Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Catholic Faith Isn't an Easy Feel Good Religion

Marktl (Catholic news / CBA). The prefect of the Roman Congregation of the Faith, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, has involved himself again in the debate over the Church's handling of the divorced and remarried. On a visit to Marktl am Inn on Thursday, he warned against a "timid and spiritless" leap on any train. Before going, one must know in which direction he's going, Müller said. The Catholic faith is not a "feel-good religion" and the comfy is not always the best. In view of marital problems and a desire to divorce, Müller said, a marriage could have known ups and downs. "It isn't an everlasting honeymoon," said the cardinal. A principle should apply: "We have to adapt to what God wants from us." Müller commented at the opening of the special exhibition "Holy Popes and Their Colleague, Joseph Ratzinger" at the birthplace of Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI. The show focuses on the canonizations last Sunday of Popes John XXIII. (1958-1963) and John Paul II (1978-2005) from the perspective of the counciliar theologian and Cardinal Ratzinger. Source: © CBA. All rights reserved Photo: Cardinal Müller - image source: M. citizens, Kath News Link to Kathnews... AMGD


Liam Ronan said...

While I heartily agree that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics who are in the state of mortal sin must not receive the Holy Eucharist, I should like to mention that under certain circumstances divorced and civilly remarried Catholics are permitted to receive the Holy Eucharist.

On 14 September 1994 Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the CDF issued a letter to all of the Bishops of the Catholic Church concerning the reception of Holy Communion by divorced and remarried members of the Faithful within which letter Cardinal Ratzinger stated:

“The faithful who persist in such a situation may receive Holy Communion only after obtaining sacramental absolution, which may be given only “to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when for serious reasons, for example, for the children’s upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they ‘take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples’”(8). In such a case they may receive Holy Communion as long as they respect the obligation to avoid giving scandal.”

St. Pope John Paul II wrote in Familiaris Consortio:

“Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children’s upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they “take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples.” (Familiaris Consortio, 84)

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:

“If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities. Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in complete continence.”

On June 24, 2000 the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts published a Declaration “Concerning The Admission To Holy Communion Of Faithful Who Are Divorced And Remarried” which stated at:

“c) the manifest character of the situation of grave habitual sin.
Those faithful who are divorced and remarried would not be considered to be within the situation of serious habitual sin who would not be able, for serious motives – such as, for example, the upbringing of the children – “to satisfy the obligation of separation, assuming the task of living in full continence, that is, abstaining from the acts proper to spouses” (Familiaris consortio, n. 84), and who on the basis of that intention have received the sacrament of Penance. Given that the fact that these faithful are not living more uxorio is per se occult, while their condition as persons who are divorced and remarried is per se manifest, they will be able to receive Eucharistic Communion only remoto scandalo.”

Anonymous said...

Liam Ronan:


Its a lie! But you are too lost to see it. Sorry for you.


Anonymous said...

Karl is right. Liam Roan sounds like a cheerleader for JPII...the usuall EWTN crowd!
JPII wasn't all bad, but not all good either : )

This was a fairly good speech by Muller, but look for this Pope Francis to say something to undo it. I'm sure he will.

Liam Ronan said...

I don't quite know what you mean by "Its a lie!".

I've quoted the documents precisely as they were worded when issued.

Liam Ronan said...

I live in Ireland, my brave anonymous friend. I have no idea what EWTN is.

Your intuition about my sympathies is as accurate as your spelling, I believe.

Anonymous said...

Forgive, as I see from your reply, that I was not careful in my wording. No, you are not a liar! I apologize.

This accomodation is a lie. Even if it dates back to the Apostles it is wrong because it is does harm, always. I would say it is intrinsically evil.

I have no right, whatsoever, to give to anyone, regardless of any reason, what is promised to my spouse, alone! That ends the discussion. If the Catholic Church says one can, then the Catholic Church needs to repent, in public and undo its heresy!

These idiots and yes, Wojtyla and Ratzinger are certified idiots, hypothesize that I can give a "brotherly love", to a woman I got pregnant while married to my spouse and my spouse is still living! Preposterous! And that this is "justified for the good of the child of clear, chosen adultery. This is insanity!

What should happen is I should zip up my pants, ask the babe I screwed to forgive me for being a complete nutcase and beg my wife to forgive me for it and to seek reconciliation with her.

