Friday, April 15, 2016


This I copy from Fr. Dwight Longnecker's blog. I CHOOSE THIS INTERPRETATION! YOU SHOULD TOO!

This article from Aleteia re-affirms two things about Pope Francis’ exhortation.
First of all Cardinal Schonborn affirms what Cardinal Burke said in his interview at National Catholic Register that the exhortation needs to be read in continuity with the whole of the magisterium. The magisterium of the church’s teaching is, as it were, the balance and check to the exhortation. The magisterium clears up any ambiguities and clarifies any confusion.
Secondly, in a very clear passage, Fr. José Granados – Vice President of the Pontifical Institute of John Paul II in Rome explains why the document does not change the church’s discipline on the divorced and remarried receiving communion.
“The Apostolic exhortation puts an end to a two year synodal path. There is much anticipation about one concrete question, not certainly the one most important pastorally: the eventual admission to the Eucharist of the divorced and civilly remarried. In fact, this is a marginal question if we think of the great pastoral challenges the Church faces regarding the family: the fact that young people do not want to get married; a lack of social significance of the family; the great task of bringing Christ to the families in the new evangelization…
Does the text allow for divorced and remarried catholic to receive holy communion, at least in some cases? After reading chapter eight (where the question is addressed) we need to conclude that this text does not change the discipline of the Church regarding the admission of divorced and civilly remarried Catholic to the Eucharist, a discipline based in doctrinal reasons, as affirmed by Familiaris Consortio 84 and Sacramentum Caritatis 29.
In fact, the text of chapter eight of the exhortation does not even mention the Eucharist. In this sense it is clear that Pope Francis, which has insisted on the importance of synodality in the Church, did not want to go beyond the Synod’s decisions. At no point in the text of the document do we find something like: “in some cases the divorced and civilly remarried can be admitted to receive the Eucharist”. This clarity would have been necessary in order to change a practice rooted in doctrinal grounds, firmly established by the constant Magisterium of the Church. Notice also that Cardinal Kasper’s proposal, who asked for clear canonical rules that help discern in which cases admission to the sacraments would be possible, has not been received in this document.
The only possible hint towards a change in discipline is found in footnote 351, where it is said that in certain cases the Church can give to people who live in irregular situations the help of the sacraments. But it would certainly be strange to suggest that the Pope has intended to make such an important change of Church discipline in a footnote of an apostolic exhortation. In addition, the note refers to irregular situations in general, and not directly to the case of the divorced and civilly remarried (an specific case, since a way of life in contradiction with a sacrament is implied). Further specifications would be needed, that the Pope did not want to make, thus not implying any change in discipline.
What the documents proposes, then, is to start a way of integration, that allows these baptized people to live according to the Gospel. Thus, Familiaris Consortio 84 and Sacramentum Caritatis 29 continue to indicate the pastoral way, without exception, because these norms are not a judgment on the subjective culpability of the person, but they show the goal every evangelization aims at: a way of life in accordance to the Gospel of Jesus.
All this means that those who expected a revolution from the document have to be greatly disappointed.”
When Fr Granados’ words are combined with Pope Francis’ own words on the flight back from Mexico, it is clear that not only is doctrine not being changed, but neither is the discipline. When asked whether the divorced and re-married could receive communion the pope replied:
“This is the last thing. Integrating in the Church doesn’t mean receiving Communion. I know married Catholics in a second union who go to church, who go to church once or twice a year and say I want Communion, as if joining in Communion were an award. It’s a work towards integration; all doors are open. But we cannot say from here on they can have Communion. This would be an injury also to marriage, to the couple, because it wouldn’t allow them to proceed on this path of integration.”
Those who jumped to conclusions and were worried and concerned may breathe easy. The sky is not falling.


TJM said...

Father McDonald, the only problem is the evil, corrupt, anti-Catholic press, is hiding that particular statement of Pope Francis when it reports on Laetitia Amoris. If Mother Angelica were alive, she would probably flash that statement 24/7 on her network.

