Cardinal Marx: Pope expressed ‘joy’ over German bishops’ guidelines allowing Communion for adulterers
March 9, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Reinhard Marx said that when he gave Pope Francis the German bishops' document approving Communion for adulterers, the pope "received it with joy" and "considers it to be right."
Marx said this at a March 6 press conference. Dr. Maike Hickson translated his remarks at OnePeterFive.
The bishops of Germany, led by Cardinal Walter Kasper, advocated for opening up Communion to the divorced and "remarried" without annulments during the two synods on the family. When Pope Francis released Amoris Laetitia, progressives declared victory. They said the exhortation accomplished what they'd hoped it would – loosening sacramental practice for people unrepentantly committing actions the Church teaches are always immoral.
The German bishops' conference recently issued a statement saying that Catholics living in adulterous unions may receive Communion without abstaining from the sexual act.
This contradicts the Church's perennial teaching that Catholics must be in a state of grace to receive Communion.
"I gave to the pope the text which we have made with regard to Amoris Laetitia, and he has received it with joy," said Marx. "I was able to speak with him about it, and he considers it to be right that the local churches make their own statements once more, and that they therein draw their own pastoral conclusions; and [he] is very positive about this and he received it very positively that we as the German Bishops’ Conference have written such a text."
Pope Francis has yet to answer the dubia of four cardinals asking if Amoris Laetitia is aligned with Catholic moral teaching. Bishops around the world have interpreted the exhortation in different ways, causing confusion and worry among the Catholic faithful.
Marx has spoken out against the dubia. He said Amoris Laetitia does indeed open the door for Communion for the divorced and "remarried" – and that the document is "not as ambiguous as some people claim."
He has also said he thinks it's "very clear" that Pope Francis intended the exhortation to dramatically loosen sacramental practice.