As a priest, I am confused about the fact that Pope Francis has made a letter to Buenos Aires an act of his magisterium as it concerns the correct interpretation of Amoris Laetitia.
It is the #6 in this letter that is mystifying:
5) When the concrete circumstances of a couple make it feasible, especially when both are Christians with a journey of faith, it is possible to propose that they make the effort of living in continence. Amoris Laetitia does not ignore the difficulties of this option (cf. note 329) and leaves open the possibility of receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation when one fails in this intention (cf. note 364, according to the teaching of Saint John Paul II to Cardinal W. Baum, of 22/03/1996).
6) In other, more complex circumstances, and when it is not possible to obtain a declaration of nullity, the aforementioned option may not, in fact, be feasible (living as brother and sister). Nonetheless, it is equally possible to undertake a journey of discernment. If one arrives at the recognition that, in a particular case, there are limitations that diminish responsibility and culpability (cf. 301-302), particularly when a person judges that he would fall into a subsequent fault by damaging the children of the new union, Amoris Laetitia opens up the possibility of access to the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist (cf. notes 336 and 351). These in turn dispose the person to continue maturing and growing with the aid of grace.
What befuddles and confuses me as a priest is that it seems to me, then, that the priest in arriving at a decision with a couple that in their particular case (situational ethics to be sure) there are limitations that diminish responsibility and culpability in living out an adulterous relationship, then the priest is actually giving permission to the couple to receive the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion. Or am I misinterpreting this?
If the priest has discerned through situational ethics that this adulterous couple may return to the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion, then, why in the name of God and all that is holy, can't the priest also validate their relationship with a public blessing of some kind or even a convalidation of the marriage? Isn't that the next logical step in Pope Francis logic here?
And let's get into fornication by heterosexual and homosexual couples. If a priest accompanies these couples and discerns with them through situational ethics that it is proper for them to remain in their sexual relationships for a variety of situational ethics reasons, why not offer a blessing to these couples and publicly at Mass to validate their receiving the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion.
I firmly believe this is where we are being led, Catholicism Lite, a la the Episcopal Church. And didn't Cardinal Pell say this in 2014 at the first synod on the Family? And it seems to me too, that Cardinal Pell's remarks in the video below indicate a seething betrayal by this Magisterium of the Cardinals who don't want the Church, the Catholic Church, to become a part of liberal Protestantism and thus in schism with the truth.
Yes His Eminence did! Here's proof: