THE SERVANT GENERAL
COMMUNION FOR DIVORCED AND REMARRIED - 7
April 15, 2015
Now here is a very strong statement from Cardinal Brandmuller
about those who advocate changing Catholic teaching to accommodate
those in irregular unions: They are heretics!
Yes, let us call a spade a spade. If it is sin, it is not
“a growth experience.” If it is sodomy, it is
not “an alternative lifestyle.”
Bishops need to speak out, and to speak clearly, firmly and
boldly. Let us bring Catholics back from their confusion about
what our Catholic faith truly teaches, and about the true
beauty of Christian marriage.
Cardinal Brandmüller: Advocates for changing
Catholic teaching on marriage are ‘heretics’ –
even if they are bishops
14, 2015 (LifeSiteNews.com) -- Cardinal Walter Brandmüller
has been among the leading voices critical of proposals stemming
from the Vatican’s Synod on the Family that risk subverting
Catholic teaching on the sacraments and morality. He was one
of five cardinals who contributed to the book Remaining in
the Truth of Christ, which focused on criticizing Cardinal
Walter Kasper’s proposal to open up Communion to those
in irregular sexual unions.
LifeSiteNews contributor Dr. Maike Hickson interviewed Cardinal
Brandmüller last month.
LifeSiteNews: Could you present once more for our
readers clearly the teaching of the Catholic Church, as it
has been consistently taught throughout centuries concerning
marriage and its indissolubility?
The answer is to be found in the Catechism of the Catholic
Church no. 1638-1642.
Can the Church admit remarried couples to Holy Communion,
even though their second marriage is not valid in the eyes
of the Church?
would be possible if the concerned couples would make the
decision to live in the future like brother and sister. This
solution is especially worth considering when the care for
children disallows a separation. The decision for such a path
would be a convincing expression of the penance for the previous
and protracted act of adultery.
Can the Church deal with the topic of marriage in
a pastoral manner that is different from the continual teaching
of the Church? Can the Church at all change the teaching itself
without falling herself into heresy?
is evident that the pastoral
practice of the Church cannot stand in opposition to the binding
doctrine nor simply ignore it. In the same
manner, an architect could perhaps build a most beautiful
bridge. However, if he does not pay attention to the laws
of structural engineering, he risks the collapse of his construction.
In the same manner, every pastoral practice has to follow
the Word of God if it does not want to fail. A
change of the teaching, of the dogma, is unthinkable. Who
nevertheless consciously does it, or insistently demands it,
is a heretic – even if he wears the Roman Purple.
Is not the whole discussion about the admittance of
remarried to the Holy Eucharist also an expression of the
fact that many Catholics do not believe any more in the Real
Presence and rather think that they receive in Holy Communion
anyway only a piece of bread?
there is an indissoluble inner contradiction in someone who
wants to receive the Body and Blood of Christ and to unite
himself with Him, while in the same time he disregards consciously
His Commandment. How shall this work? St. Paul says about
this matter: 'Who eats and drinks unworthily, is eating and
drinking his judgment...' But: You are right. By far not all
Catholics believe in the Real Presence of Christ in the consecrated
host. One can see this fact already in the way many –
even priests – pass the tabernacle without genuflection.
Why is there nowadays such a strong attack on the
indissolubility of marriage within the Church? A possible
answer could be that the spirit of relativism has entered
the Church, but there must be more reasons. Could you name
some? And are not all these reasons a sign of the crisis of
Faith within the Church herself?
course, if certain moral standards that have been valid generally,
always, and everywhere are not any more recognized, then everybody
makes himself his own moral law. That has as a consequence
that one does what one pleases. It can be added the individualistic
approach to life which regards life as a single chance for
self-actualization – and not as a mission of the Creator.
It is evident that such attitudes are the expression of a
deeply rooted loss of Faith.
In this context, one can state that there was little
talk in the last decades about the teaching about the Fallen
Human Nature. The dominant impression was that man, all in
all, is good. In my view, this has led to a lax attitude toward
sin. Now, that we see the result of such a lax attitude –
an explosion of inhuman conduct in all possible areas of human
life – should this not be a reason for the Church to
see that the teaching on the Fallen Human Nature has been
confirmed and to therefore proclaim it again?
is true, indeed. The topic 'Original Sin' with its consequences,
the necessity for Redemption through the suffering, death
and Resurrection of Christ has been largely suppressed and
forgotten for a long time. However, one cannot understand
the course of the world – and one's own life –
without these truths. It is unavoidable that this ignoring
of essential truths leads to moral misconduct.
You are right: one should finally preach again about this
topic, and with clarity.
The high numbers of abortion especially in the West
have done great harm, not only for those killed babies, but
also for the women (and men) who decided to kill their child.
Should the prelates of the Church not take a strong stance
about this terrible truth and try to shake the consciences
of those women and men, also for the sake of their salvation?
And does not the Church have a duty to defend with insistence
the Little Ones who cannot defend themselves because they
are not even allowed to live? “Let the Little Ones come
one can say that the Church, especially under the last popes
as well as under the Holy Father Francis did not leave any
room for doubt about the despicable character of the killing
of unborn children in the womb. This applies no doubt also
to all bishops. However, another question is, whether and
in which form the teaching of the Church has been witnessed
and presented in the public realm. That is where the hierarchy
certainly could do more. One only has to think of the participation
of cardinals and bishops at pro-life marches.
Which steps would you recommend for the Church to
strengthen the call to holiness and to show the path how to
certainly has to witness to the Faith in a way that is fitting
for the specific situation. In which form this can happen,
depends upon the specific circumstances. There opens up a
whole field for creative imagination.
What would you say about the recent statements of
Bishop Franz-Josef Bode that the Catholic Church has to adapt
increasingly to the “life realities” of the people
of today and adjust accordingly her moral teaching? I am sure
that you as a Church historian have in front of your eyes
other examples from the history of the Church, where she was
pressured from outside to change the teaching of Christ. Could
you name some, and how did the Church in the past respond
to such attacks?
is completely clear and also not new that the proclamation
of the teaching of the Church has to be adapted to the concrete
life situations of society and of the individual, if the message
shall be heard. But this applies only to the way of the proclamation,
and not at all to its inviolable content. An adaptation of
the moral teaching is not acceptable. 'Do
not conform to the world,' said the Apostle St. Paul. If Bishop
Bode teaches something different, he finds himself in contradiction
to the teaching of the Church. Is he conscious of that?
Is the German Catholic Church permitted to go her
own paths in the question of the admittance of remarried couples
to the Holy Eucharist and thereby decide independently of
Rome, as Reinhard Cardinal Marx pronounced after the recent
meeting of the German Bishops Conference?
well-known statements of Cardinal Marx are in contradiction
with the dogma of the Church. They are irresponsible in a
pastoral respect, because they expose the faithful to confusion
and doubts. If he thinks that he can take nationally an independent
path, he puts the unity of the Church at risk. It remains:
the binding standard for all
of the teaching and practice of the Church are her clearly