Papal leniency on divorce ‘no danger to faith’


Expressions of compassion for divorced and remarried Catholics by Pope Francis do not pose a danger to the faith, a senior Cardinal has declared.

Last year, the Pontiff courted controversy amongst more conservative Catholics with the publication of a Latin document called Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love). This declared that divorced and remarried Catholics should not be made to feel that they have been excommunicated or “condemned forever” in contravention of the gospels.

Instead they should, the Pope wrote, be “more fully integrated into Christian communities”.

A number of senior conservative clerics publicly questioned Amoris Laetitia in a letter which suggested that its teachings may not be fully consistent with Catholic doctrine. This has traditionally insisted that marriage cannot be dissolved. The cardinals published the letter after receiving no response.

Cardinal Gerhard Mueller is head of the influential Congregatio pro Doctrina Fidei (Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith) – infamous in the Medieval Europe as the Inquisition. He has now backed the Pontiff in a response to the doubters, saying a more open approach to divorce posed “no danger to the Faith” and there was therefore no need to “correct” Pope Francis.

Speaking to Italian news progamme Tgcom24, Cardinal Mueller declared:

“Pope Francis asks us to discern the situation of these people who are living in an irregular situation, that is not according to the doctrine of the church on marriage, and he asks us to help these people to find a path for a new integration in the church according to the conditions of the sacraments…”

The divorced and remarried should not receive communion, he explained, but they should have a role to play in the life of the Church.

The Cardinal also criticised publication of the doubters’ letter as “damaging” to the Church.

Image by Vicente Villamón via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

Stowe Family Law Web Team

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1 comment

Andrew - January 10, 2017 at 8:00pm

Yes, and the Pope has a balcony, who knew?

Since the end of the Great Schism I don’t think any Cardinal has declared anything said by the Pope to be a danger to the faith!

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