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Friday, 24 July 2015

Archbishop Gänswein stands up for "faith and healthy doctrine"

Archbishop Gänswein is probably resigned to the fact that he will be forever known as Pope Benedict's secretary, but he is not shy of teaching in his own right. In an interview with Zenit, he referred to the teaching of St John Paul twenty years ago, in which he did not accept that the divorced and remarried could receive Holy Communion. (See Vatican Insider Gänswein:“Host for remarried divorcees is not possible")

In the present discussion, it is worth referring to the 1994 letter Annus Internationalis Familiae, written by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to the Bishops on the subject. Section 6 states:
Members of the faithful who live together as husband and wife with persons other than their legitimate spouses may not receive Holy Communion. Should they judge it possible to do so, pastors and confessors, given the gravity of the matter and the spiritual good of these persons as well as the common good of the Church, have the serious duty to admonish them that such a judgement of conscience openly contradicts the Church's teaching. Pastors in their teaching must also remind the faithful entrusted to their care of this doctrine.
Archbishop Gänswein also addressed the question of why some pastors contradict this teaching:
“Why do some pastors want to propose what’s not possible?” Mgr. Gänswein asked himself. “I don’t know. Perhaps they give in to the spirit of the time; perhaps they allow themselves to be guided by the human applause caused by the media ... To be critical against the mass media is certainly less pleasing, but a pastor must not decide on the basis of applause or even less of the media. The measure is the Gospel, the faith, healthy doctrine, Tradition.”
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