The Vatican’s doctrinal head has challenged several cardinals’ public questioning of the doctrinal validity of Amoris laetitia, saying the document is “very clear” on doctrine, and that making the discussion public is harmful to the Church.
“Everyone, above all the cardinals of the Roman Church, have a right to write a letter to the Pope. However, I was amazed because this was made public, almost forcing the Pope to say yes or no,” Cardinal Gerhard Müller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said in a Jan. 8 interview with Italian TV channel Tgcom24.
“I don’t like this,” he said, adding that “it does damage to the Church to discuss these things publicly.”
The interview took place just two months after a letter signed by four prominent cardinals requesting that Pope Francis “resolve the uncertainties and bring clarity” was made public.
Cardinal Müller has consistently maintained that Pope Francis’ 2016 apostolic exhortation on love in the family has not changed the Church’s discipline on admission of the divorced-and-remarried to Communion, and that it must be read in continuity with the preceding Magisterium.
In a May 4 speech, he countered arguments that Amoris laetitia eliminated Church discipline on marriage and allowed in some cases the divorced-and-remarried to receive the Eucharist “without the need to change their way of life.” He stated: “This is a matter of a consolidated magisterial teaching, supported by scripture and founded on a doctrinal reason.”
If Pope Francis’ exhortation “had wanted to eliminate such a deeply rooted and significant discipline, it would have said so clearly and presented supporting reasons,” Cardinal Müller said during his address at a Spanish seminary.