No change on the Sacraments for divorcees
The Vatican this week reconfirmed that there is ‘no possibility of admitting remarried divorcees to the Sacraments.’
Archbishop Gerhard Müller, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, writes this week that only a church tribunal, and not simply one’s conscience, could decide if a marriage was truly invalid. This reconfirms longstanding Vatican teaching after speculation the Church’s position could shift after next year’s Synod on the Family.
In a lengthy article published on Tuesday in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, the archbishop restated the centuries-long ban as simply following the command of Christ. He also found fault with the Orthodox Church for allowing divorce and remarriage, saying it was an ‘ecumenical problem.’ The ‘liberal praxis’ and ‘pastoral leniency’ adopted by the Orthodox, he said, ‘cannot be reconciled with God’s will, as expressed unambiguously in Jesus’ sayings about the indissolubility of marriage.’
“Clearly, the care of remarried divorcees must not be reduced to the question of receiving the Eucharist,” Archbishop Müller writes
“It involves a much more wide-ranging pastoral approach. There are other ways, apart from sacramental communion, of being in fellowship with God.”
He also warned that because many Christians are influenced by today’s ‘secularised environment,’ marriages nowadays ‘are probably invalid more often than they were previously, because there is a lack of desire for marriage in accordance with Catholic teaching.
He went on to say that there is too little socialisation within an environment of Faith.’