There’s an eye-opening interview at LifeSiteNews with Cardinal Walter Brandmüller — a rare German prelate these days — who makes clear what the stakes are when dealing with those who are advocating a change in Church teaching or practice as regards marriage and the Sixth Commandment:
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?
It 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.
Catholics around the world have been waiting to hear something like this for a long time. We’ve speculated in the past about how this reality would be applied to Cardinal Kasper, the leading advocate of such changes. It would seem that all we are lacking is an official statement on his status.
But it doesn’t end there. Brandmüller takes aim at Cardinal Marx and the German Bishops Conference:
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?
The 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 defined doctrines.
This isn’t the judgment of the Apostolic See, but nonetheless, it’s a big deal. Brandmüller is a distinguished cardinal with the courage to say what needs saying.
Will he be echoed by others?
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have eight children. You can find more of his writing at his Substack, The Skojec File.
I’ve been keeping tabs on this, and by my count, Cardinal Brandmüller is actually the third to use the term “heresy” in the wake of the 2014 Synod – the first being Cardinal Müller, and the second being Cardinal Sarah. That’s not to steal any of the good Cardinal’s thunder, mind you. Rather, it’s a possible indication that momentum is building. Anyone want to wager that Cardinal Caffarra is the next to drop the H-bomb?
Is that you, Wansbutter?
Sorry to disappoint, Hilary.
I hope more keep coming out in defense for the Faith, for our salvation and their own!!
What is the meaning of “the Roman Purple” here? Who wears it and when?
Wouldn’t that be red?
No, I think bishops wear what is called “red”. Catholic colors are weird.
“In choir dress, chaplains of His Holiness wear their purple-trimmed black cassocks with a cotta, but bishops, protonotaries apostolic, and honorary prelates use (with a cotta or, in the case of bishops, arochet and mozzetta) cassocks that are fully purple (this purple corresponds more closely with a Roman purple and is approximated as fuchsia) with scarlet trim, while those of cardinals are fully scarlet with scarlet trim.”
I know it’s late, but are all the people Cardinal Brandmuller was implicitly referring to actually Monsignors? And Monsignors overlap but are not precisely equivalent to Cardinals. Can’t you be one without being the other? That’s what I like about being a Catholic, it’s so rich and there’s always something new to learn. 🙂
You’re getting confused with the differences in European and American usages of ecclesiastical titles. In Europe (as in the Vatican) bishops are always referred to as “Msgr.” The actual title of a Monsignor isn’t used as an honourific. And Cardinals are always bishops, therefore can be referred to as “Msgr. Brandmuller.”
Monsignors are Priests. Not with the rank of Bishop.
Pope Francis has stopped granting priests the honorary title of “monsignor” in 2013.
I’m ready to be corrected on this (Gregory?) but I think the term refers to bishops generally.
Color worn by Cardinal & Bishop in the Roman Catholic Church.
In English we would probably call it dark red.
It’s been the rare moment in Church history when a heretic leader has not been a cleric, and they are often bishops. There have been very few lay heretics of note. We are so enmired in “democracy” that we tend to assume that the bottom-up model works for everything, but this is not so. In the Church, the leaders lead, whether it’s towards God and the truth or towards heresy and hell.
The only drawback with this is that Brandmuller is already a marked man. He was one of the Cardinals of the Book, (I just coined that expression for posterity, pass it along) and he is known to be sympathetic to the Old Mass, and to be a friend to Traditionalists. To say he’s out of the loop would be like saying Neil Armstrong took a stroll one day a little far from home.
These days Vatican politics is more entrenched than ever before in factional warfare, and at the moment the Kasperians have the upper hand in the corridors of power.
Nice to hear a little good news once in awhile even if it’s a voice from the swamp so to speak.
But I suppose we can expect Cardinal Brandmüller’s imminent retirement or transfer or something not so good.
Just got to keep praying for Pope Francis and the rest of them.
By Church definition a “heretic” is – CCC: ” 2089 HERESY is the obstinate post-baptismal denial of some truth which must be believed with divine and catholic faith, or it is likewise an obstinate doubt concerning the same;”
“Thou shall not commit Adultery” – GOD’s Commandment – Ex 20:14; Deut 5:18.
“Thou shall not covet thy Neighbor’s wife” – GOD’s Commandment – Ex 20:17; Deut 5.20.
JESUS about divorce and remarriage – Mk 10:6-12; Mt 5:32.
JESUS about adultery, mercy, and required repentance – “Go and Sin NO more” – Jn 8:11.
Condemnation for receiving Holy Communion unworthily – 1 Cor 11:27-30
JESUS about Profaning the Holy – Mt 7:6
DOCTRINE of the FAITH:
Re: Divorce, and also Divorce with Civil Remarriage – CCC 1649, 1650, 1651.
Re: Requirement to be able to receive Holy Communion – CCC 1415, 1355.
Re: Requirement regarding resolution not to commit that sin again – CCC 1451.