Rorate Caeli

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Archbishop Müller's article on communion for divorced and remarried Catholics

L'Osservatore Romano has just simultaneously published in various languages (including English) a long article by Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the topic of divorced and remarried members of the faithful and their relationship to the sacraments.

The full text: The Power of Grace

The article largely reiterates the standing documents of the more recent Magisterium on the question of communion for divorced and 'remarried' Catholics, and refutes some existing arguments given in favor of lifting or softening the existing ban. At the same time it reminds readers that already during the reign of Benedict XVI, the point had been made that "marriages nowadays are probably invalid more often than they were previously".

Notable as well is Archbishop Müller's frank criticism of the practice of the Orthodox Churches on this matter, given the Pope's comments, widely construed as positive, on the same subject during his press conference on the flight back from Rio. As part of his argument, Müller appeals to the historical example that groups of Eastern Orthodox on becoming Catholic "had to subscribe to an express acknowledgment of the impossibility of second or third marriages", indicating that Rome still does not see this difference as a marginal issue or as pertaining to "legitimate diversity" between Orthodoxy and Catholicism.