The president of the German bishops’ conference has said that the reform introduced in the annulment process by Pope Francis this week “does not solve the fundamental problems” of Catholics who are divorced and remarried.
Cardinal Reinhard Marx has pushed for a change in Church teaching that would allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion. He told a press conference in Germany that this issue should still be addressed at the October meeting of the Synod of Bishops.
For many divorced German Catholics, the cardinal argued, “annulment is a foreign word.” He explained that he was thinking of those who had been married for years, and then, after divorce, entered into a second union. He suggested that they would not seek an annulment, but would wish to be brought back into the sacramental life of the Church.
Cardinal Marx said that the Church’s teaching on the permanence of the marriage bond would not be changed. But he argued that there should be a way to reach out to divorced and remarried Catholics.