The Catholic Church has not changed its stance on a range of controversial family and social issues a senior cleric has declared.
Cardinal Gerhard Muller is head of the influential Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the modern successor to the infamous Inquisition of the Middle Ages. In a lengthy interview, published as a book and newly translated into English, the German cleric insists the Catholic Church remains resolute on a number of contentious teachings despite suspicion from conservatives that Pope Francis might be softening his stance on divorce.
Such concerns are unfounded, the Cardinal declares, saying that the Church continues to disapprove of cohabitation, homosexuality, adultery and divorce, while Catholics who divorce and remarry are still firmly barred from taking communion.
In the extended interview, published as The Cardinal Muller Report, the 69 year-old Prelate explains:
“Saint John Paul II warned that being pastoral does not mean a compromise between the doctrine of the Church and the complex reality of daily life but, rather, leading individuals to Christ.”
Allowing civilly divorced Catholics to resume holy communion would be no less than the promotion of a “false concept of God” he insisted, as well as a “false interpretation of mercy”.
Photo of communion wafers by Awareness Campaign via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence