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CDF prefect nixes German archdiocesan policy on Communion for divorced/remarried Catholics

CWN - November 13, 2013

The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has directed the Archdiocese of Freiburg, Germany, to retract a policy allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion if they reached a “decision in conscience” that they should do so.

Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller said that the Freiburg policy “would cause confusion among the faithful about the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.”

The Freiburg policy was put forward by an archdiocesan office shortly after the resignation of Archbishop Robert Zollitsch. Vatican officials had already pointed out that diocesan officials have no authority to undertake major changes in Church policy during the interregnum before the appointment of a new bishop.

However, the pressure for a change in Church policies regarding divorced and remarried Catholics continues to build, especially in the German-speaking world. Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich, a member of the 8-man Council of Cardinals, said that Archbishop Müller “cannot stop the discussions.” A serious discussion of the topic is expected at the October 2014 meeting of the Synod of Bishops.

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