Saturday, April 8, 2017


On ‘Amoris’ anniversary, let’s appreciate its beauty and relevance

On ‘Amoris’ anniversary, let’s appreciate its beauty and relevanceYou can read Donald Cardinal Wuerl's commentary on Amoris Laetia from Crux here.

Many believe that Cardinal Wuerl is a progressive. I don't. I have never found any of his teachings to be anything but orthodox and traditional. But the good Cardinal is certainly not far right or far left but squarely within the Tradition of the Church, mainline Catholicism that is respectful of different insights.

Cardinal Wuerl came to my attention in the late 1980's when he was sent by Pope St. John Paul II to be the coadjutor bishop with Archbishop Hunthausen in Seattle, Washington. That archbishop can rightly be called a far left progressive and that is why Cardinal Wuerl was sent there. The liberal progressives chewed up and spit out the the Coadjutor Bishop and he left Seattle and Hunthausen remained until his death.

Thus I find Cardinal Wuerl's commentary on Amoris Laetia very good and very unifying. I only wish that Pope Francis would be so clear!

Here are some soundbites: 

In the document, Pope Francis approaches his teaching ministry as a pastor of souls.  Without claiming to present an entire pastoral plan, the Holy Father calls for a family apostolate that offers more adequate catechesis and formation, not only of engaged and married couples and their children, but also priests, deacons, seminarians, consecrated religious, catechists, teachers, social workers, medical professionals, and other pastoral workers.

The pastoral implications of Amoris Laetitia have been the object of much attention, and some controversy. The hermeneutic required for a fruitful appropriation of the document’s teaching on this point is based on the understanding that none of the teaching of the Church has been changed: This includes the doctrine on the indissolubility of marriage, the directives of the Code of Canon Law, and also the role of individual conscience in the determination of personal culpability.

The exhortation does not create some sort of internal forum process in which a marriage can be annulled, or in which the objective moral order can be changed. Instead, the exhortation places greater emphasis on the role of the individual conscience in appropriating those moral norms in the person’s actual circumstances.

The judgment of conscience of an individual believer does not replace or change the objective teachings of the Church, but it does address his or her culpability before God for their actions.


John Nolan said...

'... the exhortation places greater emphasis on the role of the individual conscience in appropriating those moral norms in the person's actual circumstances.'

But moral norms cannot be appropriated; they cannot be made someone's private property, because they would then cease to be norms.

I can only assume that the good cardinal meant to say 'in applying those moral norms'. But if so, we are back to where we started, and this does not clarify anything.

There has arisen a virtual cottage industry engaged in interpreting Bergoglian utterances. I have read that the Pope actually wants to leave questions open. But the first duty of the Pontiff is to confirm the brethren in matters of faith and morals, and one cannot be confirmed in uncertainty.

Therefore the Pope is failing in his duty, and if so, is unworthy of his office.

Marc said...

The pope has been very clear on his intention. It's just that most people refuse to accept it because his opinion is heretical. One need only look at the guideline for applying Amoris Laetitia in the Diocese of Rome to see how the bishop of Rome interprets the document.

Anonymous said...

"I have read that the Pope actually wants to leave questions open."

It has always (previously) been understood that the primary duty of the pope is to defend and preserve the deposit of faith. In effect, to continually declare closed all de fide questions that may arise.

Anonymous said...

Bee here:

With all due respect Fr. McD, regarding this controversy over Amoris Laetitia, when you give people a loophole, they will go through it.

The softer line on this issue of Holy Communion for adulterers, even if it is meant to be used in the most extreme circumstances under the counsel of a priest, will in reality turn out to be that little hole in the dike that eventually cracks open to allow a flood of mortal sin. And then what? Try to pull back from that after the damage to souls is already done? Like we have now in the Church over almost everything that used to be considered sinful?

We are talking about allowing the actual and real abuse of Jesus Christ Himself; as real as if we were giving a nod of consent to those Romans with the flagrum whips to beat Him more. Think about it. Jesus is forced to enter the body of a person in the state of mortal sin. It is unbelievable that the Church would condone this in any circumstance. How far have we fallen? (Well, of course, if one no longer believes in the Real Presence, then the point is moot, right?)

Clergy questions why churches are empty. Compromise with the world leads to abandonment of the Faith. Always has, always will. When those at the top (the Pope and bishops) waver on the Gospel, the war goes very well for the enemy of souls.

I just shake my head in dismay. I realize I live in interesting times....

God bless,

Anonymous said...

When will Cardinal Burke and the other cardinals have the nerve to formally correct Francis. What is taking so long. And why are the bishops of faithful countries/continents like Poland and Africa not speaking up. Their silence in the face of this heresy is scandalous.