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Müller today: ‘no exceptions’ to ban on Communion for ‘remarried’

Discussion in 'Church Critique' started by BrianK, Nov 9, 2017.

  1. BrianK

    BrianK Resident Kook, Crank, Curmudgeon - & Mod Staff Member

    Cardinal Müller clarifies: There are ‘no exceptions’ to ban on Communion for ‘remarried’ | News
    Riccardo Cascioli
    8-10 minutes
    Editor’s Note: The following article was translated from the Italian magazine La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana by LifeSite's Diane Montagna, and is reprinted with permission.

    “The Dubia are authoritative and clearly legitimate,” says the former Vatican doctrinal prefect in a new interview.

    November 8, 2017 (LaNuovaBQ.it) – “No, no change and no demolishing the Dubia. The purpose of my intervention was only to state that the one way to interpret Amoris Laetitia is in continuity with the Word of God in the Bible, the previous Magisterium, and with the Tradition of the great Councils of Florence, Trent and Vatican II.”

    On the telephone, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, immediately distances himself from the slanted interpretations of headlines claiming he was signaling an opening of access to the Eucharist for the “divorced and remarried.”

    The whole affair began with an introductory essay which Cardinal Müller wrote for a new book by Rocco Buttiglione called, “Friendly responses to the critics of Amoris Laetita” (ed. Ares, due out in Italian November 10). According to reports circulated by Vatican Insider, Cardinal Müller supports opening a pathway to the sacraments for the “divorced and remarried.” The substance of the Vatican Insider claims would be addressed later in our conversation. For now, Cardinal Müller clarifies that the expression “divorced and remarried” is not really correct, and that we should rather refer to the “baptized in a legitimate sacramental marriage who live more uxorio [as husband and wife] with a partner who is not their legitimate husband or wife.” According to these same interpretations, Cardinal Müller’s essay therefore refutes the position of the Dubia cardinals.

    “Not at all,” the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith repeated. “The Dubia are authoritative and clearly legitimate. I gave a response that isn’t against any person. My text is clear on this. A correct interpretation [of my text] is that Amoris Laetitia can and must be interpreted in an orthodox way in the unity of Catholic tradition.”

    “Unfortunately,” Müller continues, “some people always take a ‘partisan’ view, for or against the Pope, as if the Church were a political party. My intervention is not meant to continue the polemics but to overcome them, and to speak about these issues theologically. It is not about being right at any cost, but about honoring revealed Truth.”

    “I would like my reflections to help us get away from this narrow view: the issue is the Truth, what Jesus Christ said, not the Pope or the Cardinals,” he said. “And as for the Pope, it is necessary to distinguish what is written in magisterial documents, in which he is a teacher of the faith, from what can be opinions, comments and even intentions that, being private claims, have no relevance for the divine and Catholic faith. In any case, the only criterion for judgment is what Jesus Christ said. Let’s not talk about divorced and remarried but about legitimate sacramental marriage before God or [a marriage that is] not valid. And in this case, how do we help these couples who live more uxorio without being validly married before God?”

    Cascioli: And so we touch on the question of the indissolubility of marriage. In recent days, it’s been said that you are convinced there can be some exceptions.

    Cardinal Muller: No exceptions. This idea is false. I gave a clear theological explanation, which left no room for misunderstanding. I would like to bring peace to the situation and not fuel polemics between opposing groups.

    And so we need to be clear that when it comes to a legitimate sacramental marriage there can be no exceptions. The sacraments are efficacious ex opere operato. Just as there are no exceptions in the validity of baptism, or of the transubstantiation of the bread into the Body of Christ.”

    But in Buttiglione’s essay, he refers to several very particular situations in which there would be a venial sin, so that it should be possible to be absolved and to receive the sacraments while maintaining the state of the second union.

