[Cardinal Muller caves?]
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 , 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).