Chaput: Unwed and Gay Couples Shouldn’t Receive Communion

The Archdiocese's new rules contrast with the teachings of Pope Francis, who advocates for a more tolerant view of unwed and gay couples.

Archbishop Charles Chaput. Photo | Jeff Fusco

Archbishop Charles Chaput. | Photo by Jeff Fusco

Archbishop Charles Chaput released a set of rules Friday that prohibit unmarried couples who live together and gay couples from receiving communion. The restrictions also ask that divorced and civilly remarried couples “refrain from sexual intimacy” in order to get communion.

Chaput, who has served as the Archdiocese of Philadelphia since 2011, is the chairman-elect of a committee of five bishops who share the duty of implementing Amoris Laetitia, a testimony on family that Pope Francis released in April.

In 2015, Chaput worked alongside several bishops who helped the pope in writing the document. Chaput’s recently released rules serve as a response to Amoris Laetitia and they contrast with the teachings of Pope Francis, who advocates for a more tolerant view of gay and cohabitating unwed couples.

In Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis writes that “when a couple in an irregular union attains a noteworthy stability through a public bond — and is characterized by deep affection, responsibility towards the children and the ability to overcome trials — this can be seen as an opportunity, where possible, to lead them to celebrate the sacrament of Matrimony.”

In his own set of guidelines, Chaput writes that “those living openly same-sex lifestyles should not hold positions of responsibility in a parish, nor should they carry out any liturgical ministry or function.”

Chaput and Mayor Jim Kenney, who was born and raised in an Irish Catholic family, don’t exactly see eye-to-eye on such hotly-debated issues, either. The mayor has criticized Chaput in the past for allowing the firing of a gay faculty member at Waldron Mercy Academy in Merion.

Before Pope Francis came to town last September, Kenney asked him to “kick some ass” in the Archdiocese.

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