Marc said...

Let's examine the claim that "the text of chapter eight of the exhortation does not even mention the Eucharist."

In para. 300, through footnote 336, the pope discusses "sacramental discipline." In that connection, the pope states that "the consequences or effects of a rule need not necessarily be the same." There, he cites Evangelii Gaudium's discussion of the reception of the Eucharist as "medicine and nourishment for the weak."

He then goes on, in para. 300, to explain how priests are to accompany the divorced and remarried to "'understand their situation.'" Then, he explains the application of what he calls "mitigating factors" to be taken into account during the process of "understand[ing] their situation." The pope counsels pastors who are helping in this process not to simply apply the "moral laws" to the people they are counseling. And he concludes that "it is [sic] can no longer simply be said that all those in any 'irregular' situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace." Such people, according to para. 305, "can be living in God’s grace, can love and can also grow in the life of grace and charity . . . ."

With that in mind, the pope concludes that people in "irregular situations" can receive the Church's help to the end of growing in love, the life of grace, and charity. And that process "can include the help of the sacraments." To which, the pope again adds his statement from Evangelii Gaudium that "the Eucharist 'is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.'"

Conscious of the change in discipline that he has wrought, the pope, in para. 307, makes clear that "to avoid all misunderstandings," the Church should not "desist from proposing the full ideal of marriage." But "at the same time, from our awareness of the weight of mitigating circumstances, . . . it follows that, 'without detracting from [that] ideal, there is a need to accompany with mercy and patience . . . ." That accompanying can include the help of the sacraments, as he has already described.

And to make this even more clear, the very next thing he says is that he "understand[s] those who prefer a more rigorous pastoral care which leaves no room for confusion." But his idea is to "clearly express[] [the Church's] objective teaching . . . in proposing the full idea of the Gospel and the Church's teaching [on marriage]" while helping the "weak" without "unduly harsh or hasty judgments." That help, again, can include the sacraments.

Catholic Mission said...

Amoris Laetitia is based on the new doctrine in moral theology i.e known exceptions to the traditional teaching on mortal sin

Jusadbellum said...

I propose we eliminate "the sky is not falling" from our lexicon because it really doesn't help illuminate anything. The Holocaust and the Communist annihilation of 100 million civilians across a hundred countries didn't cause the "sky to fall" so it's a singularly unhelpful expression. The original comes from the letter of St. Peter referring to the end of the world where the atmosphere will ignite and the current world is burnt up.

So nothing short of the literal ending of the world will lead to "the sky is falling".

Secondly, in terms of a pastoral and personal disaster, it's entirely possible for a Vatican document to be completely orthodox but still provoke a general apostasy in the "faithful" (*sic) on account of how it is promulgated and defended. Thus Humane Vitae was largely ignored by hierarchies and pastors and religious who fled from its defense to embrace the 'majority report' view on contraception.

Did the sky fall? No. But countless souls most likely went to hell and untold millions were subsequently aborted or abused as children or scandalized and so left the faith entirely. Survivors concluded that the sexual revolution was more true than the deposit of faith and more likely to lead to at least temporal happiness so abandoned the "way" for the sake of expediency.

So we go from 70% attendance at Mass to 24%...

No skyfall, but there was a tremendous falling away and Humane Vitae holds no heresy or even a whiff of heretical ideas.

Thus, while AL does appear -so far as I can tell on my reading - to not have overt heresy if interpreted correctly, it is in fact being spun by both Left and Right as a rupture and that's how most LOW INFORMATION Catholics are going to conclude it to be - entirely apart from the actual document and nuances.

So a de-facto schism will continue to unfold. On the one hand from the sexual revolutionaries within our Church, the various modernist/gay/socialist factions seeking to de-fang the Church as a spiritual organization and re-visualize it as a compliant ally in their culture war for global socialist hegemony.... and on the other hand from the growing coalition of right-wing/traditionalist/conservatives who are becoming ever more radicalized and revolutionary as can be seen in the Trump/Cruz campaign but also in the EU crack-up AND in similar ideological insurgencies in the other English speaking countries at increasing odds with "the establishment".

