So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter (2 Thess. 2:15). Guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid the godless chatter and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge, for by professing it some have missed the mark as regards faith (1 Tim. 6:21-22).

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

“Adultery is always a mortal sin and the bishops who create confusion about this must study the doctrine of the Church."

LifeSiteNews reports that Cardinal Müller has issued a clarification of sorts condemning misinterpretations of Amoris Laetitia.
ROME, February 1, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office has issued a strong rebuke of bishops who use the pope’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia to “justify situations against the will of God.”

Adultery is always a mortal sin and the bishops who create confusion about this must study the doctrine of the Church,” Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith, says in a new interview with the print journal Il Timone. “We have to help the sinner overcome sin and convert (... by sharing the truth in love).”

Amoris Laetitia must “clearly be interpreted in the light of the whole doctrine of the Church. [...] It is not right that so many bishops are interpreting ‘Amoris Laetitia’ according to their way of understanding the Pope’s teaching. This does not keep to the line of Catholic doctrine.”

Here Müller references the contradictory readings and guidelines given by bishops – like those in Malta, Buenos Aires, and San Diego – to allow Communion for adulterers. (Busted!)

With regards to allowing each individual’s own conscience to assess whether he is in mortal sin – as the recent document of the Maltese bishops suggested – Cardinal Müller answered: “All must follow their conscience but conscience is a term that expresses a rapport, a relation. Not with myself but with the other.” This “other” Müller identifies as God “who has gave us the Commandments not to upset us, or to control us, but to illuminate our path.” (A rightly formed conscience will not defy the word of God contained in the doctrine of the Catholic Church. The identifying mark of a faithful Catholic is obedience to the infallible teaching of Jesus Christ and His Church. If we love Jesus, we will keep His commandments.—John 14:15-17)
“It is impossible for there to be a contradiction of doctrine and personal conscience. For example, it cannot be said that there are circumstances according to which an act of adultery does not constitute a mortal sin. For Catholic doctrine, it is impossible for mortal sin to coexist with sanctifying grace. In order to overcome this absurd contradiction, Christ has instituted for the faithful the Sacrament of penance and reconciliation with God and with the Church.”

Pope Francis is still silent on the four Cardinals’ dubia seeking clarity on Amoris Laetitia, yet Müller clearly states that any interpretation that goes contrary to Church tradition would be in opposition with the faith. Commenting on the importance of his own Congregation, he said: “The magisterium of the Pope is interpreted only by him or through the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith. The Pope interprets the bishops, it is not the bishops who interpret the Pope, this would constitute an inversion of the structure of the Catholic Church.”
“To all those who are talking too much, I urge them to study first the doctrine on the papacy and the episcopate of the two Vatican Councils. … The bishop, as teacher of the Word, must himself be the first to be well-formed so as not to fall into the risk of the blind leading the blind,” and he added: “The Church can never justify a situation which is not in accordance with the will of God.” (Will the bishops of Malta, San Diego and Buenos Aires now correct the problematic parts of their "guidelines"?)
Is the Holy Father employing his doctrinal right hand man to filter clarifications of Church teaching through the popular media? Are bishops and priests listening?

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