“Cardinal” Müller: Communion for Unrepentent Adulterers Conceivable in Exceptional Cases
As Francis’ Synod on the Family enters its last and decisive week, the German edition of Vatican Radio drops a bombshell: “Cardinal” Gerhard Ludwig Muller, the head of the Vatican’s so-called Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, argued in an interview with the German news magazine Focus that unrepentant adulterers could be admitted to Holy Communion in exceptional cases.
Here is a translation of the snippet published on Radio Vatikan (the full interview has not yet been released by Focus):
Curial cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller does not rule out admitting remarried divorcees to Communion “in extreme individual cases”, according to media reports. Although a general admittance to Communion for such members of the faithful could not be granted, in specific cases there could be “an admittance in the realm of conscience”, the leader of the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith said in a conversation with “Focus” magazine. This was also the view of John Paul II’s 1981 document “Familiaris consortio” (n. 84), according to Muller. “It is possible to think further in this direction”, the German cardinal said. In any case one would have to proceed in accordance with “theologically justifiable perspectives”.
As prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Muller is participating in the world synod of bishops currently in session. He is part of the German language group, in which are represented nearly all synod participants from Germany and Austria, among them Cardinals Walter Kasper, Reinhard Marx, and Christoph Schönborn.
(“Kardinal Müller: Kommunion für Wiederverheiratete im Einzelfall denkbar”, Radio Vatikan, Oct. 18, 2015; our translation.)
Aside from the fact that history has proven time and again that anything that begins as an “exception” for “extreme cases” always ends up becoming the rule in practice, Muller’s argument also involves an obvious slippery slope, for once one begins with one exception, there is no sufficient theological or philosophical reason why other exceptions couldn’t be added to the list, and then the entire debate focuses on what reasons are considered “good enough” to constitute such “exceptions”.
All those in the Novus Ordo who have been living in fantasyland regarding the Modernist Muller, will be shocked. For those who have kept their eyes open and do not refuse to look at reality as it really is, this development is not at all surprising. We have said on many occasions that Muller is a Modernist, one who denies, for example, the dogmas of the Resurrection, of Transubstantiation, and of the Perpetual Virginity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Opposing adultery is not enough to make you a Catholic — and in his case, apparently even there he’s beginning to cave.
Back in 1972, it was a certain Fr. Joseph Ratzinger who proposed the idea of Communion for “remarried” divorcees in — you guessed it! — “exceptional” cases (see here). While it is true that Ratzinger just recently retracted this conclusion of his (apparently it took him over 40 years to understand the meaning of “Thou shalt not commit adultery”), he did not retract or refute the argumentation he had used that leads there — he simply repudiated the conclusion.
Put your seatbelts on, everyone. The synod’s final few days are about to begin.