Thursday, April 14, 2016


Father Joseph Fessio and gang give a very balanced but honest appraisal of Pope Francis "The Joy of Love." What I love about these orthodox Catholics who understand the necessity to be respectful to the pope is that they know how to critique that which should be critiqued and in a sane, charitable way, with some humor.

The other thing I like about the table discussion is that the wonderful aspects of this exhortation are a large part of the conversation. This is what will last. Another pope will clarify the very ambiguous and incoherent parts at some future time and any confusion resulting from this for bishops, priests and laity will be taken care of by the Holy Spirit. It is God's Church and we are His people after all is said and done. Faith, hope and love are central to Catholicism.

Finally, I must say I have had numerous conversations with Catholics who take their faith very seriously but know the complexity of family and human life. They are very pleased with a pastoral approach that is not rigid or places "form" over people and their injuries or peccadilloes. 

This discussion lasts about an hour but it is well worth watching. I recommend its hermenuetic for the hysterical weak of faith:


TJM said...

Fr. Fessio is a class act and always worth listening to.

Charles G said...

I don't think it is "hysterical" to have real concerns over this document. If no doctrine has changed, per Fr Fessio and others, or if this letter is non-magesterial, as Cardinal Burke has said, then how is it that Archbishop Cupich, the Phillipines bishops conference, the chief editor of Osservatore Romano and other persons of authority have all basically said that everyone should receive communion and no one should ever be denied? Conscience and mercy trump everything, including the Catechism and JPII's magisterium. Out the window goes the clear moral rule, set forth in the Catechism and Familiaris Consortio, that one should not partake of the Eucharist if one is in a state of objective sin without purpose of amendment, such as divorced and remarried without living as brother and sister (and of course practicing homosexual couples, which is ultimately for whom all the striving of the heresiarchs is for). People's subjective malformed conscience or a lack of understanding of the purpose of or disagreement with the moral doctrine of the Church now mean that one is not in mortal sin and can receive the Eucharist, per the Pope's most wicked little footnote. This will in practice and ultimately in theory be the end of Catholic moral teaching, the Sacrament of Penance, St Paul's stricture that one should not take the Eucharist unworthily, and indeed the concept of mortal sin itself. And what a slap in the face by the Church for those trying to live chastely in accordance with Church teachings! In a few years, the moral teachings will be dead letters, still mentioned as a forgotten "ideal" in dusty books on the shelf, but never spoken of and never acted upon. And this is precisely what Father Martin SJ and the other dissenting Jesuits are aiming for. You can insult me all you want, just as your beloved Pope constantly insults every day people who actually believe in the teachings of the Faith, but that does not mean that such destruction of the Church shouldn't be decried. The Church is Christ's, not the private plaything of some Marxist faux humble Jesuit who happens to be Pope!

Anonymous said...

I have listened to the entire discussion beautifully done by the Ignatius staff. The theologian, Fr. Fessio, impressed me with his desire to say the best that he could about the document and because he is a true expert on Church teachings I particularly value his present contribution.

Fr. Fessio's emphasizes the puzzling way the Pope utilizes abstract linguistic formulations to obscure clear teachings. This method of rhetoric leaves a false impression when the writer talks about apples and oranges being the same because both are fruits.

To wit, in the document, The Joy of Love, it is noted somewhere that first marriages and post divorce civil marriages may be equally in need of perfecting because they fall short of the ideal Christian marriage. This statement is true but confusing because improvement in first case in theory is always possible, but civil marriage after divorce can be improved only if the parties in it accept to live as brother and sister, again, especially if one or both parties aspire to receiving holy communion.

The document is like a fine glass of wine with just a drop of ... which makes it unsuitable for consumption?.

George said...

I listened to this. It was an excellent discussion of the exhortation, especially the problematic parts.

Charles G said...

Father Brian Harrison expresses my concerns here:

I always took comfort in Fr. Harrison's assessment of the Catechism of the Catholic Church that its contents demonstrated that the Deposit of Faith survived intact all the post Vatican II Conciliar disruptions. That is why his assessment of AL disturbs me a great deal.

Gene said...

Some Catholics I know are calling it "The Joy of Sex."