Prefect of the papal household gives candid interview about Pope Francis and Benedict XVI

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

Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortations on the Family By Two Popes

Defend PF Pope JPII and Pope Francis

Amoris Laetitia, Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation by Pope Francis, 2016.

“The divorced who have entered a new union, for example, can find themselves in a variety of situations, which should not be pigeonholed or fit into overly rigid classifications leaving no room for a suitable personal and pastoral discernment. One thing is a second union consolidated over time, with new children, proven fidelity, generous self giving, Christian commitment, a consciousness of its irregularity and of the great difficulty of going back without feeling in conscience that one would fall into new sins. The Church acknowledges situations “where, for serious reasons, such as the children’s upbringing, a man and woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate.” There are also the cases of those who made every effort to save their first marriage and were unjustly abandoned, or of “those who have entered into a second union for the sake of the children’s upbringing, and are sometimes subjectively certain in conscience that their previous and irreparably broken marriage had never been valid”. Another thing is a new union arising from a recent divorce, with all the suffering and confusion which this entails for children and entire families, or the case of someone who has consistently failed in his obligations to the family. It must remain clear that this is not the ideal which the Gospel proposes for marriage and the family. The Synod Fathers stated that the discernment of pastors must always take place “by adequately distinguishing,” with an approach which “carefully discerns situations”. We know that no “easy recipes” exist.”

Familiaris Consortio 84. FC was, like Amoris, a post-synodal apostolic exhortation on the family. Pope St. John Paul II called together a synod on the family in 1980, thirty six years before Pope Francis would do the same.

“Pastors must know that, for the sake of truth, they are obliged to exercise careful discernment of situations. There is in fact a difference between those who have sincerely tried to save their first marriage and have been unjustly abandoned, and those who through their own grave fault have destroyed a canonically valid marriage. Finally, there are those who have entered into a second union for the sake of the children’s upbringing, and who are sometimes subjectively certain in conscience that their previous and irreparably destroyed marriage had never been valid.”

Cardinal Ratzinger to the Bishops of the Catholic Church concerning the reception of Holy Communion by the divorced and remarried members of the faithful.

“..Aware however that authentic understanding and genuine mercy are never separated from the truth(4), pastors have the duty to remind these faithful of the Church’s doctrine concerning the celebration of the sacraments, in particular, the reception of the Holy Communion. In recent years, in various regions, different pastoral solutions in this area have been suggested according to which, to be sure, a general admission of divorced and remarried to Eucharistic communion would not be possible, but the divorced and remarried members of the faithful could approach Holy Communion in specific cases when they consider themselves authorised according to a judgement of conscience to do so. This would be the case, for example, when they had been abandoned completely unjustly, although they sincerely tried to save the previous marriage, or when they are convinced of the nullity of their previous marriage, although unable to demonstrate it in the external forum or when they have gone through a long period of reflexion and penance, or also when for morally valid reasons they cannot satisfy the obligation to separate.

In some places, it has also been proposed that in order objectively to examine their actual situation, the divorced and remarried would have to consult a prudent and expert priest. This priest, however, would have to respect their eventual decision to approach Holy Communion, without this implying an official authorisation.

In these and similar cases it would be a matter of a tolerant and benevolent pastoral solution in order to do justice to the different situations of the divorced and remarried….”

Cardinal Ratzinger

14 September 1994, Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

1. The International Year of the Family is a particularly important occasion to discover anew the many signs of the Church’s love and concern for the family(1) and, at the same time, to present once more the priceless riches of Christian marriage, which is the basis of the family.
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Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Says He Sees “No Contradictions” Between His and Pope Francis’ Pontificates.

Defend PF Pope Benedict Image

12 September, 2016 – In a new collection of interviews, Pope emeritus Benedict XVI expressed his joy with the pontificate of Pope Francis. This is in direct contradiction to many outspoken Catholics who have decided for themselves that Pope Benedict XVI must be very unhappy with Pope Francis. Pope emeritus Benedict also puts to rest the conspiracy theories that he was forced against his will to retire.  Here are some of the words spoken by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI about the pontificate of Pope Francis and his resignation: Continue reading “Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Says He Sees “No Contradictions” Between His and Pope Francis’ Pontificates.”