25-05-2016 (English translation by freetranslation.com) This translation uses Italian syntax in English, similar to our new and glorious English translation of the Mass. :)
To speak of the family has never been so complicated. Even within the Church. Does the problem first of all the object of the speech: what is really family? And how to pretend that there is no confusion in civil society, if also in the Church's fundamental truths are darkened about marriage? The dispute on the cap. VIII of the Exhortation Amoris Laetitia of Pope Francis and the recent Italian law on civil unions arouse astonishment.
We talk with the card. Carlo Caffarra, emeritus Archbishop of Bologna. Caffarra was founder and Dean of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the family. Already a participant as an expert to the Synod of Bishops on the family of 1980, is appointed by the Pope to the Synods of 2014 and 2015. Answers the questions with the simplicity and the sincerity of the men of his land: "that fetid fertile land between the great river and the great road", says proudly quoting Guareschi.
Your Eminence what is the family?
It is the company that originated from marriage indissoluble bond between a man and a woman, which has the purpose of uniting the spouses and transmit human life.
From a civil union, according to the law Cirinnà was born a family?
No. The President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella, by signing this law has subscribed to a redefinition of marriage. But a regulatory measure does not change the reality of things. We must say it: the Mayors (especially, of course, those Catholics) must make objection of conscience. Celebrating a civil union would in fact jointly responsible for an act gravely illicit on the moral plane.
Because this identity crisis of the family in the West?
I often wonder that, but I do not have an exhaustive response. However, a contributory cause is a process of "debiologizzazione", for which no longer believes that the body has a language (and therefore a significance objective). This meaning is thus determined by the freedom of the person. Is broken,in Western consciousness, the bond between the bios and logos.
In a perspective of faith, there are also the causes of the supernatural?
In 1981 I was founded by the will of Saint John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the family. The Foundation was scheduled for 13 May, date of the first apparition of Our Lady at Fatima. The Pope in that day suffered the attack, from which he emerged miraculously except for grace - to say the same Pontiff - the Madonna. After the first years of life of the Institute, I wrote to Sister Lucy, the Seer of Fatima, asking for prayers for the work, and adding that not expected response. A response but came anyway.
Sister Lucy wrote - and, I emphasize, we are in the early eighties - that there would have been a time of one of the "final clash between the Lord and Satan. And the battle field would be constituted by marriage and the family. He added that those who have fought for marriage and the family would be persecuted. But also that they should not fear, because Our Lady has already crushed the head of the serpent hellish.
Prophetic words: this is what is happening?
We live in a situation unpublished. Never happened that you redefine marriage. It is Satan that challenge God, as saying: "You see? You submit your creation. But I will I show that constitute a creating alternative. And you will see that the men will say: it is better this way". The entire span of creation is founded, according to the Scripture, on two columns: marriage and human work. It is now our theme the second, also subject to a "crisis definitoria"; for what here relates, the marriage has been institutionally destroyed.
The Church can respond to this challenge?
Must respond, for reasons i would say structural. The Church is concerned with the marriage because the Lord has raised to a sacrament. Christ himself unites the spouses. It should be remembered, is not a metaphor: according to the words of Saint Paul in marriage the constraint between the spouses engages in spousal bond between Christ and the Church, and vice versa. The indissolubility is not first and foremost a moral question ("the spouses must not separate"), but the ontological: the sacrament performs a transformation in the spouses. So that Scripture says, are no longer two but one. This is clearly stated in Amoris Laetitia (par. 71-75). The sacrament, then, instils in spouses conjugal charity. And this fluent Chapters IV and V of the Exhortation. Furthermore, the sacrament constitutes the spouses in a state of public life in the Church and in society. As every state of life in the Church even Marital Status has a mission: the gift of life, which continues in the education of their children. Here the chapter VII of Amoris Laetitia fills even, in my opinion, a shortcoming in the debate of the bishops at the Synod.
In practice, what should the Church do?
Only one thing: to communicate the Gospel of marriage. I said "communicate", because it is not only a linguistic event. The communication of the Gospel means to heal man and woman by their inability to love and put them in the great mystery of Christ and the Church. This communication takes place through the preaching and catechesis; and through the Sacraments. There are people who, after a catechesis on the Sacrament of the matrimony. They are telling me: because nobody i have never spoken of these wonderful reality? Young people especially should be at the center of our concerns. The issue of education in this field is "the" decisive question. The Pope speaks widely in para. 205-211.
Your Eminence, what can we say about the issue of access to the sacraments of the divorced and remarried? The Holy Father (Francis) is in Chapter VIII, which were offered but opposite readings.
