Category: Amoris Laetitia

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The dramatic developments of John Paul and Francis

In yesterday’s post, I explored the hostile responses from many of Pope Francis’s critics over his ecumenical gestures towards Christians outside of full communion with the Catholic Church, and how the outcry compares to their acceptance of similar gestures — not to mention a major change in sacramental discipline — made by St. John Paul II during his papacy. Today, we’ll take a closer look at three issues that are at the center of debate...

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Does Amoris Laetitia contradict Familiaris Consortio?

When trying to prove that Amoris Laetitia contradicts established doctrine, papal critics will usually refer to Familiaris Consortio as proof of this “self-evident contradiction.” Familiaris Consortio was a post-synodal apostolic exhortation issued by Pope St. John Paul II in 1981. It is interesting that papal detractors will sometimes try to undermine Amoris’ authoritativeness by invoking the low magisterial weight of a post-synodal apostolic exhortation, while at other times assigning a definitive, infallible nature to the...

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The doctrine of mitigating circumstances

As we have showed several times in our blog, Amoris Laetitia’s new sacramental discipline is all about mitigating circumstances. In fact, the exhortation’s Chapter VIII has a full segment named “Mitigating factors in Pastoral Discernment,” immediately preceding the one where footnote 351 is inserted. In other words, the sacramental discipline laid out in footnote 351 is done in the context of a discernment that is contextualized by the doctrine of mitigating factors. This means, if...

21

The Archbishop Doth Protest too Much

On Thursday, the Catholic News Agency (CNA) published an unattributed defense of Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput, arguing that he did not endorse the ‘testimony’ of Archbishop Carlo Viganò, and that Chaput was a supporter of the Holy Father. In his testimony, the former nuncio accused Pope Francis of lifting formal sanctions on then-Cardinal McCarrick and called on Francis to resign. The CNA article then recounted several other instances suggesting Abp. Chaput is a supporter of...

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The Harmony of Amoris Laetitia and Veritatis Splendor

You often find the charge among critics of Pope Francis that his apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, is opposed to Pope John Paul’s encyclical Veritatis Splendor. The differences between the two are exaggerated in order to set these two documents of the papal magisterium against each other; Amoris Laetitia against Veritatis Splendor, Pope John Paul II against Pope Francis, Pope Francis supposedly against tradition. Veritatis Splendor, according to this narrative, is the strong, bold, defense of...

Fastiggi and Walford defend Francis and the Church

Today, I would like to draw your attention to two fantastic pieces published in La Stampa’s “Vatican Insider” page by two notable defenders of this papacy and the Catholic Faith. Both writers have a strong understanding of Catholic ecclesiology as well as the pope’s role as the visible source of unity in our faith. The first is from theologian Robert Fastiggi, who is a Professor of Systematic Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit....

Ignatius: A Brief Introduction to the Theology of Pope Francis

Finally, we should not neglect the importance of Francis being the first Jesuit pope. In many respects, it appears Francis’ Jesuit background has had an important influence on Pope Francis’ theology. Given the Jesuits lengthy history and its varying roles over time, it would be merely superficial to draw the many parallels between Francis’ papacy and the Jesuit order broadly. Rather, the goal here specifically is to focus on the parallels between Francis’ writings and...

Argentina: A Brief Introduction to the Theology of Pope Francis

Guardini is not the only influence on Pope Francis, of course.  Pope Francis’ theology seems heavily influenced by his pastoral work in Argentina. That is to say, Pope Francis’ theology is pastoral in nature, and it is also shaped by his experiences in Argentina. Pope Francis’ biography on the Vatican website is eager to mention that Francis is a “simple pastor.” Like St. John Paul II, he has an acute awareness of and sympathy with...

The Perils of Theologizing Human Culture

What does a completely divinized culture look like? Will everyone pray the Divine Office? Will they go to Mass daily? What liturgy will be celebrated?  What clothes would be acceptable to wear in everyday life? The idea of a culture rooted in Christ who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, is inherently attractive. United together in faith, we can leave our human sinful ways behind along with all the trappings. We can shed...

Followers of the Imagisterium

The Magisterium is the teaching office of the Church. According the the Catechism (#100), “The task of interpreting the Word of God authentically has been entrusted solely to the Magisterium of the Church, that is, to the Pope and to the bishops in communion with him.” In other words, orthodox teaching is to be found in the official teachings of the pope and the bishops in communion with him. I understand that many Catholics have...

Pope Francis and Flying Plates

In his Sunday Angelus this week, Pope Francis returned to a topic that he’s discussed many times, one that hasn’t received as much attention as more “controversial” subjects related to doctrine and moral theology, but is central to his papacy nonetheless: handling problems in the family. Indeed, while Francis has convened two synods on the family, traveled to two World Meetings on the subject in Philadelphia and Dublin, and written an apostolic exhortation on the...

We do not Possess the Truth: How the Church Changes Her Teachings

“We must move toward an idea of truth that is evermore inclusive, less restrictive; at least, if we are thinking of the truth of God and not some human truth, however solid it may appear to us. The truth of God is inexhaustible; it is an ocean of which we can hardly see the shore. It is something that we are beginning to discover in these times: not to make us slaves to an almost...

Amoris Laetitia and avoiding reality

In yesterday’s piece, I explored why most of those who reject Pope Francis’s teaching about sacraments for divorced and remarried Catholics in Amoris Laetitia are resistant to the idea that they are dissenting from Magisterial teaching, and why it’s vital for them to see themselves as orthodox. Most of their argumentation centers on the content of the teaching, its possible interpretations, and comparisons of Amoris Laetitia with prior teaching and discipline of the Church. I...

Orthodox dissent?

Much of the content of this website has been dedicated to the defense of Pope Francis and his apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. We’ve striven to demonstrate how both Pope Francis and his teaching are consistent with Catholic tradition. We’ve responded to various arguments and critiques of the document, as well as clarified what it contains. We’ve defended papal primacy and authority, and have argued in favor of the orthodoxy of both Francis and his teachings....

The Virtue of Not Being Weird

The Christian ideal will always be a summons to overcome suspicion, habitual mistrust, fear of losing our privacy, all the defensive attitudes which today’s world imposes on us. Many try to escape from others and take refuge in the comfort of their privacy or in a small circle of close friends, renouncing the realism of the social aspect of the Gospel. (Evangelii Gaudium 88) Recently I was talking with a friend of mine about different Catholic...