Amoris Laetitia: Anatomy of a Pontifical Debacle

by 

Reblogged from The Remnant

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No difficulty can arise that justifies the putting aside of the law of God which forbids all acts intrinsically evil. There is no possible circumstance in which husband and wife cannot, strengthened by the grace of God, fulfill faithfully their duties and preserve in wedlock their chastity unspotted. Pius XI, Casti Connubii

Introduction: Spreading Alarm

As Cardinal Burke has observed in an article appearing in the National Catholic Register, upon careful reading AMORIS LÆTITIA reveals itself to be “a personal, that is, non-magisterial” document, “a personal reflection of the Pope” that “is not confused with the binding faith owed to the exercise of the magisterium.” This is true enough, but perhaps not for the reasons the Cardinal expresses, as I show at the conclusion of this essay.

But that hardly eliminates the massive problem with this utterly unprecedented 256-page “apostolic exhortation.” What motivates all the pages to follow here is that Pope Francis has promulgated Amoris Laetitia as if it were an authentic and binding act of the Magisterium and that it will be treated as such by his collaborators and by ecclesial progressives throughout the Catholic world. Amoris Laetitia is, therefore, yet another addition to The Great Façade of pseudo-doctrines in the form of non-binding pastoral and disciplinary novelties and new attitudes and “approaches”—all emerging for the first time during that great epoch of enlightenment known as the Sixties. These include the new liturgy (which the faithful were never actually required to attend), “ecumenism,” “dialogue” and “interreligious dialogue.” Their combined effects have been ruinous.

And now this.A commentary at the Rorate Caeli blog site said what had to be said for the sake of truth: “There’s no other way to put it: The pope’s Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia is a catastrophe.” Voice of the Family likewise recognized what was immediately apparent from a reading of the critical Chapter 8: “Our initial overview provides sufficient cause to regard this document as a threat to the integrity of the Catholic faith and the authentic good of the family.”

Even normally middle-of-the-road commentators have not concealed their alarm over the document’s patent downgrading of Our Lord’s demanding teaching in the realm of sexual morality and Francis’s thematic argument that “mitigating factors” and “concrete situations” somehow convert mortally sinful adultery and fornication into mere “irregularities” falling short of the “ideal” of Christian marriage but nonetheless possessing “constructive elements.” See extended discussion at II.

EWTN’s show The World Over presented a politely devastating critique by Fr. Gerald Murray, Robert Royal and Raymond Arroyo. The participants described passages to be examined here as “dangerous,” “very disturbing,” “very problematic,” “not the language of the Gospel,” “very odd,” “very strange,” “a big mistake,” “set[ting] up straw men to knock down,” “a direct contradiction of John Paul II in Familiaris consortio and subsequent documents,” “not in accord with what the Church has said until now,” “false mercy” favorable to “‘Father Friendly’ who wants to sell the store,” that would make receiving Communion “a badge of honor that you receive even you though you know what you are doing is contrary to the teaching of the Church,” and an “attempt to paper over what really is a change of doctrine… but denying that you’re changing the doctrine.” As Arroyo observed, according to the general tenor of the document “the exception becomes a very difficult rule, or no rule at all” while the Church, to quote Father Murray, becomes involved in “the excuse-making business, not the Gospel business.” Given the last word, Father Murray, citing the natural right of the faithful to voice their concerns as recognized by the Code of Canon Law, concluded:

read more at the original

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