We must raise $3,183 by March 31st to pay critical bills. Essential to continue our mission. Donate now!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Chairman of Commission of Cardinals speaks out

Catholic World News - January 20, 2014

In an unusually candid interview with a German newspaper, the chairman of the Commission of Cardinals advising Pope Francis has said that:

Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, told the daily Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger that the Catholic Church has reached “the dawn of a new era” under the leadership of Pope Francis. He expressed excitement about the Pope’s vision for reform in the Church, which he said would emphasize “greater simplicity of life and leadership.”

Cardinal Rodriguez said that the offices of the Roman Curia, which include congregations for bishops, for religious, and for clergy, should be expanded to include a Congregation for Laity, since lay people account for the vast majority of the Catholic population. He said that the Commission of Cardinals would introduce that proposal at the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops.

Regarding the controversy that surrounds Bishop Tebartz-van Elst, the Honduran prelate said that in his opinion, the German bishop could not return to the diocese he had led. He stopped just short of saying that Pope Francis would take the same position. Last October the Vatican announced that the embattled bishop had been relieved because he “cannot, at the present moment, continue to exercise his episcopal ministry.” His future status has not yet been determined.

In perhaps the most surprising part of the interview, Cardinal Rodriguez voiced a public disagreement with another leading prelate when he made clear his disagreement with Archbishop Gerhard Müller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, regarding proposals to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion. Last October, in a strongly worded article published in the official Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, Archbishop Müller cautioned German bishops against assuming a change in the Church’s policy, emphasizing the constant teaching that a marital bond is permanent an inviolable.

Cardinal Rodriquez did not disagree with the Church’s teaching. “The Church is bound by God’s commandments,” he told the German newspaper. “What God has joined together, man must not divide. That is clear.” However, he said, “there are many approaches to interpret it.” Some couples may not truly be married in the eyes of God, he said, and the Church might reconsider the requirements of a binding Christian commitment. He suggested that Archbishop Müller should be open to discussion of the problem, because “maybe you’re right, but maybe you’re wrong.” Oddly enough, Cardinal Rodriguez admitted that he had not spoken directly with Archbishop Müller, the Vatican’s chief doctrinal spokesman, about the question.

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Progress toward our March expenses ($3,183 to go):
$35,000.00 $31,816.87
9% 91%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 3 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Bai Macfarlane (Mary's Advocates) - Jan. 21, 2014 10:46 AM ET USA

    I look forward to the day when the pastoral care for divorced occurs when one spouse chooses to file for civil divorce in the immoral no-fault divorce arena. The Church could uphold it's canons on separation and divorce (c. 104,1153,1060,1692), then the problem of those in second marriages would start to disappear. (MarysAdvocates.org)

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Jan. 20, 2014 7:11 PM ET USA

    It can be argued that the prohibition against divorced and remarried Catholics receiving the sacraments is a matter of the ordinary magisterium, and thus infallible. If this doctrine is reversed, Katie needs to bar the door, because it will be flung open for a host of other desires from the Protestantizers and modernists. God help us.

  • Posted by: Defender - Jan. 20, 2014 6:06 PM ET USA

    Public undermining of a prefect by a prince of the Church? Things sure have changed....

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

Scientific Evidence for the Creator 16 hours ago
A request for help from our unregistered followers March 25
Catholic movie watching is more important than watching Catholic movies March 25
Cardinal Kasper: Will flattery get him somewhere? March 25
An ecclesiastical battle over Germany March 24

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope announces Jubilee: a Year of Mercy CWN - March 13