    In my introduction it is very clearly written that reconciliation is needed, and this is only possible if there is first contrition and a firm purpose not to commit the sin anymore. Certain people who address these issues do not understand that approaching the Sacrament of Reconciliation does not mean automatic absolution. There are essential elements without which reconciliation cannot be achieved. If there isn’t contrition there cannot be absolution and if there is no absolution, if one remains in the state of mortal sin, one cannot receive Communion.

    As for Buttiglione, he refers to situations where knowledge of the Catholic faith is a problem. These are cases of unconscious Christians, who are baptized but unbelieving, who may have gotten married in Church to please their grandmother, but without a real awareness. Here it becomes a problem when, after many years, they return to the faith and then question the marriage. There are many such cases. Benedict XVI also looked at the issue. So what’s to be done? In this sense we can say with the Pope that discernment is needed, but this does not mean that one can be granted access to the sacraments without the conditions mentioned above. The issue here is not about the indissolubility of sacramental marriage, but about the validity of many marriages that aren’t really valid.

    But in your essay you also refer to cases of people who convert or return to the faith after already having entered a second union, and regarding the sacraments you talk about a decision in the internal forum. What do you mean?

    While in Europe things are clear enough at least theoretically, in many countries there are many difficult situations to judge. In Latin America, for example, there are many marriages that are not celebrated according to the canonical form. There are couples who live together but one doesn’t know if there is an actual marriage consent. I was in Haiti recently and the situation there is disastrous; everyone is called a spouse. They live together but they aren’t formally married either in church or civilly. When some mature, they start going to church and then you have to determine who the true husband or wife is. And here it’s important for the person to be honest and say sincerely with whom they have expressed true consent, because it is the consent that makes a marriage, not only the canonical form. In any case, in order to be admitted to the sacraments, the parish priest or bishop must clarify the situation in cooperation with the freedom of the faithful. But there are also situations that are overturned.

    Can you say more?

    There are particular circumstances, for example under regimes that persecute the Church, where it isn’t possible to be married canonically. Let’s take the example of North Korea: the few Catholics who are present there still have the right to marry, and here a marriage is possible only through consent. But if in time something happens and the two separate, and they want to remarry, then everything depends on the internal forum, on their honesty in acknowledging if there was consent or not, and they have to express that to the priest or to the new husband or wife.

    This is where conscience comes into play.

    Yes, but conscience understood properly, not like certain journalists explain it who water down the truth. We are talking about a right conscience, one that cannot say “I don’t have to respect God’s law.” Conscience does not free us from God’s law but gives us the guidance to fulfill it.

    However, in your introduction to Buttiglione’s book, you shy away from casuistry and seem especially concerned with offering several clear criteria for understanding Amoris Laetitia so as to avoid what you explicitly call “heretical interpretations.”

    Exactly. Unfortunately, there are individual bishops and whole episcopal conferences that are proposing interpretations that contradict the previous Magisterium, admitting to the sacraments persons who persist in objective situations of grave sin. But this is not the criterion for applying Amoris Laetitia. Pope Francis himself spoke of a Thomist apostolic exhortation. And so it is right to read it in light of St. Thomas, and on admission to the Eucharist, St. Thomas is clear dogmatically and also has a pastoral sensitivity for individuals.
    sparrow and Carol55 like this.
  2. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    Maybe his voice is getting even a little louder...

    Cardinal Muller Goes Against Pope’s Magnum Principium
    November 9, 2017 Editor Translation / New Missal
    The former prefect of the CDF Cardinal Muller has voiced reservations about Pope Francis’ Magnum principium, which gave national Bishops’ Conferences more freedom in translating liturgical texts.

    Translated from Passauer Neue Presse:

    Muller expresses reserve about giving bishops’ conferences more freedom in the translation of liturgical texts. The Cardinal says the liturgy should unite and not divide. “The last authority in cases of doubt cannot lie with bishops’ conferences.” Otherwise one could fear that the unity of the Catholic Church in faith, confession, and prayer would be destroyed. . . . The cardinal referred to experiences where bishops have brought in translators who watered down Biblical and other texts under the pretext of better comprehension.

