jimmyakin.com/wp-content/uploads/cardinalrodriguez-218x300.jpgRecently one of the most prominent cardinals in the world made remarks regarding the head of the Vatican’s doctrinal office that could be taken as insulting.
The issue was receiving Communion following divorce and civil remarriage.
This kind of situation is a very rare event. We don’t normally see cardinals seeming to publicly take apparent swipes at each other.
The two involved in this case are Cardinal Rodriguez and soon-to-be Cardinal Muller.
Here are 12 things to know and share . . .
1) Who is Cardinal Rodriguez?
His full name is Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga.
He is the Cardinal Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras.
He is also the coordinator of the group of eight cardinals that Pope Francis has gathered to help advise him on reforming the Roman Curia.
This makes him one of the most prominent cardinals in the world.
2) Who is (soon-to-be) Cardinal Muller?
His full name is Gerhard Ludwig Muller.
He is currently an Archbishop, and he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to head the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF). He was subsequently confirmed in office by Pope Francis.
Recently, as expected, it was announced that he would be created a cardinal by Pope Francis on February 22.
Once that happens, he will also be one of the most prominent cardinals in the world.
3) What is the background to this situation?
For some time there have been calls—particularly in Germany—for a change in the Church’s discipline regarding Communion for those Catholics who have been divorced and civilly remarried.
Apart from extremely unusual circumstances, the Church requires Catholics to observe the Catholic form of marriage or get a dispensation from it, in order to be validly married.
For a Catholic to go to city hall and get married will not result in a valid marriage.
Consequently, the Church does not recognize the marriages of Catholics who have done this, and it must consequently regard them as living in a state of sexual sin (unless they are living as brother and sister).
This means that they are ineligible to receive Communion.
What should happen is this: Catholics who have obtained a civil divorce and who wish to remarry should pursue the annulment process to determine whether their original marriage was valid. If it is found to have been invalid, then they are free to remarry, provided they observe the Catholic form of marriage.
The annulment process exists because Christ was very firm on the permanence of marriage: “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” He went so far as to say that those who divorce and remarry commit ongoing adultery against their first spouse.
Adultery is a grave sin, and so it makes one ineligible for Communion.
In response to calls for a change of the Church’s discipline on this point, Archbishop Muller published an article—first in a German-language publication and later in the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, defending and explaining the Church’s position.
4) How did Cardinal Rodriguez get involved?
He was being interviewed by the German newspaper Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger.
You can read the full interview in German here.
During the course of the discussion, the interviewer alluded to Archbishop Muller’s article.
It was at this point that Cardinal Rodriguez made the remarks that raised eyebrows.
5) What did Cardinal Rodriguez say?