On ‘Amoris’ anniversary, let’s appreciate its beauty and relevance
- Cardinal Donald Wuerl April 8, 2017
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.