It is monstrous to use children to justify this adultery without sex! Even if the other spouse refuses reconciliation, wrongly, there is no reason to facilitate such adultery. Any sharing of what is owed, in justice, to a spouse is adulterous. Sex alone is not the only sin of adultery.

The Catholic Church teaches heresy and needs to be punished. I hope it is! I think we are seeing it with the hierarchy we have been cursed with. There will be alot more with the lunacy of Francis.



Tancred said...

All I want is for people to be reasonable. I usually delete comments like that, Liam. Sorry I didn't get round to it.

Liam Ronan said...

No problem, Tancred. As the Americans say " Call me anything you like just don't call me late for dinner."

CraigV said...

You know we're screwed when Mueller is the more conservative of the bunch. Lord help us.

Karl J said...


At least, it seems, you got the invite! : )

Anonymous said...

"In such a case they may receive Holy Communion as long as they respect the obligation to avoid giving scandal.”

There's the rub. It suggests to me that the requirement that the couple separate could be dropped ONLY in cases where there are children involved, and that even in such cases the permission would be conditional on the performance of some form of PUBLIC penance and reconciliation.

Obviously, I am reasonably certain the upcoming synod will not propose anything remotely as 'rigorist' as this.

Liam Ronan said...

You'll note the CDF and Papal directive(s) clearly state:

"...such as, for example, the upbringing of children..." It does not say, as you insist, "only".

May I suggest to you that there are irregular marital situations where one (or both) party is disabled, indigent, psychologically unstable, etc. which might constitute other serious motives for remaining together?

Your baying (you used caps) for these couples to do a "public penance" reminds me of Nathaniel Hawthorne's work, The Scarlett Letter, where the self-righteous Puritans' demanded that those caught in adultery wear a scarlet letter "A" to shame them in the community.

I can think of no instance whatsoever in the life of Christ where He humiliated the repentant sinner.

Anonymous said...

I live in Ireland too - have done all my life. I've had access to EWTN for about 25 years. It used to be uncompromising in defending the unchanging Deposit of Faith and morals without fear or favour. I even used to promote it in my local church. Not anymore.

Anonymous said...

Love that word - "balderdash!" - It reminds me of my grandfather (may he rest in peace) who used to use it liberally.

Anonymous said...

'baying' eh? very charitable. I was using capitals for emphasis.

My point was speculative and referred to providing for reception of communion while avoiding public scandal. If you want to infer 'self-righteous puritanism' to an expression of concern on that account, then by implication that would apply to the CDF too. Doing public penance doesn't unnecessarily degrade the repentant - you're jumping to conclusions. Humiliation can be salutary and has its part in the spiritual life.

Liam Ronan said...

"25 years"? You must live near Dublin, Lynda.
It's RTE here in the West (unless RTE's got it and I've missed it) unless you can afford the SKY cover.

Liam Ronan said...

I apologize if my characterization of your use of caps as 'baying' misrepresented your sentiments. I was always cautioned that the use of 'caps' is akin to shouting. I do confess that just a week ago I watched "American Werewolf in London" so my reverting to baying may have been unconsciously conjured. My apologies for any offence given...although I think 'baying' is a great term and look forward to using it at a more opportune moment.

The CDF (at least when Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger was prefect of it) directed that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics (who had repented) should receive the Holy Eucharist discreetly to avoid scandal. To my mind discreet and public penance are mutually exclusive.
It may titillate the average pew-sitter to gawk at public penitents in a wink-wink nudge-nudge fest, but I hardly think this is the way Jesus dealt with repentant sinners.
"Humiliation" is in the heart and before Almighty God.

Anonymous said...

No offense taken ;)

Indeed, humiliation is in the heart - and before our peers. How can we who are abject nothing be humiliated before God?

Obviously the titillation of pewsitters is not the object of public penance, and the that there might be a few hypocritical church goers indulging in it is not reason enough in itself for refusing the teaching/learning opportunity provided FOR ALL by acts of public penance. The potential for scandal here is large and doing public penance for adultery has been deemed appropriate in the Church in the past. And the CDFs past direction notwithstanding, I would suggest that its renewed use today, given the current looming situation, would beneficial for obvious reasons.

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