Category: Amoris Laetitia

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The dubia, synodality, and the joy of the Gospel

On June 21, Pope Francis fielded questions from journalists aboard the volo papale from Geneva, Switzerland to Rome. A German reporter named Roland Juchem asked him about a proposal of some of the bishops of his country to admit the Protestant spouses of Catholics to sacramental communion. The question has a backstory. Last February, the Deutsche Bischofskonferenz – under the direction of Cardinal Reinhard Marx – approved by majority vote a pastoral guide for inter-communion....

2

Scandal!

“And he said to his disciples: It is impossible that scandals should not come: but woe to him through whom they come. It were better for him, that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should scandalize one of these little ones.” — Lk 17:1-2 (DRV) One of the most sensible concerns raised by many of Amoris Laetitia (AL) critics has to do with the matter...

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Douthat Chronicles a Nonexistent War

Ross Douthat’s book, To Change the Church: Pope Francis and the Future of Catholicism, is, as far as criticisms of Francis’ papacy go, well-written and enjoyable to read. As a conservative, I have appreciated Douthat’s writings on other topics as I have found them to be challenging, insightful, and nuanced. Sadly, this is not the case with this book. Daniel AmiriDaniel Amiri is a Catholic layman, finance professional, and armchair theologian. A graduate of theology...

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Father Murray and the Truth Idols

“The modern world is full of the old Christian virtues gone mad. The virtues have gone mad because they have been isolated from each other and are wandering alone. Thus some scientists care for truth; and their truth is pitiless. Thus some humanitarians only care for pity; and their pity (I am sorry to say) is often untruthful.” — G.K. Chesterton, “The Suicide of Thought” During the 2018’s Holy Chrism Mass, Pope Francis has delivered...

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Woke Catholicism

Francis has asked much of Catholics, particularly young Catholics, over the last five years. Francis’ papacy was almost immediately characterized in social media as a pendulum swing away from Benedict, away from the hardline teachings and Latin Mass and all the trappings. The new Pope’s statements coupled with the response of an eager secular media gave the impression that the Church was going to be subjected to a rapid development of doctrine and the abandonment...

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Malforming Consciences in Ireland

I watched in sadness as the Eighth Amendment vote in Ireland unfolded. While, like most Americans, I know people with familial connections to Ireland, I had no means to influence the vote in even a minimal way. Like a bad movie where the disappointing ending is telegraphed from the first act, the ultimate vote was tragic but sadly not unexpected. Before proceeding on this contentious issue, I’d like to ensure my readers are familiar with...

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Is it really confusion?

When I read Pedro Gabriel’s excellent exegesis of Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia last week, I was impressed by how thoroughly and definitively he had affirmed what the exhortation says about the reception of Holy Communion for those in irregular situations. His piece also established a clear link from Amoris Laetitia to the Buenos Aires guidelines. After reading Pedro’s piece, no one should ever be able to insist on alternative interpretations to that aspect of...

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Clarifying Amoris Laetitia: Who can receive communion?

Introduction Catholics dissenting from Amoris Laetitia (AL) usually complain about this magisterial document’s alleged “lack of clarity,” especially on the issue of communion to those who have divorced and civilly remarried. They will point to “confusion” as proof of this alleged “lack of clarity.” What is this “confusion”? The wide array of different interpretations and practices this document has produced from various bishops, episcopal conferences and theologians all over the world. It is worth noting...

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Not a sidestep, but an affirmation

For two years, critics of Amoris Laetitia have pointed to Poland as a celebrated example of a national bishops’ conference upholding their view of “orthodoxy.” Beginning in 2016, when a senior Polish bishop vowed to never allow communion to the divorced and remarried under any circumstances, the common view was that the Polish Church rejects the pastoral model that Pope Francis laid out in chapter 8 of the document and further clarified with the affirmation...

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Practical Pelagianism: 5 signs of the heresy in action

Pope Francis has warned of the resurgence of a Pelagian mentality ever since his election. But the new spirit of Pelagianism so decried by Pope Francis is not a formal Pelagianism. It doesn’t show itself in the denial of defined dogmas, or the rejection of councils and canons. It reveals itself, unintentionally, by its assumptions and practice, it’s a practical Pelagianism. The “New Pelagians” will not argue with Augustine on the necessity and priority of...

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The Space Between: A Criticism of Lawler’s Lost Shepherd

Philip Lawler, in his book Lost Sheperd, argues that Francis is creating confusion intentionally as a means to usher in radical changes that could not be carried out through the formal processes of the Church. By introducing question marks into bedrock doctrines of the Christian faith, the Pope is setting the stage for liberalizing change. If a Pope, therefore, wants to allow for women priests, he won’t be able to issue a formal declaration, given...