German Bishops Allow Holy Communion for the “Remarried” Now


{The publication by the German Bishops’ Conference of this heretical pastoral and “doctrinal” document today is without a doubt the reason why Cardinal Mueller, Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and himself a German, gave his interview which I have posted in the post immediately preceding this post in which he stated unequivocally that an interpretation of Amoris Laetitia such as the one just issued by the German Bishops’ Conference is heretical, even though he did not use that term.}

As the new document – published today, 1 February 2017 – says, “not everybody whose marriage is broken and who is remarried” may go to the Sacraments, to include the Sacrament of Penance. The bishops propose a process of discernment in order to decide whether such a “remarried” couple, or individual persons, may receive the Sacraments.

The German Bishops’ document – which is dated 1 February, but which was already adopted by the bishops’ council itself on 23 January 2017 – also says that Amoris Laetitia (AL 300) does not “categorically exclude” the “remarried” divorcees from the Sacrament, since in some cases, there is not to be found “serious guilt [sic].” The text, as expected, also refers to the controversial paragraph – paragraph 305 with its footnote 351 – and claims that not everybody who is in an “objectively irregular situation” is in the state of sin, or at least “not completely so”. Moreover, even though not every couple per se may be admitted to the Sacraments, the German bishops say that, for some couples, indeed, “Amoris Laetitiaopens up the possibility of receiving the Sacraments of Penance and of the Eucharist.” [my emphasis] However, this should also be done, according to the bishops, with the help and accompaniment of a pastor.

It is in this context and situation of discernment that the German bishops – with explicit reference to Amoris Laetitia(37) – stress the importance and weight of the individual consciences, as such, which may not then come to be effectively “replaced by the Church herself.” The document thus says:

The individual decision – under the individual circumstances – not to be yet able to receive the Sacraments deserves respect and esteem. But, one also has to respect a [individual] decision in favor of the reception of the Sacraments. [my emphasis]

The German bishops do stress the formation of conscience, which has to take place, as well. But, while they reject both extremes of “laxity” or “rigorism,” they still subtly give much scope to the individual couples who now may decisively discern themselves – with the help of an accompanying and discerning priest – whether or not they should receive the Sacraments yet. The Church, according to the German bishops, would then have to respect their own decision, as the last quote also implies.

Thus it seems that even the German bishops do not yet go as far as the Maltese bishops with their own new guildelines– who have stressed even more explicitly the weight of the individual conscience – but the Germans come quite close to it. This, of course, should not be astonishing, since the German bishops – among them Cardinal Walter Kasper himself – have been recurrently pushing for the indulgent laxening of the Church’s morality concerning the “remarried” divorcees, and for a long time.

This is how it sounded, already back in 1993, when Kasper, together with two other bishops, first proposed to implement in southern Germany the “Kasper proposal” (as it is now called) – now almost 25 years ago:

The priest [in discerning with the couple their individual case] will respect the judgment of the individual’s conscience, which that person has reached after examining his own conscience and becoming convinced hisapproaching the Holy Eucharist can be justified before God. [my emphasis]

Back then, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stopped this initiative. It is helpful in this context, moreover, to know that Cardinal Gerhard Müller as the Prefect of that same Congregation has just unequivocally said that there cannot be a contradiction between doctrine and the individual conscience, and he then added:

For example, it cannot be said that there are circumstances according to which an act of adultery does not constitute a mortal sin. For Catholic doctrine, it is impossible for mortal sin to coexist with sanctifying grace. [my emphasis]

Cardinal Müller also insisted – with reference to Familiaris Consortio 84 – that “remarried” divorcees have to live in sincere and enduring continence if they wish to receive the Sacraments. That topic, however, is not even at all being discussed by the Germany bishops’ own new statement.

This very troubling new document from the German bishops comes at a time where one of the German bishops – Archbishop Heiner Koch, of Berlin – has now even declined to make a moral judgment upon the sinfulness of homosexual unions.

