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Bishops of Kazakhstan launch appeal for prayer for clear teaching on marriage

January 18, 2017

Three prelates from Kazakhstan have joined in an urgent appeal to the faithful to pray for a clear statement of Church teaching on marriage, to eliminate confusion and error in the wake of Amoris Laetitia.

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The three prelates—Archbishop Tomash Peta of Astana; his auxiliary, Bishop Athanasius Schneider; and retired Archbishop Jan Pawel Lenga of Karaganda—point to the interpretations of Amoris Laetitia in some dioceses, which encourage the reception of Communion by couples who are divorced and remarried. The Kazakh bishops argue that the guidelines issued in these dioceses contradict the clear and constant teaching of the Church. They argue that bishops who issue these guidelines “are complicit... with a continual offense against the sacramental bond of marriage, the nuptial bond between Christ and the Church, and the nuptial bond between Christ and the individual soul who receives his Eucharistic Body.”

The bishops observe:

Notwithstanding repeated declarations concerning the immutability of the teaching of the Church concerning divorce, several particular churches nowadays accept divorce in their sacramental practice, and the phenomenon is growing.

Noting “the ineffectiveness of numerous appeals made privately and in a discreet manner to Pope Francis both by many faithful and by some Shepherds of the Church,” the bishops from Kazakhstan urge the faithful to pray for a clear restatement of Church teaching.


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  • Posted by: feedback - Jan. 19, 2017 11:19 AM ET USA

    Thank God for good Bishops who remind us about the power of prayer when all else fails.

  • Posted by: bernie4871 - Jan. 19, 2017 11:19 AM ET USA

    There can hardly be any other outcome than retractions on the part of the Pope. But every time he is called out on this he is placed in a deeper and deeper hole of embarrassment that seems to bring a kind of shame on the Papacy and makes it harder and harder to retract. The Pope needs a special outpouring of prayer for him and those from whom he has chosen to take advice.

  • Posted by: ElizabethD - Jan. 18, 2017 7:52 PM ET USA

    Wait, are the other bishops in Kazakhstan cut of the same cloth as Athanasius Schneider? I highly enjoyed this article.