Amoris Laetitia

Anti-Mosque Protest

Should Different Religions Be Treated Differently?

When the planning board of Bernards Township, New Jersey, turned down a plan to build a mosque, the local Islamic society turned around and sued the town for discrimination. Now, a federal judge has ruled that a parking requirement imposed by the township on the mosque was discriminatory. Adeel Mangi, the Islamic society’s lawyer, praised [...]

How Not to Minister to the Divorced and Remarried

On January 6, the traditional date for the celebration of the Epiphany, a celebration that includes the miracle at the wedding at Cana, Crux posted an article by Fr. Paul Keller presenting “A case study in communion for the divorced/remarried.” The case study gave a hypothetical example that Fr. Keller thought would justify admitting a [...]

Pray that Pope Francis Re-Affirms Church Teaching on Marriage

Following the publication of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, in some particular churches there were published norms for its application and interpretations whereby the divorced who have attempted civil marriage with a new partner, notwithstanding the sacramental bond by which they are joined to their legitimate spouse, are admitted to the sacraments of Penance and the [...]

Can the Orthodox Way End the Divorce and Remarriage Debate?

On his flight back to Rome from World Youth Day in Brazil (2013), Pope Francis speaking about the season of mercy and the Church as a mother dispensing mercy, praised the pastoral practice of the Orthodox Churches on marriage and divorce, the pastoral care for the divorced and remarried Orthodox faithful and the possibility of [...]

Our “Learning Agenda” From the Anti-Life Gnostics

After Hillary Clinton defended partial-birth abortion at a presidential debate, a poet promised that late-term abortion could unleash a mother’s “compassion.” Her sheeny New York Times essay about aborting a wiggling son whose name meant “heart” is heartbreaking. He’d need a heart transplant one day if he survived delivery; he’d face “horribly painful obstacles” and [...]

The Tradition Speaks With One Voice on Divorce & Remarriage

The vocation of the Church historian and historical theologian is similar to that of the Catholic philosopher: to serve as a handmaid to theology, the queen of the sciences. Church history is distinct from secular academic history in that—as a subset of theology—it has the ability to incorporate the insights of revelation. In Church history [...]

Beware the “Spirit” of Amoris Laetitia

Catholic teaching holds that the Church is truly the Body of Christ, and that the Holy Spirit is the soul of the body, animating it and directing its actions. The Spirit of God, promised by Christ as the Advocate and Paraclete, the Spirit of Truth (John 14:16-17), who descended upon the Apostles at Pentecost and [...]

The “Concern”

A relative recently wrote an e-mail to me in which he made the following off-handed comment: “What do you think of the pope’s recent course change on abortion?” Now, unless I missed something, on this subject the pope has not changed anything. He has, no doubt, indicated that he wanted to downplay its relative importance [...]

The Prophetic Voice of Four Cardinals

“We cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.” ∼ St. Paul Out of “deep pastoral concern,” four cardinals of the Holy Roman Catholic Church, His Eminence Joachim Meisner, Archbishop emeritus of Cologne (Germany), His Eminence Carlo Caffarra, Archbishop emeritus of Bologna (Italy), His Eminence Raymond Leo Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order [...]

Does Amoris Laetitia Resolve Genuine Moral Dilemmas?

The interpretation of Amoris Laetitia by Cardinals Schönborn and Kasper is now well known. Communion for those in a second union represents a change in practice, not in doctrine. What Francis is doing is simply inviting the Church to insert her settled doctrine on mitigated culpability into her reflections on how the divorced and remarried [...]

Chestertonian Common Sense on “Uncommon” Adultery

In The Superstition of Divorce, G.K. Chesterton notes the absurdities of transfiguring marriage into an “ideal,” a “counsel of perfection” akin to monastic life. “A man might be reverently pointed out in the street as a sort of saint, merely because he was married,” Chesterton says. “A man might wear a medal for monogamy; or [...]

On Allowing the Unworthy Reception of the Eucharist

Dostoyevsky’s Grand Inquisitor accused Christ of insufficiently loving the “weak, ever sinful and ignoble race of man.” Christ, he declared, cared only for those “great and strong” souls who would freely obey him for the sake of the bread of Heaven. So the Grand Inquisitor would “care for the weak too”—the “millions” who are too [...]

On Rocco Buttiglione’s Defense of Amoris Laetitia

In the past several weeks L’Osservatore Romano has published two articles by reputable John Paul II scholars defending the teachings of Amoris Laetitia (AL). In the first article, Rocco Buttiglione, a widely respected philosopher, argues that critics of this apostolic exhortation have trouble understanding Pope Francis. Hence they fail to see that there is no [...]

Have We Forgotten the Hard Sayings of Christ?

“If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire.” (Mk. 9:43) It requires no great insight in order to discern what the modern world would make of such a statement had it [...]

Does Amoris Laetitia Retreat from Absolute Moral Norms?

When Amoris Laetitia (AL) was first released on April 8, headlines in the secular media declared that there was no change in doctrine but only a call for greater pastoral sensitivity for those in “irregular” unions. A closer scrutiny of this apostolic exhortation seemed to indicate that it made room for a significant change in [...]

Amoris Laetitia: A Call for Clarification to Avoid Confusion

Editor’s note : With the kind permission of His Excellency Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Crisis is pleased to share with our readers this approved translation of his analysis of Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The recently published apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (AL), which contains a plethora of spiritual and pastoral riches with regard to life within marriage [...]

The Spiritual Friends and Amoris Laetitia

By the deafening silence, one can assume the “Spiritual Friends” are disappointed by the Holy Father’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, at least as related to their favorite topic, same-sex attraction. No doubt their hopes were high when the controversial interim report was produced at the Extraordinary Synod in the Fall of 2014. It was as [...]

Amoris Laetitia and the “Brinkmanship” of Pope Francis

The aftershocks continue after the ground-shaking April 8 release of Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia. Extreme reactions vary from “we don’t have to talk about sin any more” and “conscience trumps everything” and “Communion for everybody” and “now we can contracept” all the way to “Francis is a heretic and [...]

Amoris Laetitia: The Key to the Francis Pontificate

By now many hundreds if not thousands of commentaries have been penned on Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia (AL). They range from condemnations to lavish welcomes and then those analysts somewhere in the middle who praise the good and hold back criticism. In this mix there are the particularly odd responses as the one [...]

The Curate’s Egg: A Reflection on Amoris Laetitia

There was a Victorian member of the Royal Academy who boasted that his paintings were the best because they were the biggest.  More perceptively, Cicero and Pascal and Madame Recamier and Mark Twain made opposite apologies:  each had written a long letter because they did not have the time to write a short one. Not only is verbosity [...]

Separating Opinion from Doctrine in Amoris Laetitia

Last Friday, April 8, 2016, Pope Francis released his much-awaited Magna Carta on the family, Amoris Laetitia (AL), the exhortation following the 2014 and 2015 synods on the family. AL is an unusually long document, about 60,000 words amounting to 261 pages in the English translation. It could very well be the longest document in [...]

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