Another perspective on ad orientem--the priest leading
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
MORE ON THE CORRECT INTERPRETATION OF "THE JOY OF LOVE "
There have been different claims that Amoris Laetitia has rescinded this (previous) discipline, because it allows, at least in certain cases, the reception of the Eucharist by remarried divorcees without requiring that they change their way of life in accord with Familiaris Consortio 84 (namely, by giving up their new bond or by living as brothers and sisters). The following has to be said in this regard: If Amoris Laetitia had intended to rescind such a deeply rooted and such a weighty discipline, it would have expressed itself in a clear manner and it would have given the reasons for it. However, such a statement with such a meaning is not to be found in it [Amoris Laetitia]. Nowhere does the pope put into question the arguments of his predecessors. They [the arguments]are not based upon the subjective guilt of these our brothers and sisters, but, rather, upon the visible, objective way of life which is in opposition to the words of Christ.
The principle is that no one can really want to receive a Sacrament – the Eucharist – without at the same time having the will to live according to all the other Sacraments, among them the Sacrament of Marriage. Whoever lives in a way that contradicts the marital bond opposes the visible sign of the Sacrament of Marriage. With regard to his carnal existence, he turns himself into a “counter-sign” of the indissolubility, even if he is not subjectively guilty. Exactly because his carnal life is in opposition to the sign, he cannot be part of the higher Eucharistic sign – in which the incarnate Love of Christ is manifest – by thus receiving Holy Communion. If the Church were to admit such a person to Holy Communion, she would be then committing that act which Thomas Aquinas calls “a falseness in the sacred sacramental signs.”
This is not an exaggerated conclusion drawn from the teaching, but, rather, the foundation itself of the Sacramental Constitution of the Church, which we have compared to the architecture of Noah’s Ark. The Church cannot change this architecture because it stems from Jesus Himself and because the Church was created in it and is supported by it in order to swim upon the waters of the deluge. To change the discipline in this specific point and to admit a contradiction between the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Marriage would necessarily mean to change the Profession of Faith of the Church.Concerning their Faith in an indissoluble marriage – not as a distant ideal, but as a concrete way of conduct – the blood of the martyrs has been shed.
opened all the windows because he is aware of the deluge in which the current world lives. He has invited all of us to let ropes down from these windows so that the shipwrecked can enter the ship. However, to admit someone to Holy Communion who lives in a way that is visibly in opposition to the Sacrament of Marriage – even if it were only in a few individual cases – would not mean to open an additional window. It would rather be as if someone had drilled a hole into the bottom of the ship and thereby allowed the seawater to enter the ship. The seafaring of all would thereby also be put into danger and the service of the Church for society would be put into question. Instead of a way of integration, it would be a way of destruction of the Church’s Ark, a leak. If the discipline is respected, there are no limits to the capacity of the Church to rescue families. Additionally, the stability of the ship as well as the capacity to lead us safely to the haven are thereby secured. The architecture of the Ark is necessary, especially so that the Church does not permit that someone remain in a situation which is in opposition to Jesus’ own words of eternal life, so that the Church, thus, “does not condemn anyone forever” (AL 296-297).