    You can find the full report, in German, here.
  3. BrianK

    BrianK Resident Kook, Crank, Curmudgeon - & Mod Staff Member


    Cardinal Müller: bishops’ conferences cannot have the final word on translations
    Staff ReporterFriday, 10 Nov 2017
    Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller attends the Epiphany Mass at St Peter's in 2015 (Getty)
    The cardinal said bishops often use translators who 'water down' liturgical texts

    Cardinal Gerhard Müller has said the Vatican must have the ultimate authority over translations of liturgical texts, or else the unity of the Church could be “destroyed”.

    In an interview with Passauer Neue Presse, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith expressed reservations about Pope Francis’s motu proprio Magnum Principium, which gives greater powers to bishops’ conferences over translations.

    “The ultimate authority in the case of doubt cannot lie with the Episcopal Conferences, which would destroy the unity of the Catholic Church in faith, confession and prayer,” the cardinal said.

    He explained that he has “often experienced that the translators used by the bishops have watered down the biblical and liturgical texts on the pretext of better comprehension”.

    Since the introduction of Mass in the vernacular after the Second Vatican Council, bishops and theologians have argued over how faithful to the original Latin the new translations should be.

    One ongoing controversy is over how to translate “pro multis” in the words of Consecration. The phrase literally translates as “for many” but some translators reinterpreted the words as “for all”.

    Last week, however, Pope Francis appeared to come down on the side of the more traditional translation, saying: “The ‘many’ who will rise for eternal life are to be understood as the ‘many’ for whom the blood of Christ was shed.”

    Francis added that “for many” better expresses the idea that people have a choice to make in this life – whether to be for God or against Him.

    Cardinal Müller’s words come just days after he weighed into the row on Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics, clarifying comments he made in a foreword to a book on the subject.

    “The purpose of my intervention was only to state that the one way to interpret Amoris Laetitia is in continuity with the Word of God in the Bible, the previous Magisterium, and with the Tradition of the great Councils of Florence, Trent and Vatican II,” he said.
    HeavenlyHosts and Carol55 like this.
  4. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    Alleluia! I think that it is possible that we are witnessing Cardinal Müller being moved by the Holy Spirit!!!
    HeavenlyHosts, BrianK and sterph like this.
  5. sunburst

    sunburst Archangels

    Is this Cardinal Muller being moved by the Holy Spirit? I am not sure what to make of the Cardinals stance in this articleo_O
    Cardinal Müller: They want me to head a group against the Pope, but I’m staying with the Pope. However, those who are complaining should be heard

    Excerpts from an interview conducted by Massimo Franco of Corriere della Sera:
    Chiesa e Post Concilio
    November 25, 2017

    “There is a front of traditionalist groups, just as there is with the progressivists, that would like to see me as head of a movement against the Pope. But I will never do this. I have served the Church with love for 40 years as a priest, 16 years as a university professor of dogmatic theology and 10 years as a diocesan bishop. I believe in the unity of the Church and I will not allow anyone to exploit my negative experiences of recent months. Church authorities, on the other hand, need to listen to those who have serious questions or justified complaints; not ignoring them, or worse, humiliating them. Otherwise, unwittingly, the risk of a slow separation that might lead to a schism may increase, from a disorientated and disillusioned part of the Catholic world. The history of Martin Luther’s Protestant Schism of 500 years ago, should teach us, above all, what errors to avoid.”

