Cardinal Brandmuller: Anyone who opens Communion to adulterers ‘is a heretic and promotes schism’

In an interview with the German newspaper Der Spiegel last December 23, 2016, one of the four Cardinals who raised the dubia has said, “Whoever thinks that persistent adultery and the reception of Holy Communion are compatible is a heretic and promotes schism.”

Cardinal Walter Brandmuller made the remark while speaking with Spiegel reporter Walter Mayr about the dubia – the as yet unanswered questions asked openly and officially by four Cardinals seeking to have the Pope clarify potentially heretical interpretations of his Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

In a separate interview released also in December 2016 by Vatican Radio, close papal confidant Cardinal Walter Kasper says the Pope has been clear in Amoris Laetitia and that the Pope confirmed his take in his statements approving the approach of the Argentine bishops. The letter to the Argentine bishops to which Cardinal Kasper refers has Pope Francis saying that it is authentic to interpret Amoris Laetitia in a way which permits Holy Communion in limited cases to divorced and remarried couples with no possibility of annulment.

In Catholic terms, that means communion for those living in adultery as per the words of Christ Himself: (Lk 16:18) “Every man that divorces his wife, and marries another, commits adultery: and he that marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.”

Taken together the statements demonstrate the stark difference between the approaches of various Cardinals to the dubia. While for some the openness to changing the Church on the matter means outright heresy, for others it is a necessary and Holy Spirit-driven evolution of the Church’s teaching or at least pastoral practice.

Cardinal Brandmuller told Der Spiegel that clergy have no right to alter Christ’s own teachings. “We are, according to the Apostle St. Paul, administrators of the mysteries of God, but not holders of the right of disposal,” he said.

The stark difference between the top leaders of the Catholic Church has apparently not been lost on the Pope. Der Spiegel’s Mayr reports on a rumoured saying of Pope Francis to a “very small circle” in which he said, “It is not to be excluded that I will enter history as the one who split the Catholic Church.”∎

by John-Henry Westen, Lifesite News

Cardinal Müller: Communion Remains Off-Limits for “Remarried”

mullerThe head of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, considered second only to the pope as the Vatican’s authority on doctrinal matters, has responded to the question of whether Pope Francis’ recent exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, has opened the door to giving Communion to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.

Cardinal Gerhard Müller’s response is unambiguous: the Church’s teaching cannot be changed, and the exhortation did not do so.

“It is not possible to live in God’s grace while living in a sinful situation,” he said, and continued by saying that people living in sin “cannot receive Holy Communion unless they have received absolution in the sacrament of penance.” Müller importantly added that the “Church has no power to change the Divine Law” and that “Not even a pope or council can change that.”

The cardinal gave his remarks during a recent trip to Spain. As reported by the German Newspaper Die Tagespost, and translated by Maike Hickson at 1Peter5, Cardinal Müller spoke directly to arguments interpreting Amoris Laetitia as saying, in the words of the newspaper, that “the door has been opened for the remarried to be admitted to the Sacraments in individual cases.”  The newspaper reports that the cardinal stated, “with decisiveness,” that this is not the case, and that statements by previous popes on the matter still stand.

“This applies clearly to the reception of Holy Communion by remarried divorcees,” said Müller. “What has been taught by John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio and by Benedict XVI in Sacramentum Caritatis is still valid in an unchanged way.”  He further emphasized: “The principle is that no one can really want to receive a Sacrament – the Eucharist – without having at the same time the will to live according to the other Sacraments, among them the Sacrament of Marriage.”

Arguments that Amoris Laetitia changed Church practice on Communion for the divorced and remarried are based largely on footnote 351, which comes in the context of a chapter devoted to the Church’s pastoral care for couples in “irregular” unions, and which states that this help can “in some cases include the help of the Sacraments” – with reference to Confession and the Eucharist.

At face value, this footnote was taken by many, including several German bishops, among them Cardinal Reinhard Marx, as marking a change from Pope St. John Paul II’s teaching in Familiaris Consortio. Cardinal Walter Kasper, while not making specific reference to the footnote, has also stated that it “seems clear” the exhortation allows Communion for the remarried divorcees.

In Familiaris Consortio Pope John Paul II had stated that couples in adulterous second unions can only receive the Eucharist if they separate, or, if they cannot separate for “serious reasons,” then they live together as “brother and sister” – i.e. without sexual relations.

However, Cardinal Müller clarified that this Magisterial teaching cannot change, and that, even if the pope intended to do so, the conditions for changing such a serious matter are not present in Amoris Laetitia.

