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Church Asks Divorced To Stop Having Sex

Wed., Feb. 26, 1997

Divorced Catholics who remarry should be urged to stop living in a “state of sin” - meaning no sex in the new relationship, the Vatican said Tuesday in issuing guidelines on the subject for priests.

Priests also should counsel those who have not remarried to remain faithful to their original vows and not enter into other unions, according to the guidelines, issued by the Pontifical Council on the Family.

It told priests to show compassion for Catholics whose marriages have failed, and noted that Pope John Paul II has said the divorced who remarry still belong to the church.

Priests should invite such couples “to recognize their irregular situation, which involves a state of sin, and ask God for the grace of a true conversion.” Vatican officials said that means couples should abstain from sex.

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