Tuesday, May 10, 2016


Cardinal Müller:
There have been different claims that Amoris Laetitia has rescinded this (previous) discipline, because it allows, at least in certain cases, the reception of the Eucharist by remarried divorcees without requiring that they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.”
Müller continues:
 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).


Vox Cantoris said...

Imagine if the Bishop of Rome wrote something "correct" that did not need interpreting.

Anonymous said...

One day Pope Francis will die. And like all men he will stand alone to be judged, JUDGED, by his maker. If he knowingly is causing confusion and allowing the perception that sacraligeous communions can be tolerated then he will be held accountable. He will get away with nothing. Neither will Kasper or Marx or Wuerl or O'Malley or Baldassari or Forte or basically every bishop in Germany or for that matter simple parish priests who remain silent when error is being taught. They all become accomplices in that sin, that is Catholicism 101. Nothing that is hidden will remain hidden. Christ has already won.

TJM said...

Anonymous, Amen. Santita is too cute by half. He needs to knock it off before he leaves the Church weaker than when he became Pope.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that Mueller characterizes this as a discipline. Perhaps a bad translation, or perhaps I don't understand the word?

Also, re the claim that if the Pope had wanted to change things, he would have said so clearly: a) it can be argued that this _is_ clear. Use of the Sacraments. Anyway, b) what _does_ 351 mean if not communion for divorced and re"married" Catholics in mortal sin?

Jusadbellum said...

It's so predictable.

AL starts with a tour de force outline of the beauty of marriage and runs for 290 paragraphs mapping out how absolutely vital this sacrament is for the salvation of humanity.

It explicitly calls divorce "an evil" in paragraph 246.

It explicitly points to there being only TWO types of lifestyle for a Catholic disciple: either chaste, monogamous marriage, or virginity/celibacy for the sake of the kingdom. It does not posit a '3rd' way to licitly use the sexual powers (such as in an adulterous arrangement.

Thus Paragraphs 301-305 cannot be read as though they justify an active adulterous couple arriving at a conclusion that their union (i.e. sexually active union) is blessed by God and thus a condition they may bring to the altar for a blessing much less commune with the Living God as though they are free of mortal sin.

We can discuss their subjective culpability all day long, but who doesn't know that Catholics teach marriage to be indissoluble? Who doesn't know that leaving one's spouse and marrying another is adultery and that the only way to return to full communion and thus receive COMMUNION is to live as brother and sister (if indeed one can't return to the original covenant for whatever reason)?

For all the gaslighting of the secular Media and the wishful thinkers among the modernist, sexual revolutionaries, we cannot interpret AL the way they claim to. We can wish it was more clear but in the end of the day it's up to us to insist that those who would use it for their sexual perversion or to justify adultery be silent or to repeatedly challenge them in public for their scandalous claims about the Pope and the Magisterium of the Church.

Anonymous said...

...and if it had been perfectly clear it would be used to justify sexual perversion and adultery because it is out of touch the modern world

Jusadbellum said...

The Gospels and epistles have been misinterpreted from the beginning despite being the word of God. In Acts of the Apostles we see the praxis of the first council of the apostles. They didn't just send a letter (scripture) to the Christians in Antioch, they also sent two men as representatives to help them interpret and implement that letter.

So the account showcases how magisterium works in conjunction with scripture for the building up of the local community.

Right now, to the degree there is confusion over the meaning and possible spin any letter might produce, it behooves us to step into the breech and give the best accounting we can of the document within the umbrella and in continuity with Catholic tradition. If heterodox Germans and others point to their own praxis of admitting adulterers to Communion as though an on-going structure of sin was extinguishable from a single 'one and done' confession, we must not let them have the final word anymore than our ancestors let the Gnostics or Arians have the final word in their respective spin (i.e. apostasy) from the original Gospel.

We're not the schismatics, they are.

Anonymous said...

I'm with Vox on this, the fact that so many have to "step into the breech" to shore this document up shows how problematic it truly is ...

Jusadbellum said...

Sure Jan. It's problematic. But then so is the Epistle of Paul to the Romans or the letter to the Hebrews. Have you ever noticed how much mileage the Protestants get out of spinning those two books in the Bible to justify their doctrine that explode the sacramental system and obliterate the unity of the Church?

The very word of God is not immune from being misinterpreted or misused to nefarious ends!

The Gnostics famously interpreted the Gospel of John in all manner of dualistic ways that set up the concepts later exploited by the Arians to push an idea that Jesus was some Demi-god but not really "one in being" with the Father.

We could always hope that our Popes could write something that's impossible to be misinterpreted but as we see above with the very Bible, it's really not possible. Books can't interpret themselves so long as people will invent new definitions to words (which all sinners are experts at doing - such as spinning 'love' as mere sex).

In the end of the day, Our Lord sends out apostles and disciples who "make" disciples. He didn't command we write down flawlessly perfect books and print up a million copies. It's OUR job - as laity and clergy - to make disciples. It's US who are given the sacraments, the sacramental, the grace to bring God's presence into the world by healing the sick, casting out demons and PREACHING the Gospel.

If aliens (or anti-Catholics) annihilated every parish church, every parish school, every KofC hall and all other Catholic institutions....the church would still endure so long as people take their responsibility to heart.

People are always the solution. So regardless how clear or muddy any document from the Pope or Bishops may be, it still remains our duty to bear witness to the Deposit of Faith, the Gospel, introducing people to the Living God and thus 'making' disciples.

Jusadbellum said...

But the dirty secret is that we don't want to pick up the cross of having to personally make disciples. To personally know and love Jesus so much that we personally cannot offshore or offload or delegate this role to others. We'd rather deputize the Pope or the clergy or the religious to do the cross carrying for us!

That's why we pin all our hopes on the Pope doing the right thing or the priests and nuns to face the spirit of the age for us. We want some heroic, self-sacrificial figure to come and cast out the demons and evil doers rather than face them ourselves.

We do this because all humans are fundamentally lazy and cowards before such a horrifically dangerous, indeed deadly task of healing the sick, casting out demons and preaching the Gospel in order to make disciples. We'd rather do anything but precisely this one thing we've been created - and graced - to do.

So we pin hopes on the perfectly performed Latin liturgy. Or that the Pope will smite the heretics (and if he did, who would enforce his condemnations?) We vainly hope the bishops and clergy will stand up to the secular hedonists, the LGBTQ movement, the Abortion monster, the porn and pop culture dragons (and if they did, who would back them up when, not if, the counter-push came down?)

Everyone is waiting for someone ELSE to 'do something!" because we'd rather not.

Reading the Apocalypse I see no survivors but those who personally suffered for the sake of Jesus. We've got to pick up OUR cross which is to face the heat that will certainly come whenever we try to 'make disciples'.

It starts in our marriage, proceeds to our children, enters all our other relationships (with parents, siblings, relatives, neighbors) and finally leads us to speak the words the Holy Spirit lays on our hearts to complete strangers who are part of the mysterious web of relationships that make up the tapestry of the kingdom.

Only an ever more profound intellectual and emotional commitment and connection with the Risen Lord that produces filial trust can allow us to face the certain suffering that comes from this cross. But it's the only way. No one gets to heaven alone.