Cardinal Müller: local bishops cannot reinterpet Church teaching subjectively.
Those who are divorced and civilly remarried cannot receive Holy Communion. The only exception is in cases where there are children involved and in those cases the couple must live as brother and sister. This is the settled teaching of the Church. Anything different to this is heterodoxy.
Yet we are in a situation where various bishops and Cardinals are giving different interpretations that contradict this settled teaching.
Now Cardinal Gerhard Müller, the Vatican’s doctrinal chief, has spoken out again, saying that local bishops cannot re-interpet Church teaching subjectively.
In a new interview with the German magazine Rheinische Post, Cardinal Müller said it was “not his style” to criticise publications by bishops. However, he added, “I do not think it is particularly beneficial for each individual bishop to comment on papal documents to explain how he subjectively understands the document.”
In the new interview, he said: “It cannot be that the universally binding doctrine of the Church, formulated by the Pope, is given different and even contradictory regional interpretations. The basis of the Church is the unity of faith. The Church no longer experiences a new revelation.”
Cardinal Müller also said that, in order to be absolved of adultery, a penitent must resolve not to sin again. He said: “No one can alter the sacraments as a means of grace according to their own choice – for example, so that the sacrament of Confession can be given without the intention to sin no more.”
This is great. But why on earth is everyone briefing magazines and newspapers instead of making statements through the official channels? The solution is really simple. The Pope needs to reassert the settled teaching of the Church. There is no doubt that he has caused this confusion and it is doing huge damage to the teaching authority of the Church.