Addressing a national conference on the liturgy on Wednesday, Bishop Nunzio Galantino said the Church must make everyone feel at home, including “unconventional couples”.
“Couples in irregular matrimonial situations are also Christians, but they are sometimes looked upon with prejudice,” he said, according to Italian news agency ANSA. “The burden of exclusion from the sacraments is an unjustified price to pay, in addition to de facto discrimination,” the prelate maintained.
Avvenire reported that he said the Eucharist “is and must remain a ‘universal assembly’”, and that it must also be an “eloquent sign of the divine and his free gift for the ‘uninitiated’.”
The Italian prelate, who was appointed by Pope Francis, said a merciful Church is embodied in a merciful community in which “anyone can feel at home,” whether it is the poor, people with disabilities, migrants, or those who cannot receive Communion such as the divorced and remarried.
He stressed the importance of taking an “attitude of charity in truth”, but added that when faced with such situations, “we must honestly admit that we have no longer insisted on the truth when we haven’t exercised charity.
“I speak of that pastoral charity,” he continued, “which is the primary responsibility of the pastors of the Church, but also other members and the Christian community as a whole, that pastoral charity which for people facing marriage and family difficulties means acceptance, understanding, accompanying and support.”
UPDATE: The Zenit link, for some reason, has been buggy. Try this one.