Saturday, November 19, 2016

On Amoris Laetitia...

...the most practical response is given here...

When the document was published, there was a flurry of comment and disappointment because it failed to announce a change in the teaching of Christ and the Church on divorce, remarriage, and Holy Communion.

People had sort of wanted a row about this. Some believed that Pope Francis would "liberalise" Christ's laws...he can't and won't.

But people tried to find ways to pretend that he could. So there have been attempts to read something into  a footnote here or there -"ooh look, surely here we can, um, interpret something that sort of might say that, um, somehow you can sort of have more than one spouse and still announce that you are in good faith, and receive Holy Communion,"

The document doesn't allow for that interpretation, and attempts to get the Pope to "clarify" it won't change Church teaching either. The Church's teaching is not changeable: it is rooted in the clear teaching of Christ.Stirring things up will make no difference.

Marriage binds a man and a woman for life: it establishes a new family, it is as binding as the union of Christ and his Church, it is a sacrament, it was planned by God from "the beginning". Going through a civil divorce procedure does not release anyone from the lifelong bond of  marriage: it does not that mean that either spouse can take a new partner, and none of this is ever going to change because it is not a random rule but the very core of God's plan for men and women.

Orthodox Catholics should teach about marriage, and Amoris Laetitia  will often be useful in doing so.Other documents to which it refers, including Familiaris Consortio and Deus Caritas est, will also be extremely useful.

Amoris Laetitia hasn't, can't, and won't change the Church's teaching or discipline on marriage, divorce, and Holy Communion and nor does it suggest that any individual bishop, priest or canon lawyer can do so either.


vetusta ecclesia said...

What about F's approval of the Argentine bishop's interpretation of it? And if Church teaching is so clear why a document so riddled with ambiguity?

Richard. said...

I had the impression that the requests for clarification came from those who wanted a clear directive that the Church's teaching on marriage could not and would not be changed.

It seems that there is ambiguity in the text of Amoris Laetitia and a definitive statement is required to put the arguments to rest.

Patricius said...

"Some believed that Pope Francis would "liberalise" Christ's laws...he can't and won't."

I understand that it is precisely because some are maintaining that he has in fact done this that the four cardinals have requested "clarification".