PopeWatch: Amoris Laetitia-the Lean Version-Part 10




Part 10 of our stripped down look at Amoris Laetitia with some commentary by PopeWatch:

271.  Moral education must not involve too much of a child.  (A legitimate concern, although PopeWatch has observed that kids, like most people, tend to live up to, or down to, expectations.)

272.  A rather confused and turgid paragraph on ethical formation in kids.

273.  Excuse making for wretched conduct, a major theme of the Exhortation.

274.  The family is the first school for human values.  (A prime cause of the bloat in the Exhortation is the tendency of the Pope and his ghost writers writing the same thing again and again with minor variations.)

275.  Get your brats off the damn electronics for a while.

276.  We pick our friends, God picks our relatives, and learning to put up with them is an important element in growing up.

277.  More eco-babble.

278.  Media is no substitute to face to face interactions in families.

279.  A advertisement for Catholic education.

280.  Sex education, as currently implemented, has been a failure.

281.  Sex education has to be age appropriate.

282.  Good sex education can foster a sense of modesty.

283.  Sex education is often focused on contraception and “safe sex”.

284.  Young people must be taught to distinguish love and lust.

285.  Sex education should teach students to appreciate the differences between the sexes and to accept the sex God made them.

286.  Masculinity and femininity are not rigid categories.  (To almost all Christians prior to the last century that claim would have struck them as manifest nonsense.

287.  Families have a duty to pass on the Faith.

288.  Education in the Faith has to be adapted to each child.

289.  Bringing up children in the Faith helps the family serve as missionaries.

290.  The family is a means of spreading the Gospel.


Chapter Eight-Accompanying, Discerning and Integrating Weakness  (What a whacked out chapter title.)


291.  Church is a field hospital.  (Whose victims are often from friendly fire these days.

292.  Christian marriage is a man and a woman bound together for life.

293.  Civil marriage and cohabitation will sometimes lead eventually to sacramental marriage.

294.  Excuses for those who shack up or simply have a civil marriage: “The choice of a civil marriage or, in many cases, of simple cohabitation, is often not motivated by prejudice or resistance to a sacramental union, but by cultural or contingent situations”.  (In other words these people are to be treated as confused children and not as adults responsible for their choices.)

295.  Law of gradualism.

296.  “Complexity” as a cover for sin.

297.  No one can be condemned forever because that is not the logic of the Gospel.  (Hell?)

298.  Arguments to mitigate the sin of Catholics in adulterous unions.

299.  Christians in adulterous marriages need to be reintegrated into the Christian community.  (Along with murderers, rapists, heretics, satanists, etc.  All sinners, no matter how terrible their sins, can find the mercy of Christ through repentance and amendment of life, but that is not what the Pope getting at.)

300.  Here we go:  Pastoral discernment of individual cases.

Finishing up on Monday.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.


  1. As to 297, I don’t believe Pope Francis believes anyone is in hell ( Fr. Karl Rahner and Von Balthasar said one can hope for such) given that he is against the death penalty like his two predecessors both of whom said we can’t be certain Judas is in hell. I suspect there’s a connection between the two issues.
    We can be certain Judas is in hell given Christ’s unrelenting dire words on Judas which words are inappropriate for a person glory bound through purgatory….and we can be certain due to Christ’s use of past tense prophecy about Judas “perished”…said prior to his full sin. St. Justin Martyr noted that past tense prophecy is unconditional…it’s as good as done ergo the past tense….Isaiah….” by his stripes we were healed”.
    This goes to gender fluidity in 286. The OT in Sirach says, ” The severity of a man is better than a woman’s indulgence.”
    Yes….I think it is effeminate to oppose the death penalty and to hold out hope for Judas and I think high clergy is often venially effeminate to a degree due to being over cultured which Plato noted in book three of the Republic causes men to be too feminine. Scripture speaks of women who had “the courage of men” like Judith….ergo many women support the death penalty and will shoot a home invader faster than these last three Popes would.

  2. I agree with Bill. Contrary to the hopeful interpretations floating around, in which the pope is merely speaking of this earthly life, it seems obvious that the operative word in “no-one can be condemned forever, because this is not the logic of the gospel” is forever.
    As many have pointed out, this would account for the pope’s relentless anthropocentrism: If nearly all are saved, and even the most evil are merely annihilated (as he told Scalfari), then our focus should be on making this earthly life as commodious as possible for all, even the most hardened criminals. It’s the flipside of the secular humanist drive to maximize earthly pleasure in the face of a meaningless, purposeless universe.

  3. bill bannon: The condemned capital one murderer is brought to Justice by the state. As a member of the state, the condemned capital one murderer executes himself. In a free will act of his sovereign personhood, the capital one murderer chose to take another person’s life. Now, he must give it up. Thanks be to God. In hell, no soul is remembered, giving rise to the idea that hell is empty. Judas, Herod and the like are names given to betrayal and murder as well as to condemned, but we, as people, do not know. So, this matter is in God’s hands. Therefore, it is ultimately heresy to mislead soul by stating that hell is empty.

  4. Murray No rational, immortal soul can be annihilated. Having been, the soul cannot be undone. The soul cannot be and not be at the same time. God does not contradict Himself. It is the law of non-contradiction. The law of non-contradiction is manifestly violated by the Supreme Court in its decisions abrogating The Unanimous Declaration of Independence of the United States, the will of the people ratified by every state .

  5. Mary,
    We can know about Judas with certainty because of Christ’s words which make a Church declaration redundant and unnecessary….and it’s a topic too micro for a declaration. Christ’s words made both Augustine certain about Judas and Chrysostom certain about Judas being in hell. The last three Popes have had an habitual fear of the severe in scripture.
    Heck…99% of Catholic homilies avoid the severe side of scripture for decades now. I confronted two priests years ago at the rectory in their office as to why they only preached the soft side of scripture. In both cases, these soft homilists threw fits I didn’t think they were capable of …at me. Finally someone brought out the severe in them….me….by saying they were avoiding the severe. Lol. It’s the last time I fraternally corrected any priest in a spirit of dialogue because I didn’t want to blow my money on a bullet proof vest which I now believe you need with soft homilists when you engage them in DIALOGUE….the Francis solution.

  6. If Pope Francis is correct what is the point of being Catholic? Personally, I believe that is his point.

  7. Don, I think your take on 291 is off base. Friendly fire is accidental. And Pope Francis’ firing on his own troops appears to be anything but accidental. So, wouldn’t fragging be the better term?

    Regarding the law of gradualism, it is a valid concept, properly understood. But in the context of AL, it is rendered meaningless.

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