Well, Cardinal Schönborn appears to be right in this article. But I find it odd that he’s not surprised by bishops’ disagreeing. He gives basically a non answer to anyone asking “Why is it OK to receive the Eucharist (in this state) in Malta and Germany, but not in Poland??”
In any case, of course AL is an orthodox document. But some which to see it in an unorthodox light, and misuse it, as Archbishop Sample pointed out.
“There may be cases when the sacrament can be given,he said, but they needed discernment - for which Amoris gives guidelines.”
Cardinal Schonborn is actually right here. However, AL simply reiterates the guidelines already in place by previous popes. There has been no change in doctrine or sacramental practice, even though some think there has been. Bishop Steven Lopes explained this well in his pastoral letter on AL. He actually explains it a lot better than cardinal Schonborn did, and I really do wonder why the cardinal could not speak plainly and call out some of these bishops who “are interpreting Amoris laetitia according to their own way of understanding the teaching of the Pope, which] does not follow the line of Catholic doctrine,” as Cardinal Muller has pointed out.
Anyways, to quote at length (for those that haven’t read it yet) from Bishop Lopes’ well written pastoral letter, emphases mine:
While there are many Catholics who have “recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions … the Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid if the first marriage was” (Catechism, 1650)… In Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis calls upon the whole Catholic community, clergy and laity alike, to accompany those among us who have civically remarried after an experience of divorce.
Accompaniment begins, therefore, in reminding people in this circumstance that they are loved by God and remain cherished members of the Church…
The formation of conscience “can include the help of the sacraments,” including reconciliation and, under certain conditions, the Eucharist (351). As the Church teaches, and has always and firmly maintained, because reception of the Eucharist is the reception of Christ himself, “anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of reconciliation before coming to Communion” (Catechism, 1385). St. Paul cautioned that “anyone who eats and drinks unworthily, without discerning the Body of the Lord, eats and drinks judgment upon himself” (1 Corinthians 11:29), as Pope St. John Paul II reaffirmed: “In the Church there remains in force, now and in the future, the rule by which the Council of Trent gave concrete expression to the Apostle Paul’s stern warning when it affirmed that, in order to receive the Eucharist in a worthy manner, ‘one must first confess one’s sins, when one is aware of mortal sin’” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 36).
Under the guidance of their pastor, avoiding occasions of confusion or scandal, divorced-and-civilly-remarried persons may receive the Eucharist, on the condition that when, “for serious reasons, such as for example the children’s upbringing, a man and woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they ‘take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples’” (Familiaris Consortio, 84). A civilly-remarried couple, if committed to complete continence, could have the Eucharist available to them, after proper discernment with their pastor and making recourse to the sacrament of reconciliation. Such a couple may experience continence as difficult, and they may sometimes fail, in which case they are, like any Christian, to repent, confess their sins, and begin anew.
Reconciliation requires contrition, the “sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again” (Catechism, 1451). A civilly-remarried couple firmly resolving complete chastity thus resolves not to sin again, which differs in kind from a civilly-remarried couple who do not firmly intend to live chastely, however much they may feel sorrow for the failure of their first marriage. In this situation, they either do not acknowledge that their unchastity, which is adultery, is gravely wrong, or they do not firmly intend to avoid sin.** In either case, the disposition required for reconciliation is not satisfied, and they would receive the Eucharist in a condition of grave sin. Unless and until the civilly remarried honestly intend to refrain from sexual relations entirely, sacramental discipline does not allow for the reception of the Eucharist.**
The firm intention for a chaste life is difficult, but chastity is possible, and it “can be followed with the help of grace” (Amoris Laetitia, 295).
Cardinal Muller, from the interview linked previously above mentions this:" To all these [bishops] who are speaking excessively, I urge them to first study the doctrine on the papacy and on the episcopate in the two Vatican Councils, without forgetting the doctrine of the seven sacraments (the Fourth Lateran Council, the Council of Florence, the Council of Trent and Vatican II). The Bishop, as Teacher of the Word, must himself be well-formed first lest he fall into the risk of the blind leading the blind."
Bishop Lopes has clearly studied the doctrine of the papacy and has not forgotten the doctrine of the seven sacraments. Sadly, I don’t think that the same can be said for some other bishops. We need to keep praying for our leaders.