Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, one of the two living cardinals to have signed the dubia addressed to Pope Francis, has spoken out against the “heresy” of supporting remarriage.

In a rare and lengthy interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine, Cardinal Brandmüller, the Vatican’s former chief historian, said that the Council of Trent had proclaimed the indissolubility of marriage as a dogma. This means, the cardinal said, that entering a new union after civil divorce is a grave sin.

This has consequences for the Eucharist, the cardinal said: “Whoever is aware of having committed a grave sin can only receive Communion if he has been to Confession, has confessed and has been absolved.”

Some bishops have said that the remarried can receive Communion without a resolution to live “as brother and sister”. Their argument rests on a footnote in the Pope’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

Cardinal Brandmüller said: “I am now being told that the entire moral-theological tradition of the Church can be overruled by a footnote. Here I look to the authority of the Church Fathers.”

To clarify these and other confusions, five dubia, or questions – were sent to the Pope last year by Cardinals Joachim Meisner, Carlo Caffarra (both of whom died this year), Raymond Burke and Brandmüller.

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