Vatican officials warn against division over ‘Amoris Laetitia’

(NCR Online) The prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, has called for greater objectivity in the debate over Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

“At the moment, it is important for every single one of us to remain objective and not allow ourselves to become divided or even less to trigger polarization,” Müller told the Austrian Catholic press agency Kathpress in Rome Dec. 1.

The Vatican will not be replying to four cardinals’ Sept. 19 letter in which they questioned Francis’ teaching in Amoris Laetitia, Müller said. The letter, made public in November, was signed by Carlo Caffarra, former archbishop of Bologna, Italy; Raymond Burke, head of the Order of Malta; Walter Brandmüller, former president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences; and Joachim Meisner, former archbishop of Cologne, Germany.

While the doctrinal prefect did not comment directly on the question of whether divorced and remarried Catholics may in certain individual cases be allowed to receive the Eucharist, he did underline that Amoris Laetitia must not be interpreted to mean that the teaching of previous popes and of the doctrinal congregation is no longer valid. He recalled that in 1994, under the then-prefect Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (later Pope Benedict XVI), the congregation had rejected the suggestion by three German bishops that, in individual cases, divorced and remarried Catholics be allowed to receive Communion.

The indissolubility of marriage must remain “the unshakable basis of any pastoral accompaniment,” Müller emphasized. [More]


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