In the opinion of Cardinal Marx of Munich, the debate on the Catholic Church’s handling of those divorced and remarried is entirely open. “The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith cannot put a stop to the discussion,” he said Thursday at the conclusion of the meeting of the Freising Bishops’ Conference, Kathweb reports. This conference consists of the Bavarian bishops from Munich and Freising, Rebensburg, Passau, Augsburg, Bamberg, Wurzburg, Eichstatt, and Speyer.

Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, former bishop of Regensburg and now prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, recently wrote an article in L’Osservatore Romano strongly defending the church’s ban on communion for those who remarry and seeing no possibility of change in church discipline. In response to this, Cardinal Marxsaid that “we will see that it is discussed very broadly; as for the result, I do not know.” Cardinal Marx is on the committee of eight cardinals appoints by Pope Francis to advise him in the reform of the Roman Curia and the governance of the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Marx said that it is the express wish of Rome that there be widespread discussion throughout the church in preparation for the special synod on the family in October 2014. The cardinal believes that there are some questions for which the position of the majority of Catholics, including practicing Catholics in particular, is clear. He named the issue of the divorced and remarried as an example. A large number of the faithful cannot entirely understand “that a second union is not accepted by the Church.” He thinks it is inadequate to speak of divorce as simply a “moral failure.”

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