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 and Executive Director 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 seven children.