Saturday, December 31, 2016


As many have acknowledged, there probably isn't much angst about the current crisis in the papacy in  most rank and file laity. Only the internet geeks know that there is a tempest going on in Rome with a whole lot of Italian and South American intrigue (the combination of both a deadly brew to say the least!).

Crux has a good article with major flaws on what the papal dissenters have not taken into account. You can read the article here.

The article I link above gives pastoral situations where the internal forum might be applied after discernment with a priest. But this is the rub: I was taught that this pastoral discernment must include an attempt at the "external forum" that is the annulment procedure that ends because no decision can be rendered one way or the other as there is not enough evidence provided in the documentation. This can be the case because people refuse to participate (one of the spouses or witnesses) or witnesses cannot be found including a former spouse or witnesses are dead.

If the external forum, i.e. Annulment procedure, definitely states that no annulment can be granted because the marriage on trial is in reality a sacrament, the internal forum is not allowed. It is only when no decision one way or the other can be rendered that the pastoral discernment can move to an internal forum decision.

This is a major flaw of AL as it doesn't discuss the "internal forum" as such and when it can be used after the external forum is exhausted.

Then Giuseppe Narid has an article that overstates the situation with the four cardinals and the pope. While his case is overstated, it is obvious that we are dealing with a situation that could be defused if only the Holy Father has answered the private Dubia before the cardinals made it public. While I have criticized making it public, the fact that it has should be further impetus for the Holy Father to defuse the situation by a clear answer and directly not indirectly in homilies, statements and tweets by underlings.

You can read the article here.

Let's face it, long before Pope Francis and during the time of Popes Paul, John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict, the internal forum has been used licitly or illicitly and there wasn't much news on it if any.

My own bishop, without addressing the internal forum, told us a few years ago that if any priest in our diocese illicitly "blessed" an illicit marriage, meaning "convalidated" it illicitly, that we ourselves could be removed from our parish and suspended.

It seems to me, though, that the footnote in AL which other than that footnote, is a marvelous document, opens the door to illicit convalidations. And if you extend its logic, it opens the door to supposed celibate priests to remain as priest even if they are in illicit marriages or sexual relationships as long as someone conducted pastoral discernment with them, whatever that means in reality.

This little footnote opens the door to th logic of the footnote to undermine everything that traditional Catholic morality teaches and believes to be revealed by God.


Anonymous said...

"Let's face it, long before Pope Francis and during the time of Popes Paul, John Paul I, John Paul II and Benedict, the internal forum has been used licitly or illicitly and there wasn't much news on it if any."

Was not illicit use of the so-called "internal forum" (in reality, not a legitimate forum at all) by ill-formed priests, a problem rather than a solution? And, at the least, a symptom of decline of belief in moral law.

Victor said...

The entire issue can be resolved if the Pope answered the dubia. Not answering the dubia is the problem and fueling division and animosity.
As for the Crux article, it forgets the point of the dubia, to wit, that in various parts of the Church, Amoris Laetitia seems to be being interpreted contrary to the long standing teaching of the Church. Why is there so much apparent arrogance in simply answering these questions which would once and for all make things clear as to the validity of these interpretations?

Anonymous said...

Apparently, the pope doesn't want to answer the dubia, because he wishes to permit or even encourage pastoral practice contrary to the longstanding doctrinal teaching of the Church, but does not wish to explicitly contradict longstanding Church doctrine itself. Consistent with the procedure of this whole papacy--in effect, encouraging heresy without committing it.

Is there a logical alternative to this conclusion--that is, some other sensible interpretation of the pope's action (and inaction)? If not, why belabor the matter with endless discussion--when his intention is already perfectly clear?

TJM said...

Victor, because the Pope is a "liberal" and being liberal means never having to say you're sorry!

Carol H. said...

This is all clearly a set-up for the 'organic development of doctrine' excuse for the future, but it is not organic at all but rather contrived. This is not holy, catholic, or apostolic; it is dangerous. Souls are being deceived.

I thank God for the writers of the dubia. I'm praying for a purification of the hearts, minds, and souls of the hierarchy and laity of our Holy Mother Church. Lord have mercy on us all.

rcg said...

The first article was sophmoric. The second alarmist, although to what extreme is difficult to tell.

Gene said...

Henry nailed it.