Vatican’s doctrine chief responds to four Cardinals’ dubia
December 1, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The Church’s highest authority on doctrinal matters besides the pope, Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller, says his Congregation will not answer the four Cardinals who have formulated their doubts (dubia) regarding Amoris Laetitia until further notice.
The Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith explained in an interview with Kathpress on Thursday that his congregation “acts and speaks” with the authority of the Pope and cannot take part “in a difference of opinion.”
The Prefect sees the danger of a “polarization” between camps in the Church. Müller explains that the letter with the five dubia had been written to the Pope directly – before its publication – and Pope Francis could still give the CDF the commission to resolve the tension. The CDF is in charge of all matters regarding the faith in the Catholic Church and is highest authority therein.
“At the moment it is important for each one of us to stay focused and objective and not to be driven into polemics, much less create them,” Müller goes on. Regarding the passages of Amoris Laetitia that created confusion he does not comment. Instead he points out that documents cannot be interpreted in a way that refutes previous teachings of the Popes or of the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith.
Regarding Communion for “remarried” divorced Catholics he cites a letter of the CDF from 1994 in which they answered three German bishops on the same subject. In this answer the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger denied the possibility for bishops to permit Communion for the couples in question.
The indissolubility of marriage must be “the unshaken foundation of teaching and of every pastoral accompaniment,” Müller emphasizes.
Concerning the question of fighting between camps within the Vatican walls, Müller gave a negative answer. There is no “power struggle behind the scenes or the ‘high walls’ of the Vatican, between the reformers and those who want to put on the brakes.” These rumors show “how thinking and acknowledgement of categories of power have already turned [minds] bad.”