At the press conference to mark the publication of Amoris Laetitia, Cardinal SchÃ¶nborn was asked twice whether the Pope intended to break with John Paulâ€™s Familiaris Consortio. That document said that remarried people should not be allowed access to communion unless they live â€œin complete continenceâ€.
The key passage comes in paragraph 84 of the document. A journalist asked: â€œHas anything in the entirety of those paragraphs changed? Does everything still stand as is?â€
â€œI donâ€™t see why there should be a change,â€ said Cardinal SchÃ¶nborn.
â€œThe Pope is not innovating,â€ the cardinal said. â€œThere are no novelties in this document. But the cautious pastoral care tradition can help here.â€
There had been speculation that Pope Francis would teach in contradiction to Familiaris Consortio. But the cardinal said that Amoris Laetitia was a development in continuty with Pope John Paul IIâ€™s teaching.
Paragraph 84 of Familiaris Consortio was included in the final document of last yearâ€™s family synod. However, that document omitted John Paul IIâ€™s statement that â€œReconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. [More]