First of all, I would like to emphasize that the Pope himself in para. 307 says that before dealing with the failed marriages, we must concern ourselves with those to be built. And, I would add, the problem of his question remains quantitatively limited. Certainly, the doctrinal is anything but ignored. In this regard, I reply from four premises.
1) marriage was indissoluble. As I said before that a moral obligation, the indissolubility is an ontological datum. Regret to note that not all the Synod Fathers had very clear this ontological foundation.
2) Conjugal fidelity is not an ideal to be reached. The strength to be faithful is given in the sacrament (vi imagine her husband who says to his wife: "You faithful is an ideal that I try to reach, but I still can not"?). Too many times you use in Amoris Laetitia the word "ideal", it is necessary to focus on the point.
3) marriage is not a private matter, available by the spouses. It is a public reality for the good of the Church and of society.
4) The cap. VIII, objectively, it is not clear. How else can you explain the "conflict of interpretations accesosi" even among bishops? When this happens, it is necessary to check whether there are other texts of the Magisterium clearer, bearing in mind a principle: in matters of doctrine of faith and morals the magisterium can not contradict one another. You should not confuse contradiction and development. If I say S is P and then say S is not P, is not that has deepened the first. I contradicted.
Amoris Laetitia, therefore, teaches or not that there is a space for access to the Sacraments for the divorced and remarried?
No. If you pay in a state of life that objectively contradict the sacrament of the Eucharist, cannot access it. As taught in the earlier Magisterium, can instead access those who, not being able to meet the requirement of the separation (e.g. due to the education of the children born from the new report), live in continence. This point is touched by the Pope in a note (n. 351). Now if the pope had wanted to change the previous Magisterium, that it is very clear, would have had the duty and the duty serious, to say so clearly and expressly. You can not with a note and of uncertain content, changing the secular discipline of the Church. I am applying an interpretative principle that in theology has always been admitted. The Magisterium uncertain interprets in continuity with the previous one.
Therefore, no news?
The novelty, in addition to the possibility given by the Holy Father to plead, prudent judgment of bishops to some canonical norms, is especially in caring for these brothers and sisters who are divorced and remarried, trying to imitate our Savior in the mode with which he met the people most in need of "Doctor" . Chapter VIII ("accompany, discern, integrate"), in my modest opinion, is the guide of this "care". We must not fall into the deception mass media to reduce everything to "Eucharist yes-Eucharist no".
AnswerEx opere operato is a Latin expression meaning "by the work worked." It refers to the fact that the sacraments confer grace when the sign is validly effected -- not as the result of activity on the part of the recipient but by the power and promise of God.
Now, to receive the fruits of the sacraments, you should be properly disposed. At least in adults, there must be a predispositional receptivity to receive the grace that is always available in a validly effected sacrament. This means reception of grace via the sacraments is not automatic. But the ex opere operato nature of the sacraments reminds us that, while a proper disposition is necessary to receive grace in the sacraments, it isn't the cause of that grace.
This being properly disposed is summed up by:
Latin TermEX OPERE OPERANTIS
DefinitionA term mainly applied to the good dispositions with which a sacrament is received, to distinguish it from the ex opere operato, which is the built-in efficacy of a sacrament properly conferred. But it may refer to any subjective factor that at least partially determines the amount of grace obtained by a person who performs some act of piety. Thus in the use of sacramentals or in the gaining of indulgences, the blessings received depend largely on the faith and love of God with which a sacramental is employed or an indulgenced prayer or good work is performed.
When we speak of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in either form, these two terms, Ex Opere Operato and Operantis are extremely important for those who are so critical of either form no matter how justified the criticism is.
If one attends Mass and only sees the flies in the healing ointment, one's ability to receive the built-in graces that come from God alone may be stifled. One's faith and love for God is necessary for meriting the grace that is present even if that grace is hidden under a bushel basket because of the manner in which the Holy Sacrifice is being celebrated.
One's critique of the Holy Sacrifice must be based upon what the Church intends for the sacrifice based upon its rubrics. To critique the OF Mass because it lacks the ethos of an EF Mass creates a situation for the person attending that Mass to undermine the graces God wishes to give that person, what God has built into that valid celebration no matter how poorly designed or executed the rubrics.
The same for the person who brings to an EF Mass the mentality of the OF Mass expecting the same. Being overly critical of its regimentation, language and the perception of its clericalism causes that person to miss out on what God intends the faithful to receive.
So this is a cautionary tale to accept the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass through the eyes of faith and allowing every valid expression of the Mass to convey what God intends for the communicant.