It just got a whole lot less fun to be a Catholic in Philadelphia. New guidelines released by Archbishop Charles Chaput last Friday say divorced couples who have remarried must permanently abstain from sex, instead living like "brother and sister," the Guardian reports. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, there are about 4.5 million US Catholics who have been remarried without getting their first marriage annulled by the church. But divorcees aren't the only ones Chaput wants to see living without sex. People in same-sex relationships and straight couples who aren't married must also go sexless. Fortunately, the new guidelines explain that anyone can be in a successful heterosexual marriage with kids even with "some degree of same-sex attraction."
The guidelines, which come from one of the most conservative Catholic leaders in the US, also recommend priests try to break up couples who aren't interested in getting married, which shows they're "lacking in maturity," and claims same-sex relationships will "produce moral confusion in the community." Anyone going against the guidelines should not receive Holy Communion and should be barred from positions of responsibility within the church. The six pages of guidelines are a direct response to Pope Francis' Joy of Love document, which many saw as instructing bishops to be more accepting of "irregular" relationships. But one official with the Philadelphia archdiocese says that document "may not have been as well expressed as it should have been." Chaput's guidelines are meant to clarify it. (Read more Catholic Church stories.)