Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, one of the four cardinals who have asked Pope Francis to reaffirm Church teaching, has discussed the possibility of a “fraternal correction” of the Pope.
In an interview with the Italian newspaper La Stampa, Cardinal Brandmüller said that such a correction would probably be made first “in camera caritatis” – an expression meaning “spoken in private”.
Cardinal Brandmüller was speaking after another of the quartet, Cardinal Burke, suggested that the formal correction could take place in the New Year.
Cardinal Burke said such a correction would be “very simple”, and “would no longer be raising questions, but confronting the confusing statements in Amoris Laetitia with what has been the Church’s constant teaching and practice, and thereby correcting Amoris Laetitia”.
In their request to the Pope – five questions known as dubia – the four cardinals (Burke, Brandmüller, Joachim Meisner and Carlo Caffarra) ask the Pope to reaffirm the teachings of his predecessors, in particular Pope St John Paul II.
These teachings include the traditional doctrine that the divorced and civilly remarried cannot be admitted to Holy Communion, except in some cases where they endeavour to live “as brother and sister”. This teaching was reaffirmed by St John Paul II and Benedict XVI.
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