The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith draws from the teachings of Jesus, the Church Fathers, ecumenical councils, and recent popes.
“The problem concerning members of the faithful who have entered into a new civil union after a divorce is not new,” Müller begins the article, entitled "The Power of Grace." “The Church has always taken this question very seriously and with a view to helping the people who find themselves in this situation.”
He acknowledges, though, that the Church’s long-time stance on the matter has come under question recently. “Today even firm believers are seriously wondering: can the Church not admit the divorced and remarried to the sacraments under certain conditions? Are her hands permanently tied on this matter? Have theologians really explored all the implications and consequences?”
Here are the thirteen most important quotes from his defense of the Church’s position that divorced and remarried Catholic cannot be admitted to communion without receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation and agreeing to at least live in continence with their new partner:
1) What are the sources to consider for answering this question? They are Scripture and Tradition as interpreted by the Magisterium.
2) In Scripture, Jesus teaches that marriage is indissoluble, pointing to God’s original plan in creation.
3) The early Church fathers understood Jesus’ teaching on the indissolubility of marriage as binding and rejected divorce laws.
4) The Catholic Church has always defended the Scriptural and Traditional teaching that divorce and remarriage is impossible. The teaching was upheld at both the Council of Trent and the Second Vatican Council.
"The Second Vatican Council, in the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes on “The Church in the Modern World”, presents a theologically and spiritually profound doctrine of marriage. It upholds the indissolubility of marriage clearly and distinctly.”
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