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Cardinal Janis PujatsAris Jansons / Flickr

ROME, November 22, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — One week after Cardinal Raymond Burke made a “final plea” to Pope Francis for clarity regarding the Church’s moral teaching and sacramental practice, another cardinal has said “a clarification is in order.”  

Cardinal Janis Pujats, Archbishop Emeritus of Riga in Latvia, and president emeritus of the local bishops conference, said in a recent interview with La Fede Quotidiana that while he believes the debate regarding Amoris Laetitia will eventually be resolved, one thing seems clear: “The mentality underlying the text is too liberal. Today, I see a certain relaxation of Catholic morality and above all of what are called non-negotiable values and principles.”

Asked if it is possible to give Holy Communion to the divorced and civilly remarried who are living more uxorio (having sexual relations), Cardinal Pujats said: “We certainly need to give care and pastoral attention to these persons” but “they cannot receive sacramental communion.”

“They are not legitimately united in marriage and therefore find themselves in a state of mortal sin. This is all part of the doctrine of the sacraments,” he said.

Asked if his position is “too severe,” the Latvian cardinal asked: “What does that mean? The doctrine of the Church does not change and no one is authorized to do this. It is all written in the Gospel and must be accepted.”

“Today, for the good of the Church and the People of God, a clarification in accord with the dictates of the Gospel and the constant magisterium of the Church is needed,” the 87-year old cardinal continued. “No one should be afraid of doctrinal clarity. If anything, what is damaging is uncertainty coupled with ambiguity and confusion.”

“We need to have the courage to speak the language of Truth clearly and without fear or without wanting to please the world, because little by little we risk sliding into grave error. We need to reiterate the perennial doctrine on marriage and family,” he said.

Earlier this year, Cardinal Pujats put his name to a Declaration of fidelity to the Church’s unchanging teaching on Marriage.

Asked about the Polish bishops’ insistence that Amoris Laetitia must be read in continuity with the teaching of St. John Paul II, the Latvian Cardinal said: “I believe the doctrine of St. John Paul II is pure and right. It cannot change or be changed. As I said, it isn’t changeable and I think a clarification is in order.”