As we reported yesterday, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, made the clear statement that the previously continuous Catholic teaching with regard to the “remarried” divorcees and the Sacraments is still valid, and that this teaching has not been rescinded by the papal document Amoris Laetitia. Moreover, with regard to the “remarried” divorcees and their need to either properly separate or live chastely in permanent continence if they wish to receive Holy Communion, Müller also stated: “The norms of FC [Familiaris Consortio] 84 and SC [Sacramentum Caritatis] 29 and their application in all cases continue to remain valid.”
It seems that this statement, however, stands in direct opposition to what Pope Francis himself only recently, on 16 April, has stated on the flight from Lesbos, as OnePeterFive has reported. Aboard his plane, the following question had been put to Pope Francis:
Some maintain that nothing has changed with respect to the discipline that governs the access to the Sacraments for the divorced and remarried, and that the law and the pastoral practice and obviously the doctrine remain the same; others maintain, instead, that much has changed and that there are many new openings and possibilities. The question [posed] is for one person, a Catholic, who wants to know: Are there new concrete possibilities that did not exist before the publication of the Exhortation, or not.
And Pope Francis answered:
I can say yes. Period.
As my husband has repeatedly said to me during our recent discussions (and as Steve Skojec similarly put it recently): “Planting and spreading confusion is not at all pastoral.” Yet, here we are. We are in a situation where the head of Doctrine now says something different from what Pope Francis has said. This seeming inconsistency is detrimental to many souls who are in need of clear instructions with regard to the salvation of their own souls.
Therefore, I decided today to contact the head of the Press Office of the Vatican, Father Federico Lombardi, S.J. This is what I wrote to him:
Dear Father Lombardi,
Laudetur Jesus Christus!
Writing for different news outlets (such as OnePeterFive.com) and Catholic newspapers (such as The Wanderer) in the U.S., I would like to ask you for a clarification.
Cardinal Gerhard Müller has now said during his visit in Spain that Amoris Laetitia cannot be read in such a way that it would allow remarried divorcees in certain cases to receive Holy Communion without changing their way of life. (https://onepeterfive.wpengine.com/cardinal-muller-communion-remains-off-limits-for-remarried/)
His Holiness Pope Francis, however, said on the airplane back from Lesbos that there are now more possibilities for remarried with regard to the Sacraments. (https://onepeterfive.wpengine.com/on-change-for-divorced-and-remarried-pope-francis-says-yes/)
Could you clarify this question?
What are the new possibilities for the remarried divorcees with regard to the Sacraments, without them changing their situation in life?
Is Cardinal Müller’s statement in accordance with Pope Francis’ intentions?
Thank you very much for your clarification in this important matter. Many Catholics are now utterly confused.
Asking you for your priestly blessing, I remain,
sincerely yours in Christ,
Dr. Maike Hickson
Let us pray together that Father Lombardi will answer this question soon, and with clarity. May his answer have the integrity recommended by Christ: “si si, no no.” May Pope Francis himself now clearly state what his meaning was and what his intentions now are.
May the period of equivocal and ambiguous speculation be over – may the Catholic faithful receive the clarity that they deserve, for the sake of their souls!
Dr. Maike Hickson, born and raised in Germany, studied History and French Literature at the University of Hannover and lived for several years in Switzerland where she wrote her doctoral dissertation. She is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.
Her articles have appeared in American and European journals such as Catholicism.org, LifeSiteNews, The Wanderer, Culture Wars, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Apropos, and Zeit-Fragen.