Amoris Laetitia

Quotes Suitable for Framing: John Paul II

 

 

For this reason the Second Vatican Council states that all the Pope’s teaching should be listened to and accepted, even when it is not given ex cathedra, but is proposed in the ordinary exercise of the magisterium with a clear intention to enunciate, recall, reiterate Faithful doctrine.

Pope John Paul II, General Audience, March 17, 1993 (Italics added.)

PopeWatch: Malta

Lifesite News is reporting that Pope Francis gave a pat on the back to the bishops of Malta:

 

According to a Maltese news outlet, Pope Francis thanked the Catholic bishops of Malta for their interpretation of Amoris Laetitia, which says active adulterers may receive Holy Communion if they feel “at peace with God.”

Newsbook reported that Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops, recently sent the Maltese bishops a letter on behalf of Pope Francis.

The Malta bishops’ guidelines opened the door to Communion for Catholics in adulterous unions, saying it might be “humanly impossible” to follow Church teaching and live chastely while civilly remarried. The guidelines also suggest that a couple in an invalid union might “give rise to greater harm” by not committing adultery.

The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is permanent and lifelong, making “remarriage” an impossibility unless the previous union is declared “null.” The Catholic Church also teaches that the Eucharist is the literal body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ, so only Catholics in a “state of grace” may receive it. Catholics are supposed to go to Confession before receiving Holy Communion if they have committed serious (mortal) sin. Those who are divorced and civilly remarried must live as “brother and sister” in order to receive the Sacraments.

Shortly after their release, the Vatican’s semi-official newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano, published the Maltese bishops’ guidelines Continue reading

Cardinal Burke Interview

 

Last Thursday Raymond Arroyo of EWTN had an interview with Cardinal Burke, one of the Four Cardinals, in which the Cardinal explains what is at stake.  Here is the ending of the interview:

Cardinal Burke: Of course it does, that [is the] standard instrument in the Church for addressing such a situation. Yes, there are other cardinals. I don’t want to get into this business of the numbers. We have to remember, the criterion here is the truth. There have been cases, for instance, take for example the case of Henry VIII and his desire to be able to enter a second marriage without having his first marriage declared null—all of the bishops of England except St. John Fisher went along with the error, but St. John Fisher is the saint because he defended the truth. And all of us in the Church who are cardinals, bishops, we have the responsibility to defend the truth; whether we seem to be numerous or we seem to be very few doesn’t make any difference. It’s the truth of Christ which has to be taught. Continue reading

PopeWatch: Four Cardinals

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Four Cardinals wrote a letter to the Pope on September 19, 2016 asking for clarification in regard to portions of Amoris Laetitia.  Having received no response, the four Cardinals have gone public.  Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa gives us the details:

ROME, November 14, 2016 – The letter and the five questions presented in their entirety further below have no need of much explanation. It is enough to read them. What is new is that the four cardinals who had them delivered to Francis last September 19, without receiving a reply, have decided to make them public with the encouragement of this very silence on the part of the pope, in order to “continue the reflection and the discussion” with “the whole people of God.”

They explain this in the foreword to the publication of the complete text. And one thinks right away of Matthew 18:16-17: “If your brother will not listen to you, take with you two or three witnesses. If then he will not listen even to them, tell it to the assembly.”

The “witness” in this case was Cardinal Gerhard L. Müller, prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith. Because he too, in addition to the pope, had been a recipient of the letter and the questions.

The five questions are in fact formulated as in the classic submissions to the congregation for the doctrine of the faith. Formulated, that is, in such a way that they can be responded to with a simple yes or no.

As a rule, the responses given by the congregation explicitly mention the approval of the pope. And in the routine audiences that Francis gave to the cardinal prefect after the delivery of the letter and the questions, it is a sure bet that the two talked about them.

But in point of fact the appeal from the four cardinals received no reply, neither from Cardinal Müller nor from the pope, evidently at the behest of the latter.

*

The four cardinals who signed this letter and are now making it public are not among those who a year ago, at the beginning of the second session of the synod on the family, delivered to Francis the famous letter “of the thirteen cardinals”:

> Thirteen Cardinals Have Written to the Pope. Here’s the Letter (12.10.2015)

The thirteen were all members of the synod and in full service in their respective dioceses. Or they held important positions in the curia, like cardinals Robert Sarah, George Pell, and Müller himself.

