The Cologne newspaper asked the cardinal whether his explanation of the teaching on marriage and Holy Communion was a step back from the German bishops' position at the 2015 Synod on the Family, characterizing it as finding participation in Communion being conceivable for the divorced-and-remarried after a discussion with a priest in the internal forum.
In response Cardinal Müller noted that this is possible only if the divorced-and-remarried take on the duty to live in complete continence. He said this citing St. John Paul II's reminder "regarding the perennially valid teaching of the Church on marriage in his apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio."
He added that reception of Holy Communion by the divorced-and-remarried must also take "into consideration the manifold situations upon which the process of reconciliation is predicated."
"The Church is not able to dissolve or suspend a valid and truly sacramental marriage."
One of the German leaders at the center of the remarriage controversy is Cardinal Walter Kasper, president emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. The Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger noted Cardinal Kasper's description of a "battle" in the Vatican over the future of the Church.
Cardinal Müller responded: "He retracted that problematic metaphor."
"A battle is aimed at destroying the enemy. But this is neither about the subjugation of others nor certainly about enmities. The subject was the teaching on marriage," he explained.
The interviewer cited Cardinal Reinhard Marx of Munich and Freising, who, he said, considers unrealistic the expectation of sexual abstinence in an irregular union.
Cardinal Müller commented: "That is also what the apostles thought, when Jesus explained to them the indissolubility of marriage (cf. Matthew 19:10). But what seems to us human beings to be impossible, is made possible by the grace of God."