Monday, January 16, 2017
More on Amoris
Invoking Amoris Laetitia, the bishops of Malta have decreed that adulterers who feel “at peace with God” and find it “humanly impossible” to refrain from sex may receive absolution and go to communion. Their declaration is published in the Vatican’s own newspaper.
Canon lawyer Edward Peters judges the Malta situation a “disaster” that makes it “urgent” that the four cardinals’ dubia be answered either by Pope Francis or Cardinal Müller. Cardinal Caffarra says that “only a blind man” could deny that the Church is in crisis. Philosopher Joseph Shaw judges that the crisis “is truly separating the men from the boys.”
The man and the theology behind Amoris: At Crux, philosopher Michael Pakaluk uncovers the depth of the influence of papal advisor and ghostwriter Archbishop Victor Fernandez.
Puzzled by how these developments can be squared with orthodoxy? Another papal advisor, Fr. Antonio Spadaro, explains that in theology, 2 and 2 sometimes make 5.
Ed Peters on how papal defender Austen Ivereigh misrepresents canon law.
Edward Pentin reports that the CDF under Cardinal Müller had urged a large number of corrections to Amoris before publication – not one of which was accepted. The Catholic Herald describes the difficult position of Cardinal Müller.
Cardinal Napier asks: If adulterers can receive communion, why not polygamists? And is Amoris only the beginning? Msgr. Nicola Bux foresees “blasphemy and sacrilege” in the move toward intercommunion with non-Catholics.
Moral theologian Fr. George Woodall also judges the need for an answer to the dubia “urgent.” At Catholic World Report, theologian Fr. Mark Pilon foresees a “moral and pastoral crisis.” A Dominican theologian questions the purportedly “Thomistic” character of the teaching of Amoris.
Ambiguity? In Amoris maybe, but, historically speaking, none whatsoever in Catholic teaching on divorce and remarriage. The unbroken tradition is set out at Crisis by Professor Donald Prudlo.
What’s ahead in 2017? Cardinal Burke indicates that a “formal correction” of the pope could come early in the year, but says that he does not accuse the pope of heresy.
Burke reports that the four cardinals who have come out publicly are not the only ones who support the dubia. The cardinal says he is more concerned about the Last Judgment than about losing his rank.
Fr. Raymond de Souza foresees a year “of greater acrimony and division.” Damian Thompson reports that “more and more priests can’t stand Pope Francis.” The Spectator Australia says that Francis is alienating conservatives and progressives alike.
John Allen reports that Pope Francis, who “accus[es] some of [his] critics of doing the devil’s work,” shows no signs of wanting to heal the rift. According to Der Spiegel, the pope has speculated that he might “enter history as the one who split the Catholic Church.”
I have nothing to add to all this at the moment except a link to my own analysis of the Amoris controversy.