These four, however, while all are recognized for their authoritativeness, have no operational roles, either for reasons of age or because they have been dismissed.

And that makes them more free. It is no mystery, in fact, that their appeal has been and is shared by not a few other cardinals who are still fully active, as well as high-ranking bishops and archbishops of West and East, who however precisely because of this have decided to remain in the shadows.

In a few days, on November 19 and 20, the whole college of cardinals will meet in Rome, for the consistory convoked by Pope Francis. And inevitably the appeal of the four cardinals will become the subject of animated discussion among them.

The ebb and flow of history. It was at the consistory of February 2014 that Francis gave the go-ahead for the long trek that resulted in the exhortation “Amoris Laetitia,” when he entrusted to Cardinal Walter Kasper the opening talk, in support of communion for the divorced and remarried.

Right away at that consistory the controversy broke out with the greatest intensity. And it is the same one that divides the Church even more today, including at the highest levels, seeing how the unclear suggestions of “Amoris Laetitia” are being contradictorily interpreted and applied.

Kasper is German and, curiously, two of the cardinals who – on the side opposite his – have published the present appeal are also German, not to mention Cardinal Müller, who signed the letter “of the thirteen” and now has received this other no less explosive letter.

The division in the Church is there. And it conspicuously runs through precisely that Church of Germany which represents for many the most advanced point of change.

And Pope Francis remains silent.  Perhaps because he thinks that “oppositions help,” as he explained to his Jesuit confrere Antonio Spadaro in giving over for publication the anthology of his discourses as archbishop of Buenos Aires, which have been in bookstores for a few days.

Adding:

“Human life is structured in oppositional form. And that is also what is happening now in the Church. Tensions need not necessarily be resolved and regulated. They are not like contradictions.”

But that’s just the point. Here it is a matter of contradictions. Yes or no. These and no others are the fitting answers to the five questions of the four cardinals, on the crucial points of Church doctrine and life brought into question by “Amoris Laetitia.”

Now it’s their turn.

In addition to Italian, English, French, and Spanish, the whole document is also available in Portuguese and German translations:

> Criar clareza. Alguns nós por resolver em “Amoris laetitia” – Um apelo

> Klarheit schaffen. Ungelöste Knoten von “Amoris laetitia” – Ein Appell

Continue reading

PopeWatch: Anna M. Silvas

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Sandro Magister at his blog at his blog Chiesa brings us the commentary on Amoris Laetitia of Professor Anna M. Silvas, a world renowned authority on the Church Fathers, who teaches at the University of New England and Australian Catholic University.  Her analysis is devastating:

 

And all that was be fore I came to reading chapter eight. I have wondered if the extraordinary prolixity of the first seven chapters was meant to wear us down before we came to this crucial chapter, and catch us off-guard. To me, the entire tenor of chapter eight is problematic, not just n. 304 and footnote 351. As soon as I finished it, I thought to myself: Clear as a bell: Pope Francis wanted some form of the Kasper proposal from the beginning. Here it is. Kasper has won. It all explains Pope Francis’ terse comments at the end of the 2015 Synod, when he censured narrow-minded “pharisees” – evidently those who had frustrated a better outcome according to his agenda. “Pharisees”? The sloppiness of his language! They were the modernists, in a way, of Judaism, the masters of ten thousand nuances – and most pertinently, those who tenaciously upheld the practice of divorce and remarriage. The real analogues of the pharisees in this whole affair are Kasper and his allies.

To press on. The words of n. 295 on St John Paul’s comments on the “law of gradualness” in “Familiaris Consortio” 34, seem to me subtly treacherous and corruptive. For they try to coopt and corrupt John Paul in support precisely of a situational ethics that the holy pope bent all his loving pastoral intelligence and energy to oppose. Let us hear then what St John Paul really says about the law of gradualness:

“Married people… cannot however look on the law as merely an ideal to be achieved in the future: they must consider it as a command of Christ the Lord to overcome difficulties through constancy. And so what is known as ‘the law of gradualness’ or step-by-step advance cannot be identified with a ‘gradualness of the law’, as if there were differing degrees or forms of precept in God’s law for different individuals and situations. In God’s plan, all husbands and wives are called in marriage to holiness”.

