Cardinal Gerhard Müller encourages divorced/remarried Catholics to participate in the life of the Church since they can’t be admitted to Communion

It’s no secret that marriage crisis are widespread. The Church concerned about Catholics who are divorced and remarried without an annulment, has promised to offer them spiritual help and it encouraged them to go to Mass and participate in the life of the Church since they can’t be admitted to Holy Communion.

During an interview with the German daily Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger published on Tuesday, Cardinal Gerhard Müller said, “The Pope always says that it is not about Holy Communion alone, but about integration within the life of the Church

The final step of this process, the Cardinal said, may be the reception of Holy Communion, “after a process of conversion and repentance, if the generally valid prerequisites for this are fulfilled.”

“A second marriage or a second spouse, as long as the rightful spouse is still alive, is not possible according to the Catholic interpretation of the words of Jesus.”

“The Pope and all of us however want to carefully avoid people ‘drifting away’ from the Church as community of salvation,” he continued.

There are other forms of participation in the life of the Church that are “valuable and legitimate,” the cardinal noted.

“Community with God and the Church is not only constituted in the oral reception of Holy Communion.”

“And that teaching is, after all: ‘What God therefore has joined together, let no man separate’. There can be no compromise there, by which we as humans would turn the clear word of God into something vague. A sound pastoral approach is the opposite of relativizing the words of Christ.”

The cardinal reiterated the bishops teachings explaining that the Church does not impose this as a form of punishment, but because the way of life of such people goes against the sacrament of marriage.

Muller added that reception of Holy Communion by the divorced-and-remarried must also take “into consideration the manifold situations upon which the process of reconciliation is predicated.”

“The Church is not able to dissolve or suspend a valid and truly sacramental marriage.”

Cardinal Müller responded to comments by the interviewer: “That is also what the apostles thought, when Jesus explained to them the indissolubility of marriage (cf. Matthew 19:10). But what seems to us human beings to be impossible, is made possible by the grace of God.”

Pope Francis has made a number of statements that the Church needs to reach out pastorally to the divorced and civilly remarried.




  1. Patrick Gannon Reply

    Pardon my cynicism, but isn’t it likely that the motivation for this is to make sure the Church keeps it’s tentacles wrapped around any potential offspring of the divorced couples?
    The motivation can only be to grab the kids. Divorced Catholics are forbidden from taking part in the primary reason for the Sunday Mass, i.e., receiving Communion, right?. Isn’t that why most no longer attend? Aren’t t they living in a state of mortal sin, such that when they die they’re going to hell? So why bother? The idea of teaching kids that their parents are going to Hell, may make for some interesting Catechism classes. I can just see little Susie coming home in tears because Sister Mary Margaret or Pastor John said divorce is a mortal sin that sends people to eternal torment in hellfire.
    There were practical reasons for being against divorce in a time when the average life was about 35 years. You had to stay together to raise the kids for the good of the tribe. That is no longer the case today. In the first place, we have too many people, and in the second case, we live long enough to raise kids and then have a full career lasting longer than it took to raise the kids. The practical reasons for these Iron Age laws have dissolved.

  2. Vickie Reply

    It’s not right that divorced or remarried Catholics can not receive communion. What would Jesus do? He left us communion in the mass as a power and strength for all his people. How can the church judge who can and who can’t. I don’t believe it was Jesus intention.

  3. Denis Khan Reply

    The first Apostle to the non Jews was the Samaritan woman with ‘five husbands'( John 4:4 -42). Jesus Christ Will always Come to us in Spiritual Holy Communion.’He Who Comes to Me, I Will Not cast out. (John 6:37). Footnote to Matthew16:18 in NAB says’That the keys are those to the Kingdom of Heaven and that Peter’s authority in the church will be continued in Heaven is an intimate connection, not an identification, of the church and the kingdom of Heaven.

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