|Bishop Gebhard Furst|
Thanks to Pete at Et Cum Spiritu Tuo blog for linking this Lifesite News article. Why is this schism? It involves disobedience of a direct instruction on a matter of faith by the competent Vatican authority. Weird that the German bishops can spot schism in the SSPX well enough, where there was disobedience, but no matter of faith or morals at issue.
Please pause for a moment, and contemplate that the last two clear statements coming from the Vatican that have unreservedly upheld the doctrine of the faith have come from Archbishop Gerhard Müller, the same man whose elevation to the Holy Office coincided with the collapse of the rumored Rome-SSPX agreement.
That is where we are, people.
German bishops will defy Vatican on divorced-remarried receiving Communion: Bishop FürstThe statement was a reiteration of guidelines published in October by the Archdiocese of Freiburg to admit the divorced and remarried to the Sacraments without previous annulment of marriage “under certain circumstances.”
Following some recent comments made by Pope Francis, there was widespread anticipation that the Church was about to alter its position. But this was definitively quashed by an article by the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Archbishop Gerhard Müller, prefect of the CDF, reiterated the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage and that those who have remarried after divorce are objectively in a state of grave sin, namely adultery.
The German bishops had already issued “guidelines” for parishes that allowed such individuals to decide for themselves whether to receive Communion based on subjective criteria. But Müller wrote, “If the prior marriage of two divorced and remarried members of the faithful was valid, under no circumstances can their new union be considered lawful, and therefore reception of the sacraments is intrinsically impossible.”
“The conscience of the individual is bound to this norm without exception,” he added. Guidelines that would allow the divorced and remarried to receive the Sacraments “would cause confusion among the faithful about the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage,” he said.
The guidelines recommend that “in justified individual cases divorced should be allowed to return again to the sacraments…A personally responsible decision of conscience and a conversation with the chaplains are prerequisite.”
After publishing the article reiterating the Church’s teaching, however, Müller then wrote a letter addressed specifically to all German bishops instructing them to withdraw the guidelines and re-write them.
Later, Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and a member of Pope Francis’ inner circle, said that Müller’s intervention had not ended the discussion.