We're entering dangerous times because all the big institutions and nation-states are fragmenting, splitting asunder. The Babel effect is falling on us all.

Finally the various Marian apparitions from La Sallette to Fatima, etc. point to a time of unparalleled suffering where only the Rosary and Eucharistic adoration will pull believers through the confusion and chaos.

Sorry to be so gloomy but where's the signs for optimism? I believe that ultimately Mary's Immaculate Heart will triumph, but how many billions of souls will be lost in the process?

Mark Thomas said...

To which priest in question do we turn in regard to whether the Exhortation has opened the door to Holy Communion for divorced and "remarried" Catholics?

Father José Granados, is Vice President of the Pontifical Institute of John Paul II in Rome.


The Rev. Brian W. Harrison, O.S., M.A., S.T.D., is a priest of the Society of the Oblates of Wisdom, as well as an Associate Professor of Theology in the Pontifical Catholic University of Puerto Rico in Ponce, P.R. He is also parochial vicar of the parish of Saint Joseph the Worker in the city of Ponce, and a ‘Defender of the Bond’ for the island’s marriage tribunals?

Father Harrison has declared that via "notes 336 and 351 to paragraphs 300 and 305 respectively, the Holy Father breaks with the teaching and discipline of all his predecessors in the See of Peter by allowing at least some divorced and civilly remarried Catholics (with no decree of nullity and no commitment to continence) to receive the sacraments.

"Since “discernment can recognize that in a particular situation no grave fault exists" owing to a variety of mitigating psychological and other factors, Francis affirms in n. 351 that the Church’s “help” to these Catholics living in objectively illicit relationships can “in certain cases . . . include the help of the sacraments”.

"The context indicates that this means mainly Penance and Eucharist. Commentators of all beliefs and none have almost universally interpreted the footnote in that sense, and their widely trumpeted claims have been confirmed by eloquent silence from the See of Peter."


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Tremendous division has surfaced within the Church over the Exhortation and whether divorced and "remarried" Catholics may receive Holy Communion. The certain way to settle that issue is for the Apostolic See to speak to the issue at hand.

Why since last Friday has the Apostolic See refused to respond to the important issue in question?


Mark Thomas

Dorota Mosiewicz-Patalas said...

In Spain, Austria, Italy, Germany, the Philippines, the USA, bishops already announce the so called change in pastoral practice while doctrine doesn't change (who buys this utter nonsense?), and you are going to pretend that you don't see it? Are you also going to claim that the Pope doesn't know about the already bountiful fruit of his footnotes? Those who don't pretend to not see are exaggerating?

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for the pastors and parochial vicars. If I were either I would remember rule applied at war crime trials after WW II. There it was decided one could not plea I just followed order to avoid being persecuted for a crime that the accused committed under orders. Makes good sense. Clergy are in an analogous position when advising civilly remarried divorced Catholics. But the Pope said it was all right is not going to work if a priest acts contrary to moral law o 2000 year old teaching.

Mark Thomas said...

During his August 5, 2015 A.D. General Audience, His Holiness Pope Francis said that he "would like to focus our attention on another reality: how to take care of those who, after an irreversible failure of their matrimonial bond, have entered into a new union.

"The Church is fully aware that such a situation is contrary to the Christian Sacrament."

In #46 of his Encyclical Lumen Fidei, Pope Francis declared that the Catechism of the Catholic Church "is a fundamental aid for that unitary act with which the Church communicates the entire content of her faith: all that she herself is, and all that she believes".

In the CCC, we read the following from Pope Saint John Paul II: "The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved 25 June last and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is a statement of the Church's faith and of catholic doctrine, attested to or illumined by Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Church's Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion."

Via the CCC, we can obtain with certainty the True Church's teaching in regard to the reception of Holy Communion by Catholics who have divorced and entered into new unions.


