In a joint statement issued on Saturday, the Maltese Bishops have said that cohabiting couples cannot receive Holy Communion, despite the fact that they are still most welcome in the Church.
Archbishop Paul Cremona and Gozo Bishop Mario Grech said that the Church loved such couples in the same way as it loved all its members. It would also continue to offer them spiritual help and encourage them to participate in the Mass.
However, the Bishops insisted that couples who live together without being married should not receive Holy Communion as this undermined the holiness of the sacrament of matrimony.
The Bishops clarified that those separated person, who were not living with someone outside marriage could still receive Holy Communion. They added that such behaviour went against Church doctrine and that those who received the Eucharist had to be one in unity with Christ and the Church.
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