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Doctrinal chief dismisses idea of 'fraternal correction' of pope


  • Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is pictured in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican in this Nov. 19, 2014, file photo. Cardinal Muller said the Catholic Church is "very far" from a situation in which Pope Francis is in need of "fraternal correction." He made his comment in an interview about the pope's apostolic exhortation, "Amoris Laetitia," with Italian news channel TGCom24. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is pictured in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican in this Nov. 19, 2014, file photo. Cardinal Muller said the Catholic Church is "very far" from a situation in which Pope Francis is in need of "fraternal correction." He made his comment in an interview about the pope's apostolic exhortation, "Amoris Laetitia," with Italian news channel TGCom24. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, arrives for a news conference at the Vatican in this June 14, 2016, file photo. Cardinal Muller said the Catholic Church is "very far" from a situation in which Pope Francis is in need of "fraternal correction." He made his comment in an interview about the pope's apostolic exhortation, "Amoris Laetitia," with Italian news channel TGCom24. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, arrives for a news conference at the Vatican in this June 14, 2016, file photo. Cardinal Muller said the Catholic Church is "very far" from a situation in which Pope Francis is in need of "fraternal correction." He made his comment in an interview about the pope's apostolic exhortation, "Amoris Laetitia," with Italian news channel TGCom24. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is pictured in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican in this Nov. 19, 2014, file photo. Cardinal Muller said the Catholic Church is "very far" from a situation in which Pope Francis is in need of "fraternal correction." He made his comment in an interview about the pope's apostolic exhortation, "Amoris Laetitia," with Italian news channel TGCom24. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
  • Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, is pictured in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican in this Nov. 19, 2014, file photo. Cardinal Muller said the Catholic Church is "very far" from a situation in which Pope Francis is in need of "fraternal correction." He made his comment in an interview about the pope's apostolic exhortation, "Amoris Laetitia," with Italian news channel TGCom24. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

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VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- The Catholic Church is "very far" from a situation in which the pope is in need of "fraternal correction" because he has not put the faith and church teaching in danger, said Cardinal Gerhard Muller, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Interviewed Jan. 9 on the Italian all-news channel, TGCom24, Cardinal Muller said Pope Francis' document on the family, "Amoris Laetitia," was "very clear" in its teaching.

In the document, the cardinal said, Pope Francis asks priests "to discern the situation of these persons living in an irregular union -- that is, not in accordance with the doctrine of the church on marriage -- and asks for help for these people to find a path for a new integration into the church according to the condition of the sacraments (and) the Christian message on matrimony."

In the papal document, he said, "I do not see any opposition: On one side we have the clear doctrine on matrimony, and on the other the obligation of the church to care for these people in difficulty."

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