World Report

Difference of opinion continues around Amoris Laetitia

Cardinal Reinhard Marx

The president of the Conference of German Bishops has said the Pope’s Amoris Laetitia exhortation is “very clear” and new guidelines adopted by the conference on Communion for divorced-and-remarried Catholics are in line with that.

Speaking in Rome, Cardinal Reinhard Marx dismissed the ongoing row among priests and prelates on Amoris Laetitia and said he “cannot understand” why there are other interpretations to the Pope’s words. 

“The answer is, I think, clear,” he said.

Despite Cardinal Marx’s words, however, the recent guidelines issued by the German bishops, paving the way for some remarried divorcees, on a case-by-case basis, still stand in opposition to the recent message communicated by fellow German, Cardinal Gerhard Müller, preferect of the Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith to the effect that “we cannot make concessions” in the area of Communion and that “irregular situations are not in accordance with the divine will”. 

These comments were made in the context of the cardinal’s concern at prelates making their own interpretations on Amoris Laetitia.

In England, meanwhile, a bishop has voiced concern about what he has described as “a growing problem” of disagreements around Amoris Lateitia, again on the issue of Communion for divorcees.

Bishop Philip Egan of Portsmouth said that a recent meeting with his Council of Priests revealed the differing interpretations among clergy and a hunger for guidance.