Footnote 329 of “Amoris Laetitia” also presents another surreptitious corruption. It cites a passage of “Gaudium et Spes” 51, concerning the intimacy of married life. But by an undetected sleight of hand it is placed in the mouth of the divorced and remarried instead. Such corruptions surely indicate that references and footnotes, which in this document are made to do some heavy lifting, need to be properly verified.

Already in n. 297, we see the responsibility for “irregular situations” being shifted to the discernment of pastors. Step by subtle step the arguments advance definite agenda. N. 299 queries how “current forms of exclusion currently practiced” can be surmounted, and n. 301 introduces the idea of “conversation with the priest in the internal forum”. Can you not already detect where the argument is going?

So we arrive at n. 301, which drops the guarded manner as we descend into the maelstrom of “mitigating factors”. Here it seems the “mean old Church” has finally been superseded by the “nice new Church”: in the past we may have thought that those living in “irregular situations” without repentance were in a state of mortal sin; now, however, they may not be in a state of mortal sin after all, indeed, sanctifying grace may be at work in them.

It is then explained, in an excess of pure subjectivism, that “a subject may know full well the rule, yet have great difficulty in understanding its inherent value”. Here is a mitigating factor to beat all mitigating factors. On this argument then, do we now exculpate the original envy of Lucifer, because he had “great difficulty in understanding” the “inherent value” to him, of the transcendent majesty of God? At which point, I feel that we have lost all foothold, and fallen like Alice into a parallel universe, where nothing is quite what it seems to be.

A series of quotations from St Thomas Aquinas are brought to bear, on which I am not qualified to comment, except to say that, obviously, proper verification and contextualization are strongly indicated. N. 304 is a highly technical apologia for moral casuistry, argued in exclusively philosophical terms without a hint of Christ or of faith. One cannot but think that this was supplied by another hand. It is not Francis’ style, even if it is his belief.

Finally we come to the crucial n. 305. It commences with two of the sort of throwaway caricatures that recur throughout the document. The new doctrine that Pope Francis had flagged a little earlier he now repeats and reasserts: a person can be in an objective situation of mortal sin – for that is what he is speaking about – and still be living and growing in God’s grace, all the “while receiving the help of the Church”, which, the infamous footnote 351 declares, can include, “in certain cases”, both confession and holy communion. I am sure that there are by now many busily attempting to “interpret” all this according to a “hermeneutic of continuity”, to show its harmony, I presume, with Tradition. I might add that in this n. 305, Pope Francis quotes himself four times. In fact, it appears that Pope Francis’ most frequently cited reference through “Amoris laetitia” is himself, and that in itself is interesting.

In the rest of the chapter Pope Francis changes tack. He makes an inverted admission that his approach may leave “room for confusion” (n. 308). To this he responds with a discussion of “mercy”. At the very beginning in n. 7 he declared that “everyone should feel challenged by chapter eight”. Yes we do, but not quite in the blithe heuristic sense he meant it. Pope Francis has freely admitted in time past that he is the sort of person who loves to make “messes”? Well, I think we can concede that he has certainly achieved that here.

Let me tell you of a rather taciturn and cautious friend, a married man, who expressed to me, before the apostolic exhortation was published: “O I do hope he avoids ambiguity”. Well, I think even the most pious reading of “Amoris Laetitia” cannot say that it has avoided ambiguity. To use Pope Francis’ own words, “widespread uncertainty and ambiguity” (n. 33 ) can certainly be applied to this document, and I venture to say, to his whole papacy. If we are put into the impossible situation of critiquing a document of the ordinary magisterium, consider whether in “Amoris Laetitia” Pope Francis himself is relativizing the authority of the magisterium, by eliding the magisterium of Pope John Paul, specially in “Familiaris Consortio” and “Veritatis Splendor”. I challenge any of you to soberly reread the encyclical “Veritatis Splendor”, say nn. 95-105, and not conclude that there is a deep dissonance between that encyclical and this apostolic exhortation. In my younger years, I anguished over the conundrum: how can you be obedient to the disobedient? For a pope too, is called to obedience – indeed, preeminently so. Continue reading

PopeWatch: Muller Out, Schonborn In

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Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa explains why those who have been attempting desperately to interpret Amoris Laetitia in an orthodox manner have been utterly rejected by the Pope:

 

 

 

ROME, May 30, 2016 – The prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith is still the same, German cardinal Gerhard L. Müller.

