Theology: December 2011 Archives

From a little known text by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger published in 1998

The pastoral approach to marriage should be founded on truth

Concerning some objections to the Church's teaching on the reception of Holy Communion by divorced and remarried members of the faithful

In 1998 Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, introduced the volume entitled "On the Pastoral Care of the Divorced and Remarried," published by the Libreria in the CDF's series ("Documenti e Studi", 17). Because of its current interest and breadth of perspective, we reproduce below the third part along with the addition of three notes. The text was published today by L'Osservatore Romano.

The Letter of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of 14 September 1994 concerning the reception of Holy Communion by divorced and remarried members of the faithful was met with a very lively response across wide sections of the Church. Along with many positive reactions, more than a few critical voices were also heard. The fundamental objections against the teaching and practice of the Church are outlined below in simplified form.

Several of the more significant objections - principally, the reference to the supposedly more flexible practice of the Church Fathers which would be the inspiration for the practice of the Eastern Churches separated from Rome, as well as the allusion to the traditional principles of epicheia and of aequitas canonica - were studied in-depth by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Articles by Professors Pelland, Marcuzzi and Rodriguez Luño 2, among others, were developed in the course of this study. The main conclusions of the research, which suggest the direction of an answer to the objections, will be briefly summarized here.

Fernando Ocáriz.jpg

Fernando Ocáriz, 67, is the Vicar General of Opus Dei. He's a trained theologian in area of Dogmatics but he's also trained in physics.  In 1986 he was appointed a consultor to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and later (1989) made a member of the Pontifical Theological Academy. Msgr. Ocáriz is the author of many books and refereed articles. He's one of the primary authors of Dominus Iesus. Of late Msgr. Ocáriz has been a theological consultant in the dialogue with the Society of St Pius X.

The following article is published in several languages by L'Osservatore Romano (2 December 2011).

On adhesion to the Second Vatican Council

The forthcoming 50th anniversary of the convocation of the Second Vatican Council (25 December 1961) is a cause for celebration, but also for renewed reflection on the reception and application of the Conciliar Documents.

Over and above the more directly practical aspects of this reception and application, both positive and negative, it seems appropriate also to recall the nature of the intellectual assent that is owed to the teachings of the Council. Although we are dealing here with a well-known doctrine, about which there is an extensive bibliography, it is nevertheless useful to review it in its essential points, given the persistence - also in public opinion - of misunderstandings regarding the continuity of some Conciliar teachings with previous teachings of the Church's Magisterium.

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



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This page is a archive of entries in the Theology category from December 2011.

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