Amoris Laetitia

On the Strange Function of Absolutes

Most people today “absolutely” maintain that they do not hold or live by “absolutes.” They live by their desires and choices, which are readily changeable. No one is much bothered by the “logic” of his own views. The proposition that “No absolutes exist” is itself an absolute. If it is true, an absolute exists. If [...]

How Amoris Laetitia Reduces Moral Culpability for Sin

In June 2016, the distinguished Austrian philosopher and friend of Pope John Paul II, Joseph Seifert, published a highly critical yet charitable essay on Amoris Laetitia (AL) that led to his dismissal from a teaching post at the seminary of the Archdiocese of Granada, Spain. In his essay, Seifert argued that the view of conscience expressed [...]

Sense and Nonsense: The Latest Defense of Amoris Laetitia

A brave theology professor at my diocesan seminary, Rev. Gerald J. Bednar, has taken upon himself to defend the ambiguity that exists in Amoris Laetitia against the Dubia famously presented by “dissenters” (i.e. the four cardinals). He wrote an article that appeared in Emmanuel Magazine published by the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament. A shortened [...]

The Morality of Amoris Laetitia Is Not Thomistic

In a formal address delivered during his recent visit to Colombia, Pope Francis implored his brother Jesuits to defend his embattled exhortation on marriage, which remains haunted by its obscurities and fervent vagueness. In his short discourse, the pope also enlisted Thomas Aquinas in this enterprise by insisting upon the Thomistic properties of Amoris Laetitia. He [...]

Heretical Praxis

Reviewing Correctio filialis, I found that I was in substantial agreement about the theoretical problems related to the exhortation Amoris Laetitia, but I regretted that the contradictions of its pastoral implications were not made more explicit. I have two examples of cases that are to the point here. The first is of a couple I met [...]

Father Bosco and the Monsters

Last week—amidst the filial correction of Pope Francis for the spreading of heresies—I paused to read about St. John Bosco and the monsters. Father Bosco’s dreams were haunted by them—monsters swooping at boys too “numb” to defend themselves; monsters turning their backs to the Blessed Sacrament before trampling souls; monsters clawing at flowers symbolizing purity [...]

A Cardinal’s Implausible Defense of Amoris Laetitia

Many of Pope’s Francis’ closest allies have presented vindications of his troubling apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia. Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, who is the President for the Pontifical Office of Legislative Texts, stepped forward last year with a booklet concentrating on the controversial claims of Chapter Eight. This guided reading is now accessible in English thanks to [...]

Fornicating in Self-Defense

When is fornication not really fornication? Well, if reports are accurate, according to Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez, dubbed by some as Pope Francis’ “closest theological adviser,” if a sexually active, unmarried couple lives together, he says it is “licit to ask” whether such sexual activity “should always fall, in its integral meaning, within the negative [...]

Amoris Laetitia and the Four Last Things

Hell—St. Teresa of Avila told her nuns to mentally visit the inferno during life so they would not be imprisoned in it after death. St. John Vianney sighed because the saints, who were so pure, cultivated holy fear while “we, who so often offend the good God—we have no fears.” At last month’s Rome Life [...]

Is a “Winnipeg Statement” Lurking in Amoris Laetitia?

Hey, Amoris Laetitia, the 1968 Canadian bishops phoned and they want their strategic ambiguity back. That line may not mean much to anyone who isn’t familiar with the Canadian Conference of Bishops’ statement in response to the birth control encyclical Humanae Vitae. Dubbed the “Winnipeg Statement” for the last 49 years, it represents in the [...]

Debate Continues Over Amoris Laetitia

The ambiguities of Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation, Amoris Laetitia, continue to provoke a lively debate even as we pass its one-year anniversary. Allies of the pope marked the event by rallying to his support as they beseeched the faithful to contemplate this maligned papal document. On the other side of the ledger, orthodox theologians continue [...]

Antonio Spadaro, S.J.: “Bertrand Russell is the Pope!”

Of course, Fr. Antonio Spadaro, S.J. did not say what appears in the title of this piece, but he may as well have. Back in January, Fr. Spadaro, a close confidant of Pope Francis and the so-called “mouthpiece” of the pope, tweeted: “Theology is not #Mathematics. 2+2 in #Theology can make 5. Because it has [...]

Does History Repeat With Amoris Laetitia Confusion?

The Holy Father actually said to the College of Cardinals: “In a matter of such importance it seems right that Catholics desire to follow one single law propounded authoritatively by the Church. So it seems advisable to recommend that for the present no one should arrogate to himself the right to take a stand differing [...]

Is the Catholic Church in De Facto Schism?

Why is there confusion in the Catholic Church over Amoris Laetitia, and what consequences does it have for Church unity? I argue here that the confusion is ultimately over two de fide dogmas of Christian faith and that one consequence of the confusion is de facto schism within the Catholic Church. When de fide (“of the faith”) is used in Catholic [...]

When the Church Thrives, Cultures Thrive

The current controversy over Pope Francis's apostolic letter on marriage highlights several realities in the Church and the world that are not always so clear. As is widely known, Amoris Laetitia, published last year, seems to leave open the possibility that couples who are divorced and remarried civilly be admitted to the sacraments in the absence of a declaration [...]

Mixed Signals from the German Amoris Laetitia Guidelines

The latest news from Germany does not engender confidence that the Catholic bishops have had any success in resolving the myriad problems that have plagued the Church over the past several decades.  In an interview in the February issue of the Catholic Italian monthly Il Timone, Cardinal Müller said, “one cannot say there are circumstances in [...]

Girl Boy Scouts … and 71 Other “Gender” Options

The Boy Scouts of America has announced a major policy reversal, a rather dramatic shift in the foundational policy of the organization. It is now accepting girls as Boy Scouts. Yes, girl boy scouts. That is to say, the Boy Scouts of America is accepting “transgender boys”—girls who are biologically female but are declaring themselves “boys,” or, [...]

What History May Tell Us About Amoris Laetitia

Today cardinals and bishops are intensely divided over whether or not invalidly married Catholics living in adultery can receive Holy Communion. Fifty years ago, this kind of question would have boggled the minds of Catholics everywhere, because the answer would be both obvious and simple: “No!” The question has arisen today because a recent and [...]

Amoris Laetitia and the Post-Modern Papacy of Pope Francis

It has been nine long months since the publication of Amoris Laetita, but there is still no end in sight to the confusion and turmoil it has unleashed within almost every corner of the Catholic Church. Bishops have now turned to the excruciating task of implementation as they try to elicit the pastoral implications of [...]

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 [...]

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