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Pope: Church should not abandon divorced, separated couples

Feb. 7, 2014 at 1:31 PM

VATICAN CITY, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- Pope Francis, in a meeting with Polish bishops at the Vatican, said Friday priests should try to help divorced and separated couples instead of excluding them.

The pope said it is unfortunate the family is no longer "a place where people learn to get along despite their differences ... and where parents pass on the faith to their children," the Italian news agency ANSA reported. But he said those couples who have divorced should be helped to keep their faith and "raise their children in the fullness of the Christian experience."

The pope made similar remarks at a meeting last month of the Union of Superiors General. At the time, he said the church should not "administer a vaccine against faith" to separated couples and their children.

The meeting occurred as the bishops ended a visit to Rome, Vatican Radio said. Francis also praised the Polish church for its vitality.

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