Can we use Programming port (Serial Port) Port A (PC6,PC7) for normal Serial port functions?

Can we use Programming port (Serial Port) Port A (PC6,PC7) for normal Serial port functions?

The programming port can be used as a regular serial port after you are finished debugging ans testing

thanks for your reply.For using flowcontrol function should TX and RX pins directly connected to CTS and RTS or or should it be connected through MAX 232 IC?