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CDF prefect: Church will not change doctrine on divorce/remarriage

Catholic World News - March 04, 2014

In an interview with the National Catholic Register, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has again tossed cold water on speculation about a change in Church teaching regarding Communion for Catholics who are divorced and remarried.

“The idea that doctrine can be separated from the pastoral practice of the Church has become prevalent in some circles,” observed Cardinal Gerhard Müller. “This is not, and never has been, the Catholic faith.”

Cardinal Müller said that Pope Francis, like Pope Benedict XVI before him, has expressed concern about pastoral care for divorced and remarried Catholics. But it would be misleading to suggest that the Church will change perennial teachings, he said. Acknowledging that there have been many reports pointing to such a change, he said: “Sometimes it is necessary to distinguish between reality and its presentation in the media.”

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  • Posted by: koinonia - Mar. 06, 2014 10:34 AM ET USA

    “The idea that doctrine can be separated from the pastoral practice of the Church has become prevalent in some circles,” observed Cardinal Gerhard Müller. “This is not, and never has been, the Catholic faith.” An important assessment, and we are learning the hard way the reality that efforts to effect this separation have done and continue to do tremendous harm. One wonders why we would press the accelerator towards the undersirable cliff that divorces the two.

  • Posted by: tmsharel5764 - Mar. 06, 2014 9:42 AM ET USA

    A comment says, "Staying in a dysfunctional marriage precludes the grace of the sacrament." The grace of the sacrament transforms what some call a "dysfunctional marriage" into a peaceful way to live the word each spouse gave to the other to be faithful until death parts through better or WORSE. Calling a marriage dysfunctional when two baptized parties married in the Church opens the door to the annulment mentality. Maybe that is not what the comment meant, but it is what many seem to think.

  • Posted by: TheJournalist64 - Mar. 04, 2014 7:57 PM ET USA

    As much as I love and empathize with our divorced and remarried Catholics, I know if we start making exceptions here, it will be the beginning of a long slide into becoming a clone of the Episcopal communion. We need to pray for and work with them to regularize their marriages the right way.

  • Posted by: Leopardi - Mar. 04, 2014 6:52 PM ET USA

    The church must reframe the discussions around "divorced Catholics" from what can't be done to what can/must be done to include the divorced/remarried back into the fold. No one enters a bad marrage on purpose and staying in a dysfunctiional marrage precludes the very grace the sacrement is meant to confer. So, I ask the good Cardinal, What is the way to redemption here?

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