Not even the Roman Pontiff can change the Church’s teaching on marriage, Cardinal Robert Sarah told an interviewer.
In a conversation with the French Catholic journal L’Homme Nouveau, responding to questions about his book God or Nothing, Cardinal Sarah addressed the question of whether Pope Francis could allow Catholics who are divorced and remarried to receive the Eucharist. He said:
The entire Church has always firmly held that one may not receive communion with the knowledge of being in a state of mortal sin, a principle recalled as definitive by John Paul II in his 2003 encyclical Ecclesia de Eucharistia.
Cardinal Sarah concluded: “Not even a Pope can dispense from such a divine law.”
In the interview, Cardinal Sarah—who is prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship—voiced his concern about the level of confusion, even among bishops, regarding the Church’s teaching. He said:
I cannot allow myself to imagine as the cause of such confusion anything but the insufficiency of the formation of my confreres. And insofar as I am responsible for the discipline of the sacraments in the whole Latin Church, I am bound in conscience to recall that Christ has reestablished the Creator’s original plan of a monogamous, indissoluble marriage ordered to the good of the spouses, as also to the generation and education of children.