The other day there was misleading piece at Jesuit-run America by a Chicagoan Fr. Louis Cameli. He launched an ad hominem attack against the Four Cardinals of the Five Dubia. Cameli continued with a not entirely honest defense of his personally preferred reading of Amoris laetitia Chapter 8 by which just about anyone can be admitted to Holy Communion no matter what through “accompaniment”.
The other day I pointed out Cameli’s dishonest use of St. John XXIII’s words at the opening of the Second Vatican Council. He quoted the famous speech “Gaudet Mater Ecclesia“, but cut out all the bits that John said which directly contradicted him. Have a look: it’s blatant. HERE
In an amusing aside, the Wile E. Coyote of contemporary liberal catholicism over at Fishwrap (aka National Schismatic Reporter) went on grand mal spittle-flecked nutty flung at Raymond Card. Burke (part of his ongoing struggle with Burke Derangement Syndrome, I’m afraid), Raymond Arroyo, Fr. Raymond De Souza (which may need a song to the tune of “Georgia on my mind”… “Raymond… O Raymond…”) and my good friend, the brilliant Fr. Gerry Murray. In channeling his inner George T. Bell, Winters’ obvious intent was to flag those whom he hopes his cohorts of the liberal Left will now target. He want to hurt people and silence them, as liberals do. Agere sequitur esse. But I digress. I got onto that because Winters solemnly proclaimed: “I wish to associate myself with every word of Cameli’s argument.” I have to wonder if Winters also associates himself with Cameli’s shameful bowdlerizaton of John XXIII’s Gaudet Mater Ecclesia. Enough of the boring part.
Let’s have a look at how Fr. Cameli used Scripture in his attack on the Cardinals and his defense of the untenable.
Cameli juxtaposes to Christ’s clear teaching about indissolubility in Matthew 19, the account in John of the meeting between Christ and the Samaritan woman. My emphases and comments:
In the second instance (Jn 4:5-42), Jesus interacts with the Samaritan woman. This is not a conversation about general principles or truths. Jesus encounters a woman with a complex life story that involves five husbands and a current live-in boyfriend. [“complex life story… live in boyfriend”… we used to call this “sin”.] He does not simply announce the truth of marriage and then challenge her to live it out. From the beginning, with his request for water, he engages her and draws her to himself. Then, at a certain point, he says to her: “‘Go, call your husband and come back.’ [Of course He did, for the sake of propriety. He was talking to her and she was unaccompanied.] The woman answered him, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You are right in saying, “I have no husband”; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!’” [Whatever else this is, this is certainly a challenge to the woman. It is at least a challenge and probably a reprimand.] Perhaps embarrassed by this revelation, she seeks to divert the conversation, but Jesus stays with her and accompanies her. [Can anyone discern what “accompanies” means there? Christ called her out. He constrained her to acknowldge the truth of her situation.] Eventually, she embraces faith in Jesus, and this is evident in her words to her fellow townsfolk: “Come and see a man who told me everything I have ever done! He cannot be the Messiah, can he?”
After reading that you are supposed to have a new vision of Matthew 19… I think. It didn’t work for me.
“Our Lord did not simply announce the truth and challenge to live her out”, quoth Cameli. No, indeed. Jesus’ words to the woman who had had five husbands and was presently in an adulterous relationship with a sixth wasn’t just a statement of fact, some kind of neutral observation. Nor is it a compliment. Christ’s words to the woman are a rebuke, based on the truth of marriage. He challenged her. So what if He didn’t trot out Deuteronomy or other rules in Torah. They both knew them! He directly challenged her. To miss that is to miss the point.
“With his request for water, he engages her and draws her to himself,” quoth Cameli. Fine. He also told her to go get her “husband”, and come back because, out of propriety, He didn’t want to be talking to a woman alone.
“But Jesus stays with her and accompanies her”, quoth Cameli. What does that mean? Sure, He doesn’t say to her, “Scram! Get lost.” He also doesn’t stalk away. However, He in no way accommodates her marital situation. Think about it. Jesus ate with sinners. Eating with them didn’t make them NOT sinners. By eating with them He was not acquiescing to their sin. If the Lord didn’t reject the Samaritan woman, or storm off, He clearly didn’t condone her life.
“Eventually, she embraces faith in Jesus”, quoth Cameli. Maybe so, but Jesus did not accept her marital situation.
If Our Lord “accompanied” her, He did so by telling her the truth of her situation and by not letting her dodge or squirm off the hook..
You cannot adapt the truth of marriage to whatever situation people find themselves in. If you do that, you are not being true to the Gospel.