Friday, April 1, 2016

Cardinal Müller on Adulterers: More to Church than Communion

It's Still the Mass, Whether You're in an Irregular Relationship or Not

Here is some excellent common sense from our man in the CDF, Cardinal Gerhard Müller. Pope Benedict has written similar advice. The Bear forgets what book it was in, but he said that the whole divorced-and-remarried "issue" is due to a lack of understanding of the Mass. (The Bear suspects the new liturgy contributes to that lack of understanding.) If you are a Catholic who is divorced and remarried, not being admitted to the communion line doesn't mean you're not a Catholic, or have no reason to come to Mass and participate in the life of your parish.

The Bear knows people who have done exactly that, at Mass every Sunday.

Two Recent Popes, St. John Paul II and Benedict XVI Have Already Handled This!

Here is Cardinal Ratzinger of the CDF to the Bishops in a letter signed by Pope St. John Paul II. The pair seems to dispose of the issue thoroughly.

With respect to the aforementioned new pastoral proposals, this Congregation deems itself obliged therefore to recall the doctrine and discipline of the Church in this matter. In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ, the Church affirms that a new union cannot be recognized as valid if the preceding marriage was valid. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God's law. 
Consequently, they cannot receive Holy Communion as long as this situation persists. This norm is not at all a punishment or a discrimination against the divorced and remarried, but rather expresses an objective situation that of itself renders impossible the reception of Holy Communion: "They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and his Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage." [Quoting Pope St. John Paul II's Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio.]

No "Right" to Communion

But the conversations we have today are always about status and concessions, and even rights. One must wonder if a couple who are living in adultery have a spiritual starvation for the Blessed Body and Blood of Our Lord, or, rather, feel aggrieved by rules they do not understand, and consider old fashioned, that make them feel like second-class Catholics. One thing that is frequently lost in the argument is that marriage is a real and public thing. We cannot treat it as if it were a private arrangement between two individuals.

Who, the Bear asks, is standing outside the doors of churches around the world, prohibiting persons living in adultery from entering? Missing Mass is just piling sin on top of sin.

The Church in general needs to do what is actually possible in these cases: to explain to couples how they can be enriched in their parish and by the Mass. Some may actually reach the point of being able to properly receive the Blessed Body and Blood of Our Lord. (Enjoying companionship like brother and sister if necessary, or separating.)

Defining Sin Down and Making Sacrilege Routine

We should not make sacrilege routine. (A Bear has to rise up on his hind legs to say this?) Once again, we find the Pope and his men all too willing to damage symbolism and even supernatural realities for reasons unrelated to the purposes at hand. (Assuming the buzz about the Apostolic Exhortation is not completely wrong, of course.)

In other words, adulterers should get over it. Choices have consequences (and whether or not you are in the communion line may be the least of them). Even so, there are reasons to come to Mass. The Catholic Church doesn't practice "shunning," and there is even a way back to communion. There's also the Sunday obligation, and mortal sin for failure to honor it.

These are the things we should be hearing from prelates, and should be reading in the upcoming Apostolic Exhortation. Not defining sin down. Do we have a pope or a panderer? (The Bear is aware of one definition of that word, but another means "to cater basely," or even "a person who caters to or profits from the weaknesses or vices of others."

Of course, there's also the possibility that this manufactured issue is a direct attack on marriage and the Holy Eucharist. But that's crazy talk.


  1. The point of communion is not the symbol, but the reality; not the appearance of righteousness as you walk to the front, but the reality. This may actually mean remaining alone with Jesus and His Mother at the back of the Church in prayer and penance. Or it may mean greater sacrifice than that asked of others.

    We are deprived of the real relationship if we are offered and accept the fraudulent visible copy. And we are also deprived of all the rights and benefits that flow so freely from such a relationship with Holy, Almighty God.

    TRUE communion must be fought for with our will and strength while cooperating with free Grace. False communion demands little or nothing.

    As our Lord put it, follow the narrow road through the small gate. It is a lonely road, but it is the only road to Heaven

  2. If Francis allows Communion to the divorced and remarried crowd, would he be a pander bear ? 😃


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