An American archbishop has released guidelines upholding the Church’s constant teaching that Catholics in “serious sin” – including active homosexuals and those in adulterous unions – must repent before receiving Communion.

The new guidelines from Archbishop Alexander Sample of Portland, Oregon are intended to implement Pope Francis’s Exhortation Amoris Laetitia in a way that he said is “compatible with Church teaching.”

The guidelines state that those in “serious sin,” including divorced and civilly-remarried persons living unchastely as well as persons in an active same-sex relationship, must “sacramentally confess all serious sins with a firm purpose to change, before receiving the Holy Eucharist.”

Sample wrote in his May 2017 guidelines that Amoris Laetitia “calls for a sensitive accompaniment of those with an imperfect grasp of Christian teaching on marriage and family life, who may not be living in accord with Catholic belief, and yet desire to be more fully integrated into Church life, including the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist.” 

But true accompaniment, he said, can only take place within the “tradition of the Church’s teaching and life.”

“In fact, pastors must always convey Catholic teaching faithfully to all persons – including the divorced and remarried – both in the confessional as well as publicly. They should do this with great confidence in the power of God’s grace, knowing that, when spoken with love, the truth heals, builds up, and sets free (cf. Jn 8:32),” the guidelines state.

The Archbishop said that there have been “misuses” of the Pope’s Exhortation “in support of positions that are not compatible with Church teaching.” 

Among these is the notion that an individual’s conscience has, after Amoris Laetitia,become the final judge in moral matters. Such a position is taken by Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich, who has argued that the civilly-divorced-and-remarried as well as active homosexuals should be able to receive Communion if they came to the decision “in good conscience.”

The guidelines specifically address what pastors must do when a same-sex couple presents themselves openly in a parish. 

The Church welcomes all men and women who honestly seek to encounter the Lord, whatever their circumstances. But two persons in an active, public same-sex relationship, no matter how sincere, offer a serious counter-witness to Catholic belief, that can only produce moral confusion in the community. Such a relationship cannot be accepted into the life of the parish without undermining the faith of the community, most notably the children.

“Those living openly same-sex lifestyles would not hold positions of responsibility in a parish, nor would they carry out any liturgical ministry or function until they are reconciled with the Church and are living in accord with the Church’s moral teaching,” they add. 

Sample said that while the guidelines may be a “hard teaching for some” they “correspond[] with our belief about the nature of the Holy Eucharist, marriage and the Church.”

Full at from LifeSiteNews.