    “The Pope confided to me: ‘Some have told me anonymously that you are my enemy’ without explaining in what way” he recounts unhappily. “After 40 years at the service of the Church, I had to hear this: an absurdity set up by prattlers who instead of instilling worry in the Pope they would do better visiting a 'shrink'. A Catholic bishop and cardinal of the Holy Roman Church is by nature with the Holy Father. But, I believe, as Melchoir Cano, the 16th century theologian said, that the true friends are not those who flatter the Pope, but those who help him with the truth and theological, human competence.” In all the organizations of the world, delatores of this type serve only themselves.”
    “The tensions in the Church arise from the contrast between an extremist traditionalist front on some websites, and an equally exaggerated progressive front which today seeks to credit themselves as super-papists”.

    Translation: Contributor Francesca Romana
  6. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers


    I am not certain what to make of this either. This statement by itself could make any divisions worse than they are. Hopefully, some high-ranked clergyman will make a statement that helps unite the Church as opposed to a statement like this.

    It feels as if every time there is some good news some not so good news follows it.
    sunburst likes this.
  7. sunburst

    sunburst Archangels

    Thank you Carol, I think clarity is the key,...we all need it in these times of confusion. I don't know of anyone who is willfully against the Pope.
  8. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Poor Cardinal Muller. He is a good man but very innocent. I don;t think he can grasp that other people can be very,very bad. A young girl joined out work a few months ago. I was talking to an older lady in work the other day in this young girls company and she called me to one side and told me the young girl is going round repeating back stories she heard. private conversations concerning others. I am sorry this appears to be going on in Rome. More that the Holy Father is listening to such things, there is nothing worse than a tale bearer.
    sterph, AED and sunburst like this.
  9. sunburst

    sunburst Archangels


    non veni pacem

    The Splendor of Truth

    Cardinal Müller: Trad blogs are half the problem
    Posted on November 27, 2017
    And the other half are heretics…

    “The tensions in the Church arise from the contrast between an extremist traditionalist front on some websites, and an equally exaggerated progressive front which today seeks to credit themselves as super-papists.”
    Leave aside for a moment the problem of calling out faithful Catholics as “equally” to blame with the heretics, and recognize the bigger news: It’s the latest admission of the incredible, borderline miraculous impact of the tiny, tiny tradsphere on the evil empire. I’m not using that word lightly; a miracle – supernatural intervention – is exactly what is needed, and is probably the only means to remedy the entire situation. How many trad blogs would you say might exist in the world? In the English speaking world, it’s fewer than 20, right? How many in all other languages? Well, the “Warrior Ants” (h/t Mundabor) continue to punch way above their weight. At this point, there is probably an entire secret dicastery monitoring the enemy. The Pontifical Council for Integral Closeness to Deplorables on the Margins. Or some such.

    Go read the longer excerpt at Rorate HERE.

    As has become his custom, Müller manages to play both sides multiple times in the span of two paragraphs. It seems clear there is signaling going on here, to some group or groups, but at some point the dear cardinal will indeed need to choose which side he is on.
  10. Carol55

    Carol55 Powers

    Sunburst, Thank you for posting this.

    The clergy and laity are supposed to be on Christ's side, the side of the truth. IMHO, no matter what "adjectives" they want to put in front of the word Catholic there are only two sides, the side of the truth and the opposite of the truth - lies.

    I wonder if they took a poll at Mass one Sunday and asked the laity what would be better to stay with Christ's teachings or should we change them, what answers would they get. I think that they might be surprised that most people would state that want to stay with Christ's teachings.

    In addition, they should realize that there are a large variety of Protestant churches in existence already for those who want to change them.
    AED, Don_D and sunburst like this.
  11. Dolours

    Dolours Powers

    Trad blogs may well be half the problem, the other half being lack of clarity from the one whose duty it is to teach clearly and unambiguously.

    Are trad blogs responsible for Bishops issuing conflicting interpretations of an Apostolic Exhortation (some of which conflict with Cardinal Muller's own interpretation) or does the problem lie in the Exhortation's ambiguity?
  12. padraig

    padraig New Member

    Shoot the messengers
    SgCatholic, sterph, AED and 2 others like this.
  13. AED

    AED Powers

    Well said.

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