For example, on 30 January, 2017, the German progressive newpaper taz published an interview with the German archbishop of Berlin which mainly deals with the question of homosexuality. While Koch insists that the word “marriage” means a union between a man and a woman, because it is open to life; he then makes the stunning remark that “I have respect how they [homosexual couples] are living out their own sexuality – if they do it responsibly.” [my emphasis] When the journalist asked him why the Church is so sure that a homosexual is living in the state of sin, even though Jesus Christ Himself has not made such an explicit statement on the matter, Koch answers: “You wish that I make a general judgment about an individual person. That I will not do.” [my emphasis] He thus refuses to proclaim the Church’s own moral teaching on homosexuality and its acts.

As can be seen here, the dissolution of Catholic Doctrine continues to grow in Germany.

{“Dissolution of Catholic Doctrine” is a polite way of saying HERESY.  Heresy on this scale is almost always followed by formal schism.  Time will tell!!!}



Listers, priests and bishops having been erring as long as humans have occupied those offices. However, the quotes that most strongly articulate this truth are shrouded in ambiguity regarding their primary sources. SPL has complied the most common germane quotes shared on Catholic blogs and given a citation for each one – often clarifying a misquote or giving context for an attributed quote. Please feel free to add any other quotes that complement this list or help articulate the sources.


“The road to Hell is paved with the bones of priests and monks, and the skulls of bishops are the lamp posts that light the path.”

– or –

“The road to hell is paved with the skulls of erring priests, with bishops as their signposts.”
St. John Chrysostom attributed.1


“I do not think there are many among Bishops that will be saved, but many more that perish.”
St. John Chrysostom, Extract from St. John Chrysostom, Homily III on Acts 1:12.2


“The floor of hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.”
St. Athanasius, Council of Nicaea, AD 325 attributed.3


“The road to hell is paved with the skulls of bishops.”
Saint John Eudes, attributed.4


“It must be observed, however, that if the faith were endangered, a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly.”
St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica II, II, q. 33, a. 45


“Augustine says in his Rule: ‘Show mercy not only to yourselves, but also to him who, being in the higher position among you, is therefore in greater danger.’ But fraternal correction is a work of mercy. Therefore even prelates ought to be corrected.”
St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica II, II, q. 33, a. 4, Sed Contra.


“It is better that scandals arise than the truth be suppressed.”
Pope St. Gregory the Great 6


“But, when necessity compels, not those only who are invested with power of rule are bound to safeguard the integrity of faith, but, as St. Thomas maintains: ‘Each one is under obligation to show forth his faith, either to instruct and encourage others of the faithful, or to repel the attacks of unbelievers.’”
Pope Leo XIII7

  1. Chrysostom Quote: Ole “Golden-mouth” is the primary recipient of the attributed quote. The origin of the actual quote is obscure, but several theories abound. The most interesting are that the flourishing rhetoric of St. Chrysostom and Dantean imagery came together in the Middle Ages or that the quote was actually a misrepresentation of Chrysostom’s words from the protestant leader John Wesley. SOURCE [↩]
  2. Chrysostom 2nd Quote: Homily III on Acts 1:12 [↩]
  3. Athanasius Quote: Attributing the quote to Athanasius is a natural connection given the fact the man fought against the heresy of Arianism – a heresy that is estimated to have swallowed almost 80% of the Catholic bishops. [↩]
  4. Eudes Quote: It is believed that St. Eudes is referencing the quote in the belief it was said by St. Athanasius [↩]
  5. Aquinas Quote: The quote is also often cited as,”When there is an imminent danger for the Faith, Prelates must be questioned, even publicly, by their subjects.” The entire fourth article of the cited question addresses the issue of “Whether a man is bound to correct his prelate?” [↩]
  6. Gregory Quote: While prolifically quoted amongst blogs and Catholic debates, a source for this quote is elusive. If any listers can furnish a source and a citation, SPL would appreciate it. [↩]
  7. Pope Leo Quote: The quote is taken from SAPIENTIAE CHRISTIANAE and is often quoted on Catholic blogs as: “when circumstances make it necessary, it is not prelates alone who have to watch over the integrity of the faith.” [↩]



About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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