Who diligently continues to carry out his task, most recently with the monumental address he gave in Oviedo on May 4 for a correct understanding of “Amoris Laetitia,” in harmony with the previous magisterium of the Church on the family:

> Reading Exercises. The “Amoris Laetitia” of Cardinal Müller

But it is increasingly evident that for Pope Francis, it is not Müller but another cardinal who is the teacher of doctrine authorized to shed light on the post-synodal exhortation: Cardinal Christoph Schönborn.

On May 19, in meeting at the Vatican with the two cardinals and three bishops who make up the presidency of the Latin American episcopal conference, when asked about “Amoris Laetitia” Francis responded as follows, according to the website of the CELAM:

“The pope responds that the heart of the exhortation is chapter 4: love in family life, founded on chapter 13 of the first letter of Saint Paul to the Corinthians. While the most difficult to read is chapter 8. Some, the pope say, have let themselves get trapped by this chapter. The Holy Father is fully aware of the criticisms of some, including cardinals, who have been unable to understand the evangelical meaning of his statements. And he says that the best guide for understanding this chapter is the presentation of it made by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, O.P., archbishop of Vienna, Austria, a great theologian, member of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith, highly expert in the doctrine of the Church.”

Already on April 16, questioned by the journalists on the return flight to Rome from the island of Lesbos, Francis had indicated Schönborn as the right interpreter of the document, recommending that his presentation be read and rewarding him on the spot with flattering titles, even mistakenly promoting him to former “secretary” of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith.

But then Müller gave his talk in Oviedo, with the intention of bringing clarity to the carousel of contrasting interpretations and applications of “Amoris Laetitia” that had already gained a foothold. But for the pope, that talk of his wasn’t worth a thing. Just as it wasn’t worth a thing for “L’Osservatore Romano,” which completely ignored it.

For Francis, in fact, the only one that still applies is the interpretation of “Amoris Laetitia” made by Schönborn at the official presentation of the document, in the Vatican press office on April 8, the day of its publication. Continue reading

PopeWatch: Never Mind

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Father Z wonders how the Pope might cure the problems with Amoris Laetitia:

 

I am trying to think back through the Church’s long history for an instance in which a Pope has withdrawn one of his own teaching documents, on faith and morals.

Of course Popes have superseded previous documents by issuing their own.

But has a Pope ever withdrawn one?  How would that work?  In my mind’s eye I see a Pope giving a presser on an airplane (which in the future may become the Roman Pontiff’s official cathedra):

POPE WITH MICROPHONE: Okay, everyone, listen up!  That document I issued a while back… you know the one… okay, that’s all over now.  No more document, okay?  It’s gone. I’m withdrawing it.  It’s like… like an annulment, a rendering of something that was something into nothing, right?  Got it?  It’s not going to be on the website anymore.  We are not going to twitter about… tweet?… tweet about it.  We are asking everyone to just, like, throw it away.  If you love Vatican II, just stop talking about it.  Okay?  Thanks in advance everyone.

PRESS SECRETARY: Okay, folks, that’s it for today. Continue reading

PopeWatch: Archbishop Bruno Forte

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The bald faced mendacity behind Amoris Laetitia was recently confirmed by Archbishop Bruno Forte, crony of the Pope, and chosen by the Pope to be Special Secretary for the recently concluded Synod.

 

Archbishop Forte has in fact revealed a “behind the scenes” [moment] from the Synod: “If we speak explicitly about communion for the divorced and remarried,” said Archbishop Forte, reporting a joke of Pope Francis, “you do not know what a terrible mess we will make. So we won’t speak plainly, do it in a way that the premises are there, then I will draw out the conclusions.

“Typical of a Jesuit,” Abp Forte joked, attributing to that suggestion a wisdom that has allowed the maturation necessary to conclude that Amoris Laetitia, as Abp. Bruno Forte explained, does not represent a new doctrine, but the “merciful application” of that [the doctrine]of all time.

Continue reading

PopeWatch: AMORIS LÆTITIA -The Orthodox Reading

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Sandro Magister at his blog Chiesa has an article by Dominican theologian Angelo Bellon as to the correct way of reading AMORIS LÆTITIA:

 

 

Instructions for reading the post-synodal exhortation “Amoris Lætitia”

by Angelo Bellon, O.P.

