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Another Cardinal Jumps to the Defense of the Four Cardinals and Their Dubia.

December 12, 2016 breaking No Comments

Maike Hickson

Cardinal Paul Josef Cordes, a retired Curial Cardinal and former head of the Pontifical Council Cor Unum, has now added his own voice to those voices supporting the Four Cardinals and their dubia as sent to the pope and now presented to the public. In an 12 December 2016 interview with Kath.net, an Austrian Catholic news website, Cordes defends the traditional moral teaching of the Church concerning marriage and the family. In her history, “the Church has never dismissed any central content [of Christ’s teaching and truth],” explains the German cardinal. Against the idea that the teaching may be changed, he argues: “How can the Church today claim reliability for a certain statement of Faith when another, former statement of Faith has no relevance any more and is considered now to be false?”

Cardinal Cordes recounts how the Church already grappled for a long time – since the 3rd century – about the question as to how to help those couples who are “remarried” divorcees. After naming different examples of the Church’s history (Origenes, St. Basil the Great, Council of Trent, Vatican II), Cordes ends his description of this discussion with reference to the Synod of Bishops on the Family of the year 1980 and Pope John Paul II’s own post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris Consortio. He then adds with reference to Amoris Laetitia: “And now, suddenly, there has been supposedly found, after all, a magisterial solution!” Its allowance, according to Cordes, “appears in a footnote of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia with the argument that, under certain circumstances, the reception of the Sacraments can be of help for such Christians [the “remarried” divorcees] for their growth in the Faith and in Charity.” However, Cordes sees that “the theological foundation of such a permission is not at all compelling. Its formal obligatoriness (a footnote) certainly does not have the status and rank of a Dogma.”

Furthermore, Cardinal Cordes also defends the Four Cardinals and their dubia. He says, as follows: “With an objective tone, the four cardinals have asked for the removal of doubts about the text [Amoris Laetitia]. They were met with a disproportionate protest. I was not able to understand this indignation; I also had doubts that these indignant persons were motivated by a desire to find the truth.” Additionally, Cordes makes a helpful reference to Cardinal Gerhard Müller’s own recent statement according to which “the document may not be interpreted in such a way as if former statements of the Magisterium and of the popes are now invalid.”

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