Cardinal Muller caves?

[Cardinal Muller caves?]

From Gloria.TV News on the 19th of December 2016

Anathema: On Friday Cardinal Müller, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said to the Passauer Neue Presse that there are cases when Catholics can decide on their own with a confessor that their marriage is null. This opinion has been condemned by the Council of Trent as a heresy. Quote: “If any one saith, that matrimonial cases do not belong to ecclesiastical judges; let him be anathema.”

[Google translation of the complete German text of the December 17, 2016, Gloria.TV News item]

Cardinal Müller contradicts a Tridentine anathema]

Yesterday [December 16, 2016] the prefect of the Congregation for the Congregation of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, of the “Passauer Neue Presse”, said that a marriage is valid in a church procedure. There were individual cases in which no clarity could be achieved under the laws of the Church, but “an individual man, in his conscience, and after a careful consultation with his confessor, honestly comes to the conviction of the invalidity of his marriage.”

Cardinal Müller’s opinion is condemned in the Church. The Council of Trent condemns the statement that the conscience of the individual can be a judge of the invalidity of the first marriage. It says in the meeting XXIV: “Who says marriage matters were not before ecclesiastical judges:. Let him be anathema”

Pope Pius VI. Explained that the questions of the validity of a marriage belong exclusively to the ecclesiastical judges, for the validity of the sacraments is valid. (Pius VI, Deessemus Nobis of 1788, in: DH 2598).

The Congregation for the Congregation of the Faith has, with the consent of Pope John Paul II, addressed a letter to the bishops on the communion reception of remarried divorced persons (Annus Internationalis Familiae, 14 September 1994, AAS 86 [1994], 974-979).

The letter states:

‘6. Believers who, as in marriage, live together with a person who is not their legal spouse or their legitimate spouse, may not enter the Holy Communion. In the event that they thought this possible, the shepherds and confessors, because of the gravity of the matter and the demands of the spiritual well-being of the persons concerned, and the general well-being of the Church, have a serious duty to exhort them that such a conscience judgment is in open opposition to the Teaching of the Church. They must also remind this doctrine of all believers entrusted to them. [. . . ]

7. The mistaken conviction of remarried divorcees to be allowed to approach the Eucharistic table, normally presupposes that personal conscience the power is attributed, in the last instance the on the basis of one’s own conviction about the existence or non-existence of the previous marriage and Value of the new connection. However, such a view is inadmissible. Marriage is essentially a public reality because it is the image of the bridal union between Christ and his Church, which is the primeval cell and an important factor in the life of state society.

8th. [. . . ] It is also true that the consensus that constitutes the marriage is not a mere private decision because it creates a specifically ecclesial and social situation for each partner and the couple. The conscience judgment about one’s own marital situation therefore relates not only to the direct relationship between man and God, as if one could get along without the ecclesiastical mediation, which also includes the canonical norms binding in the conscience. To ignore this important aspect would mean to deny marriage as a reality of the Church, that is, as a sacrament. “(Ratzinger, 2014, pp. 37-39).

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2 comments on “Cardinal Muller caves?

  1. “Cardinal Müller, the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said to the Passauer Neue Presse that there are cases when Catholics can decide on their own with a confessor that their marriage is null.”

    Trent’s anathema, however, does not apply to Cdl. Muller, because a “confessor” is a priest, and a priest can be delegated by a bishop to perform the function of judge.
    At least in principle. That doesn’t mean it’s wise or permissible under current law.

  2. [This is not the first time that His Eminence has said such]

    Cardinal Muller: Communion for Adulterers “Conceivable” in “Exceptional Cases” [De-BLEEPed]

    October 18, 2015

    October Surprise! Muller caves…


    As Francis’ Synod on the Family enters its last and decisive week, the German edition of Vatican Radio drops a bombshell: Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, the head of the Vatican’s so-called Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, argued in an interview with the German news magazine Focus that unrepentant adulterers could be admitted to Holy Communion in exceptional cases.

    Here is a translation of the snippet published on Radio Vatikan (the full interview has not yet been released by Focus):

    Curial cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller does not rule out admitting remarried divorcees to Communion “in extreme individual cases”, according to media reports. Although a general admittance to Communion for such members of the faithful could not be granted, in specific cases there could be “an admittance in the realm of conscience”, the leader of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said in a conversation with “Focus” magazine. This was also the view of John Paul II’s 1981 document “Familiaris consortio” (n. 84), according to Muller. “It is possible to think further in this direction”, the German cardinal said. In any case one would have to proceed in accordance with “theologically justifiable perspectives”.

    As prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Muller is participating in the world synod of bishops currently in session. He is part of the German language group, in which are represented nearly all synod participants from Germany and Austria, among them Cardinals Walter Kasper, Reinhard Marx, and Christoph Schönborn. – (“Kardinal Müller: Kommunion für Wiederverheiratete im Einzelfall denkbar”, Radio Vatikan, Oct. 18, 2015; translation: Novus Ordo Watch)

    Aside from the fact that history has proven time and again that anything that begins as an “exception” for “extreme cases” always ends up becoming the rule in practice, Muller’s argument also involves an obvious slippery slope, for once one begins with one exception, there is no sufficient theological or philosophical reason why other exceptions couldn’t be added to the list, and then the entire debate focuses on what reasons are considered “good enough” to constitute such “exceptions”.

    * * *

    Back in 1972, it was a certain Fr. Joseph Ratzinger who proposed the idea of Communion for “remarried” divorcees in — you guessed it! — “exceptional” cases (see here). While it is true that Ratzinger just recently retracted this conclusion of his (apparently it took him over 40 years to understand the meaning of “Thou shalt not commit adultery”), he did not retract or refute the argumentation he had used that leads there — he simply repudiated the conclusion.

    Put your seatbelts on, everyone. The synod’s final few days are about to begin.


    Then-Bishop Muller enjoying himself at World Youth Day in Cologne, 2005 — this is the person who is now “guarding Catholic docrine” in the Vatican

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