In the exhortatiton “Amoris Lætitia,” the most controversial question is the one concerning communion for the divorced and remarried, which however is never expressly mentioned.

It must be noted that above all in the eighth chapter the language is at times very indefinite and can lend itself to conclusions that are not only different but even conflicting.

So then, precisely with regard to this chapter I would like to present a few general reflections and then take into consideration the most controversial expressions.


GENERAL CRITERIA OF INTERPRETATION

1. The first criterion of interpretation is that of the context in which the exhortation must be read in order to avoid distorting it.

This context was provided by John Paul II in the encyclical “Veritatis Splendor,” in particular at footnote 100:

“The development of the Church’s moral doctrine is similar to that of the doctrine of the faith. The words spoken by John XXIII at the opening of the Second Vatican Council can also be applied to moral doctrine: ‘This certain and unchanging teaching (i.e., Christian doctrine in its completeness), to which the faithful owe obedience, needs to be more deeply understood and set forth in a way adapted to the needs of our time. Indeed, this deposit of the faith, the truths contained in our time-honored teaching, is one thing; the manner in which these truths are set forth (with their meaning preserved intact) is something else’.”

So the hermeneutical principle of interpretation is found here: the documents of the magisterium, including those on moral issues, must be interpreted according to the hermeneutic of continuity and development. And certainly not according to the hermeneutic of discontinuity, rupture, or transformation with respect to the perennial magisterium. Continue reading

PopeWatch: Bishop Athanasius Schneider

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Voice of the Family is hosting the English translation of Bishop Athanasius Schneider’s reflections on Amoris Laetitia.  Go here to view the translation  They indicate that the Bishop has given permission for the text to be shared widely, so I have taken the liberty of setting it forth below.  Here are his reflections:

 

 

 

 

The recently published Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris laetitia” (AL), which contains a plethora of spiritual and pastoral riches with regard to life within marriage and the Christian family in our times, has unfortunately, within a very short time, led to very contradictory interpretations even among the episcopate.

There are bishops and priests who publicly and openly declare that AL represents a very clear opening-up to communion for the divorced and remarried, without requiring them to practice continence. In their opinion, it is this aspect of sacramental practice, which, according to them, is now to undergo a significant change that gives AL its truly revolutionary character. Interpreting AL with reference to irregular couples, a president of a Bishops’ Conference has stated, in a text published on the website of the same Bishops’ Conference: “This is a disposition of mercy, an openness of heart and of spirit that needs no law, awaits no guideline, nor bides on prompting.  It can and should happen immediately”.

This opinion was further confirmed by the recent declarations of Father Antonio Spadaro S.J., after the Synod of Bishops in 2015, that the Synod had established the “foundations” for the access of divorced and remarried couples to communion by “opening a door” that had still been closed during the previous Synod in 2014. Now, as Father Spadaro alleges in his commentary on AL, his prediction has been confirmed. There are rumours that Father Spadaro was a member of the editorial group behind AL.

The way to abusive interpretations appears to have been paved by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn himself, who said, during the official presentation of AL in Rome, with regard to irregular unions, that: “My great joy as a result of this document resides in the fact that it coherently overcomes that artificial, superficial, clear division between ‘regular’ and ‘irregular’”. Such a statement suggests that there is no clear difference between a valid, sacramental marriage and an irregular union, between venial and mortal sin. Continue reading

PopeWatch: Amoris Laetitia-Overall Thoughts

 

 

 

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There is no way to mince words in regard to Amoris Laetitia:   it is a disaster for the Church.  In the Exhortation, the Pope and his ghost writers engage in a lengthy exercise to find excuses to disregard the clear command of Christ in regard to divorce and remarriage.  That much of this is done with a wink and a nod merely adds mendacity to the charges that could be brought against this document.  The reasoning, to use a charitable term for the arguments made by the Pope and his ghost writers, could be used in reference to any sin imaginable.  The Catholic Church has always taught that both confession and a firm intention at amendment of life were necessary for the forgiveness of sins.  Pope Francis seems to do away with amendment, and although it is not completely clear from this turgid, twisted document, he seems to be arguing that, depending upon the peculiar situation of a particular individual, what is clearly sin may not be sin, at least not mortal sin, in regard to them.  Thus even the confessional may not be necessary in many cases, since confession is in reference to sin, and who are we to judge?  This stands the teaching of the Church on its head.

