Prefect of the papal household gives candid interview about Pope Francis and Benedict XVI
Archbishop George Gänswein, the prefect of the papal household and personal secretary to the pope emeritus, has said there is no disagreement between Benedict XVI and Pope Francis on the question of communion for the divorced and remarried.
In an interview with the German magazine supplement, Christ & Welt, translated by the In Caelo et in Terra blog, Archbishop Gänswein said the notion that there was opposition between the two popes on the subject was “artificial”.
He said: “I do not share that impression. It creates an artificial opposition which does not exist. The Pope is the first guarantor and keeper of the doctrine of the Church and at the same the first shepherd, the first pastor. Doctrine and pastoral care are not in opposition, they are like twins.”
Archbishop Gänswein said it would be “absurd” to suggest that Pope Francis’s doctrinal statements contradicted his predecessors. He continued: “It is one thing to emphasise the pastoral efforts more clearly because the situation requires it. It is something else entirely to make a change in teaching. I can only act pastorally sensitive, consistent and conscientious when I do so on the basis of full Catholic teaching. The substance of the sacraments is not left to the discretion of pastors, but has been given to the Church by the Lord. That is also and especially true for the sacrament of marriage.”
Source: Catholic Herald UK