Mark Thomas

Charles G said...

I would like to breathe easy, but I just don't find the argument in this article very convincing. It seems to me the clear implication of Footnote 351 is to reverse the bright line rule of the Catechism and Familiaris Consortio 64 about communion in a state of objective sin. Bishops and others in authority are certainly acting on that interpretation.

Anonymous said...

To me, having been the highest judicial authority in the Church, Cardinal Burke has given the definitive statement on the Pope's exhortation, but he has also called for the Church to make clear that the Pope's opinions are not magisterial to avoid confusion:

" Cardinal Burke: Pope’s exhortation not magisterial, can’t change Church teaching

April 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Raymond Burke has said that the Pope’s newly released post-synodal exhortation cannot change Church teaching and practice, emphasizing that the document is not magisterial.

“The Church has historically been sensitive to the erroneous tendency to interpret every word of the pope as binding in conscience, which, of course, is absurd,” he wrote in an article published by the National Catholic Register today. “Pope Francis makes clear, from the beginning, that the post-synodal apostolic exhortation is not an act of the magisterium."

Burke adds that the Church takes care that "a personal reflection of the Pope, while received with the respect owed to his person, is not confused with the binding faith owed to the exercise of the magisterium."

“Certain commentators confuse such respect,” which is rightly due to the Pope, “with a supposed obligation to ‘believe with divine and Catholic faith’ (Canon 750, § 1) everything contained in the document,” says Burke. “But the Catholic Church, while insisting on the respect owed to the Petrine Office as instituted by Our Lord Himself, has never held that every utterance of the Successor of St. Peter should be received as part of her infallible magisterium.”

Cardinal Burke calls on the Church to make clear that the Pope’s personal opinions are not magisterial. “While the Roman Pontiff has personal reflections which are interesting and can be inspiring, the Church must be ever attentive to point out that their publication is a personal act and not an exercise of the Papal Magisterium.”

The Cardinal warns that a failure to make the distinction between the Pope’s personal opinion and magisterial teaching "is harmful to the faithful and weakens the witness of the Church as the Body of Christ in the world."

According to Cardinal Burke the exhortation cannot be interpreted as a “revolution in the Church, as a radical departure from the teaching and practice of the Church,” since, “the only key to the correct interpretation of Amoris Laetitia is the constant teaching of the Church and her discipline that safeguards and fosters this teaching.”

"Such a view of the document is both a source of wonder and confusion to the faithful, and potentially a source of scandal not only for the faithful but for others of good will who look to Christ and his Church to teach and reflect in practice the truth regarding marriage and its fruit, family life, the first cell of the life of the Church and of every society."

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

The fact of the matter is that this document is ambiguous and incoherent or contradictory in reading it. The other fact is that it is now up to local bishops to assist priests and laity in understanding it. This will create plurality as each bishop will have his own take, but as a priest I will follow what my bishop recommends. I won't be more strict or more lenient independent of his desire.

Marc said...

So some bishops will follow the teaching of Christ and some won't. And whichever your bishop selects is fine with you.

I hope your bishop chooses Christ. I don't envy priests who are being put into this situation through the negligence (or malice?) of the pope. You and all your brother priests are constantly in my prayers.

Mark Thomas said...

Father McDonald said..."The fact of the matter is that this document is ambiguous and incoherent or contradictory in reading it."

Father, I don't doubt your take on the Exhortation. However, there are Churchmen who have insisted that the document is 100 percent clear and logical.

What are we to believe about the document? One Church authority has insisted that the document is crystal clear...another has said that the Exhortation is ambiguous, incoherent, and contradictory.

One Church authority has insisted that the Exhortation has opened the door for Holy Communion to Catholics who have divorced and entered into new unions...additional Church authorities have insisted the opposite.

The Church is blessed with the Papacy...and yet, from the Papacy flows confusion. It is sad, sorry time for the Church.



Mark Thomas