Some people are content to focus on the true parts of the Exhortation and do their very best to ignore the rest.  This is understandable for people who find it heartbreaking that a Pope put his name to this dangerous mess, but it is ultimately mistaken.  The only reason why the Exhortation was written is because the Pope regards the position of Catholics in adulterous marriages to be a crisis for the Church.  That on his way to addressing that question he dispenses some truisms and bromides is of no consequence.  Rather than calling upon Catholics in adulterous marriages to repentance and amendment he changes the teaching of the Church.  That sad fact is all one needs to know about Amoris Laetitia.

 

Here in one post is PopeWatch’s stripped down version of Amoris Laetitia with the commentary of PopeWatch: Continue reading

PopeWatch: Amoris Laetitia-the Lean Version-Part 11-Conclusion

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The conclusion of our stripped down look at Amoris Laetitia with some commentary by PopeWatch:

301.  People living in shack ups, the Pope refers to them as “irregular unions”, can’t simply be considered to be living in mortal sin because of possible mitigating factors.  (When it comes to sin the human mind can come up with infinite excuses for such conduct.  The Church never bought into that, except as a possible lessening of the penance imposed in the confessional.  Pope Francis takes this aspect of the priest-penitent relationship and uses it to argue that mortal sin is not mortal sin.  He clearly indicates that he is not referencing as a mitigating factor ignorance that what is being done is sinful, which would be the only legitimate factor which would cause someone not to be in a state of sin in such an adulterous marriage.)

302.  More of this rubbish.

303.  Personal conscience uber alles.

304.  Rules are sometimes not rules for the individuals involved.  (A rather confused paragraph.  Arguing that white is really black tends to be a fairly complicated exercise.)

305. “For this reason, a pastor cannot feel that it is enough simply to apply moral laws to those living in “irregular” situations, as if they were stones to throw at people’s lives. This would be speak the closed heart of one used to hiding behind the Church’s teachings, “sitting on the chair of Moses and judging at times with superiority and superficiality difficult cases and wounded families.”  (Note the scare quotes around irregular when referring to people in adulterous unions.  The Pope argues like a juvenile in many cases.  This passage obviously tells priests that if they fail to give communion to people living in shack ups in mortal sin, they do so at their jeopardy.  This Pope will make the priests of our Church co-conspirators with him in ignoring the clear command of Christ.) Continue reading

PopeWatch: Amoris Laetitia-the Lean Version-Part 10

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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. Continue reading

PopeWatch: Amoris Laetitia-the Lean Version-Part 9

 

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Part 9 of our stripped down look at Amoris Laetitia with some commentary by PopeWatch:

241.  Separation in marriage can sometimes be warranted, but must always be viewed as a last resort.

242.  Pastoral care must be shown to the separated, abandoned or divorced, especially those unjustly separated, abandoned or divorced.

243.  It is important that those who have entered into new marriages not be “discriminated” against by the Church.  (Probably the most foolish section thus far in the Exhortation.  The Church constantly discriminates in regard to people based upon their conduct and beliefs.  The Church should be far above the secular pieties currently in vogue at any particular time and place during her passage through this Vale of Tears.)

244.  Speed up the annulment process and make it free of charge.  (Wink, the fix is in when it comes to Catholic divorce annulments.)

245.  Bad impact of divorce and separation on kids.  (It teaches them early on that you can’t rely upon anyone in this Vale of Tears.)

246.  For this reason, Christian communities must not abandon divorced parents who have entered a new union, but should include and support them in their efforts to bring up their children. “How can we encourage those parents to do everything possible to raise their children in the Christian life, to give them an example of committed and practical faith, if we keep them at arm’s length from the life of the community, as if they were somehow excommunicated? We must keep from acting in a way that adds even more to the burdens that children in these situations already have to bear!”  (Translation:  “Ignore the clear command of Christ.  Do it for the kids!”  This is a very mendacious argument.  I have never heard of priests “discriminating” against the children of the divorced or those born out of wedlock.  I have seen priests make extra efforts to make sure that such kids get to Church and catechism.  The idea that there are hordes of priests busily visiting the sins of the parents on kids is a typical example of beliefs that the Pope firmly clings to which simply are not true in reality.) Continue reading

PopeWatch: Amoris Laetitia-the Lean Version-Part 8

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Part 8 of our stripped down look at Amoris Laetitia with some commentary by PopeWatch:

211.  More on marriage prep.  (All of this is mostly well and good, but it fails to comprehend that the average parish priest has a lot more on his plate than just counseling couples who wish to be married.)

