October 23, 2013

Vatican halts remarriage debate before it starts


The Vatican on Tuesday reiterated one of its longstanding rules about the indissolubility of marriage, making clear that a recent German initiative on the matter was contrary to church teaching.

The Vatican's chief doctrine official, German Archbishop Gerhard Mueller, wrote Tuesday that there is no way for Catholics who divorce and remarry to receive Communion unless they get an annulment, a church ruling that their first marriage never existed.

"God's mercy does not dispense us from following his commandments or the rules of the church," he wrote in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano.

Church teaching holds that Catholics who don't have their first marriage annulled before remarrying cannot participate fully in the church's sacraments because they are living in sin and committing adultery. 

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