Elsewhere: growing Amoris Laetitia pushback


For all the good, beautiful and true prose in Amoris Laetitia, there are serious problems. As I noted in my review written 11 days after its publication (Amoris Laetitia conclusions), the “problems overshadow the rest of the document”.

I am not usually good at predictions, but these were easy:

  • Amoris Laetitia will fail in its goals, but will be seriously divisive for the Church.
  • Those who are “divorced and remarried” will increasingly receive communion (and thereby, as St. Paul warned, “eats and drinks judgment on himself”) — with and without pastoral guidance.
  • In areas where bishops tolerate (or worse, promote) this abuse, actual applications for annulments will decline in preference to this express approach.
  • Young people contemplating marriage, will have ever more reason to doubt the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage. What they see in actions will speak much louder to them than the words to the contrary.
  • Likewise, struggling marriages will be weakened as a new acceptance for “remarriage” may appear to be normalized.
  • A future “pope of clarity” will have to unambiguously correct this and other official ambiguities which have appeared in recent years.

All but the last one have already proven to be true. I hope that I am wrong on the last prediction, but I continue to doubt that Pope Francis will satisfactorily address this. It will therefore continue to fester, to lead people astray and to increase division.

This week we learn that 45 Catholic academics urge cardinals to ask Pope Francis to fix exhortation’s errors. This was reported in LifeSite News:

Forty-five Catholic prelates, academics, and clergy have submitted an appeal to the Dean of the College of Cardinals in Rome requesting that the cardinals and Eastern Catholic Patriarchs petition Pope Francis to repudiate a list of erroneous propositions that can be drawn from Amoris Laetitia.

The appeal will be sent in various languages to the 218 living Catholic Cardinals and Patriarchs over the coming weeks.

The unnamed signatories contend that the exhortation contains “a number of statements that can be understood in a sense that is contrary to Catholic faith and morals.” According to the group’s press release, the signatories submitted along with their appeal a documented list of applicable theological censures specifying “the nature and degree of the errors that could be attributed to Amoris laetitia.”

The group’s appeal asks the cardinals, in their capacities as the Pope’s official advisers, to approach Pope Francis with a request that he reject “the errors listed in the document in a definitive and final manner, and to authoritatively state that Amoris laetitia does not require any of them to be believed or considered as possibly true.”

“We are not accusing the pope of heresy,” said Dr. Joseph Shaw, a signatory and a spokesman for the group of scholars and pastors, “but we consider that numerous propositions in Amoris laetitia can be construed as heretical upon a natural reading of the text. Additional statements would fall under other established theological censures, such as scandalous, erroneous in faith, and ambiguous, among others.”

“It is our hope that by seeking from our Holy Father a definitive repudiation of these errors we can help to allay the confusion already brought about by Amoris laetitia among pastors and the lay faithful,” continued Shaw. “For that confusion can be dispelled effectively only by an unambiguous affirmation of authentic Catholic teaching by the Successor of Peter.”

The group takes issue with nineteen passages in Amoris Laetitia that seem to contradict Catholic doctrine and maintains that the exhortation undermines the Church’s teaching that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics who are not living abstinently may not receive the Sacraments.

The article goes on to provide more detail and examples. Read the whole piece at 45 Catholic academics urge cardinals to ask Pope Francis to fix exhortation’s errors.

There is still more…

That was not the only high-profile appeal this week. Sixteen pro-life leaders from around the world have made a similar, passionate request directly to the Holy Father. Read their comments at Plea to the pope: Life and family leaders call on pope to ‘end the confusion’.

Each speaks personally, directly to Pope Francis in this 30 minute video . Excerpts are also available for the public in the following short (under 4 minutes) version:

This problem can not and will not go away.

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