sometimes looked upon with prejudice.”

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According to Italy’s news service, ANSA, Bishop Galantino appeared to call for divorced and remarried Catholics to be admitted to Holy Communion. It quoted the bishop saying: “The burden of exclusion from the sacraments is an unjustified price to pay, in addition to de facto discrimination.”

A story by the Italian daily Avvenire, however, reported Bishop Galantino as saying explicitly that divorced and remarried couples “cannot receive Eucharistic communion”.

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