212.  Pope argues for simple rather than elaborate and expensive marriages.  (The Pope is completely correct on this.)

213.  Couples in marriage prep should be taught the meaning of each part of the marriage liturgy.

214.  The Pope lays stress on the phrase “till death do we part”.

215.  Quotes approvingly the Kenyon bishops who have complained about young people focused on their wedding day and forgetting about the life long commitment.

216.  Couples to be married should meditate upon the Bible readings and they should pray together.  (The last is very important indeed, and just not prior to the marriage.  In all marriages there are always some tears, and praying together at the end of the day is a great means to deal with the inevitable sorrows that confront us in this Vale of Tears.) Continue reading

PopeWatch: Amoris Laetitia-the Lean Version-Part 7

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Part 7 of our stripped down look at Amoris Laetitia with some commentary by PopeWatch:

181.   Members of families should remember that they are called to do good in the world as well as in their family.

182.  No family can be fruitful if the members of the family see their family as different or set apart from other families. “Still, some Christian families, whether because of the language they use, the way they act or treat others, or their constant harping on the same two or three issues, end up being seen as remote and not really a part of the community.”  (PopeWatch wonders what “two or three issues” the Pope has in mind.  Perhaps environmentalism, income inequality and pacifism?)

183.  A call for family members to be the most annoying type of social justice warriors.

184.  More of the same.

185. 1 Cor 11:17-34 interpreted as rich v. poor, an interpretation completely alien to the text, but that is how Pope Francis sees the world.

186.  Pope tries the trick of interpreting worthiness to receive communion as to whether you sign on to his leftist view of the world.  (Like most leftists, the Pope tends to regard morality as having the “correct” beliefs on a laundry list of current social justice issues rather  than morality as traditionally understood by the Church.) Continue reading

Cardinal Burke’s Strange Commentary on Amoris Laetitia

 
(Guest post by commenter Greg Mockeridge)

I remember watching a documentary on Michael Jackson shortly after his death. In this documentary, a journalist had said regarding Jackson’s ever-changing facial appearance, ” Just when I thought Michael couldn’t look any weirder, he would look weirder.” Likewise, Just when I thought the pontificate of Pope Francis couldn’t get any more bizarre, it gets more bizarre.

And the release of the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (AL) added another bizarre twist to the disaster that is this pontificate. I’m not really surprised by the document itself. From what precious little I have read, it seems to be standard Pope Francis writ, some beautiful statements along with incoherent gibberish and laced with a poison pill or two.
What I really find bizarre is this essay from former prefect of the  Apostolic Signatura and now Patron of the Knights of Malta Cardinal Raymond Burke that appeared on the National Catholic Register’s website on Monday April 11th. The first two paragraphs state:

The secular media and even some Catholic media are describing the recently issued post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, “Love in the Family,” as a revolution in the Church, as a radical departure from the teaching and practice of the Church, up to now, regarding marriage and the family.

Such a view of the document is both a source of wonder and confusion to the faithful and potentially a source of scandal, not only for the faithful but for others of goodwill who look to Christ and his Church to teach and reflect in practice the truth regarding marriage and its fruit, family life, the first cell of the life of the Church and of every society.

As to what His Eminence means by “even some Catholic media” is not all together clear. Some have tried to say that the Cardinal is merely referring to the National Catholic Reporter/America Magazine crowd. Regardless of who the good cardinal had in mind by that statement, the upshot of it is that the Pope Francis shills in the orthodox Catholic Media Complex have used Burke’s essay as a club to beat the pope’s orthodox critics over the head. One such example is this attack on Steve Skojec (of One Peter Five fame) from blogger Dave Armstrong. 

 
But contrary to what Mr. Armstrong asserts in his post, the Cardinal has not come out “strongly in support” of the apostolic exhortation. He utters not a word of praise (or criticism for that matter) of AL. He merely says, repeatedly, that the document is not magisterial. 

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