If Amoris Laetitia intended to rescind such a deeply rooted and such a weighty discipline, it would have expressed itself in a clear manner and it would have given the reasons for it. However, such a statement with such a meaning is not to be found in [Amoris Laetitia]. Nowhere does the pope put into question the arguments of his predecessors. They are not based upon the subjective guilt of these our brothers and sisters, but, rather, upon the visible, objective way of life which is in opposition to the words of Christ.

Speaking directly to footnote 351, the cardinal stated that the footnote was not speaking specifically about situations of remarried divorcees.

“Without entering into this question in a deeper way, it is sufficient to point out that this footnote refers in a general way to objective situations of sin, and not to the specific cases of the civilly remarried divorcees,” he stated. “Because this latter situation has its own distinctive characteristics which differentiate it from other situations.”

The cardinal clarified once again that footnote 351 did not change the teachings promulgated by Pope John Paul II or by Cardinal Ratzinger, when the latter was head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Footnote 351 does not “touch upon the earlier discipline,” said the cardinal. “The norms of FC 84 and SC 29 and their application in all cases continue to remain valid.”

by Maike Hickson,One Peter Five

Pope’s Favourite Journalist Claims Pope Francis Approves Communion for all Remarried Who Ask

Atheist_Scalfari_and_Pope_FrancisJust days after the conclusion of the Synod on the Family, Eugenio Scalfari, the atheist co-founder of the Italian daily La Republicca, said that Pope Francis told him “all the divorced [and remarried Catholics] who ask” will be admitted to Holy Communion.

Scalfari, who has published numerous controversial interviews with the pope, said that Francis phoned him the evening of October 28 to discuss an article Scalfari had written about the synod.

Scalfari said Pope Francis spoke about the diversity of opinions expressed by bishops at the Oct. 4-25 synod, particularly on the feasibility of some divorced and civilly remarried Catholics receiving absolution and being allowed to receive Communion even if their first, sacramental marriage has not been annulled.  Scalfari quotes the pope as follows:

The diverse opinion of the bishops is part of this modernity of the Church and of the diverse societies in which she operates, but the goal is the same, and for that which regards the admission of the divorced to the Sacraments, [it] confirms that this principle has been accepted by the Synod. This is bottom line result, the de facto appraisals are entrusted to the confessors, but at the end of faster or slower paths, all the divorced who ask will be admitted.

The synod’s final report to Pope Francis was not that clear and, in fact, did not specifically mention Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried. In current church practice, divorced and remarried Catholics are forbidden to receive Communion because they are living a state of grave sin – adultery.  In almost all cases, such people are not to receive Communion because the church recognizes only their sacramental marriage as valid.

Contrary to the Magisterium of the Church

John_Paul_II_on_Communion_for_Divorced_and_Remarried.pngThe pope’s support of the controversial proposal of Cardinal Kasper to allow Communion for the divorced and remarried runs contrary to the official Magisterium of the Church.

In 1980, there was a meeting of the Synod of Bishops on the Family, and Pope John Paul II subsequently issued the Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio.  Paragraph 84 comments on the situation of the divorced and remarried and under what conditions they may be invited to the reception of communion.

St. John Paul II wrote:

The Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI re-affirmed the above teaching in Sacramentum Caritatis, the 2007 apostolic exhortation which followed the 2005 synod on the Eucharist:

The synod of bishops confirmed the Church’s practice, based on Sacred Scripture, of not admitting the divorced and re­married to the sacraments, since their state and their condition of life objective­ly contradict the loving union of Christ and the Church signified and made present in the Eucharist.

5th Controversial Interview

This latest article by Scalfari is the 5th such interview granted by the Pope to the controversial atheist author.  Previous interviews have caused a firestorm of controversy, with outrightly heretical statements attributed to the Pope.  While many have questioned the reliability and accuracy of Scalfari’s quotations of the Pope, it must be noted that the Scalfari interviews have been published by the Vatican in a book containing “official” interviews of the Pope with various journalists.

We also recall Vatican spokesman Fr. Lombardi who, pressed by reporters on the reliability of the Scalfari interviews, said that if Francis felt his thought had been “gravely misrepresented,” he would have said so. To-date, Pope Francis has not denied or clarified any of the interviews.

The 4th interview, published on March 15, was a  highly controversial one, since in it, Scalfari has the pope denying hell.  Scalfari wrote:

What happens to that lost soul? Will it be punished? And how? The response of Francis is distinct and clear: there is no punishment, but the annihilation of that soul.  All the others will participate in the beatitude of living in the presence of the Father. The souls that are annihilated will not take part in that banquet; with the death of the body their journey is finished.∎

by Christopher Leonis