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Archbishop Chaput: Pope cannot change teaching on marriage

March 03, 2017

Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles Chaput has said that Pope Francis cannot contradict the teaching of St. John Paul II on marriage.

In an interview with John Allen of Crux, Archbishop Chaput said that he thought Pope Francis should answer the dubia submitted by four cardinals about the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia. The archbishop—who has made it clear that in the Philadelphia archdiocese the traditional teaching of the Church will still be upheld, and Catholics who are divorced and remarried will not be admitted to Communion—said that the current Pope cannot contradict his predecessors “when it is a matter of official teaching.” He explained:

It seems to me that it’s impossible for us to contradict the words of Jesus, and it’s also impossible for a teaching to be true 20 years ago not to be true today when it’s the teachings of the Pope.

Archbishop Chaput said that Church leaders should help the faithful “through the confusion and disappointment I think some people are experiencing” because of discordant messages on the Church’s teaching.


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Show 12 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Ken - Mar. 04, 2017 6:53 PM ET USA

    Pope Francis may not be able to contradict the teachings of JPII, but he can sow enough confusion to accomplish the same thing.

  • Posted by: Tim S. - Mar. 04, 2017 4:35 PM ET USA

    Although no one deserves it more than him, I'll bet he'll never be named a Cardinal now.

  • Posted by: - Mar. 04, 2017 2:45 PM ET USA

    I stand with Archbishop Chaput!!

  • Posted by: MWCooney - Mar. 04, 2017 1:34 PM ET USA

    Thank God for the courage of Archbishop Chaput, and please, Lord, let this be one of the first signs of many more that we will get out of this storm soon, without losing too many overboard.

  • Posted by: ILM - Mar. 04, 2017 11:07 AM ET USA

    When the College of Cardinals selects a new Pope, their choices is not limited to only those who are already Cardinals.

  • Posted by: feedback - Mar. 04, 2017 7:05 AM ET USA

    St. John Paul II, when pressured to consider ordination of women, used to respond: "The Pope does not have the authority to change the teachings of Jesus Christ." Thank God for faithful shepherds, like Archbishop Chaput, who bravely remind us about the supremacy of Divine Authority. And thank God for St. John Paul II being the Pope from 1978 to 2005. I couldn't imagine a different Pope in those troubled times.

  • Posted by: Frodo1945 - Mar. 03, 2017 10:19 PM ET USA

    Ditto Terri. I'll take clarity over ambiguity every day. Archbishop Chaput is clear. Saint John Paul II was clear.

  • Posted by: Bveritas2322 - Mar. 03, 2017 10:16 PM ET USA

    What is most disturbing is how obtuse Francis is about considering the damaging consequences to just being focused on helping sinners avoid feeling guilty.

  • Posted by: jeremiahjj - Mar. 03, 2017 7:06 PM ET USA

    This article needs clarification. Specifically, the statement "... Catholics who are divorced and remarried will not be admitted to Communion ..." unless previous union(s) have gone through a diocesan nullification process that found sacramental requirements for a valid marriage did not exist.

  • Posted by: unum - Mar. 03, 2017 6:35 PM ET USA

    Abp. Chaput is a prince of the Church. Perhaps an unpopular prince as far as the Vatican is concerned, but a prince none the less.

  • Posted by: rjbennett1294 - Mar. 03, 2017 6:05 PM ET USA

    He can't? But he is.

  • Posted by: Terri11 - Mar. 03, 2017 5:34 PM ET USA

    Always love to hear what Chaput has to say. He is a firm leader of the Church.