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Vatican’s doctrinal chief: Church hasn’t changed teaching against contraception, divorce, homosexuality

source: https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/vaticans-doctrinal-chief-the-church-has-not-changed-teaching-against-contra

April 10, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) -- The Catholic Church under Pope Francis has not changed her teaching on the immorality of cohabitation, adultery, divorce, or homosexuality, and she has certainly not opened the door for civilly-divorced-and-remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion, said Cardinal Gerhard Muller in a new book-length interview published April 1. 

Muller, the head of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, said in the 240-page book, titled The Cardinal Muller Report, that Catholics must not fear “confessing our faith." The book was dedicated to Pope Francis. 

In the interview, conducted about a year ago but only made available in English this month, the Cardinal said that it would be a “false concept of God” as well as a “false interpretation of mercy” to allow civilly-divorced-and-remarried Catholics living in adultery to receive Communion. 

In “immoral relationships” such as cohabitation and divorce-and-remarriage, he said, “the seeds of the Word [of God] do not abide in [these] sinful situations.” In these situations, he added, “despite the fact that it might seem otherwise, there can be no authentic dynamic of love but, rather, only a serious obstacle to the ability to grow in humanity.” 

Muller said that the 2015 Synod on the Family insisted that “given the intimate nature of the sacraments and the character of the indissolubility of marriage as divine law, it is not possible to admit to the Eucharist divorced people who have remarried civilly.”

Any pastoral accompaniment for those in irregular situations, he said, must “always be rendered according to conscience and the teaching of the Church.” 

“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,” he added. 

The Cardinal said that Pope Francis’ much used statement that the Eucharist “is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak,” is often mistakenly interpreted. He maintained that it does not mean that “anyone can come to receive the Eucharist even though he is not in grace and does not have the required state of mind, just because it is nourishment for the weak."

He noted that access to the Eucharist comes with necessary preconditions. 

“Certainly access to Eucharistic Communion presupposes a life of grace, presupposes communion in the Body of the Church, and also presupposes a life ordered in conformity with the Body of the Church so as to be able to say the ‘Amen’ to which you referred before. Saint Paul insists that whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the Body and Blood of the Lord,” he said. 

To go to Communion without being in the required state of grace and with the assumption that God “grants me privately the forgiveness of my sins” is a “false concept of God; this is tempting him,” he added.

Muller said that Pope Francis’ famous statement “Who am I to judge,” often repeated by those who are hoping to see a “change of direction” in the Church on homosexuality, does not mean the Church has suddenly become “less dogmatic” on the issue. 

“The concept of the intrinsic disorder of homosexual acts, because they do not proceed from a genuine emotional and sexual complementarity, stems from Holy Scripture,” he said. 

And yes, he said, the Church “with her Magisterium, has the power to judge the morality of specific situations,” such as sexual acts. 

“This is an undisputed truth: God is the only judge who will judge us at the end times, and the pope and bishops have the obligation to present the revealed criteria for this Last Judgment which our moral conscience already anticipates. The Church has always said ‘this is true, this is false,’ and no one can live by his own subjectivist interpretation of God’s commandments,” he added.

The Cardinal warned against “new anti-family ideologies” that have arisen that “attempt to redefine what is human, based, not on the truth, but on individual feeling and social utility.”

He specifically mentioned the danger of “gender ideology.”

This ideology, he said, “does not respect the reality of things and that ultimately denies the Creator and man’s condition of having been created.” It “affirms that man’s identity does not depend on nature, with a body that is limited to a masculine or feminine sexuality” and “makes use of medical advances to use the body as an area of experimentation, viewing a change in sex as a simply biological operation,” he said. 

Muller said that lurking behind gender ideology is the manmade “idol” of “our own liberty, of our own wish, proposing to be, ourselves, those who determine what is good and bad.”

“Was this not the substance of the first temptation of Adam and Eve? Is it possible to build a society without respecting the fundamental difference between a man and a woman?” he added. 

The Cardinal concluded his interview by proposing how the Church can help modern man find “peace and reconciliation with himself.”

“There is only one way open to us: compunction or repentance for the evil committed. The Cross of Christ is the only path. There is no other path for evangelization today,” he said.