I haven’t yet heard who will star in this new film noir boxoffice buster.
Meanwhile, my friend Fr. Murray has a comment at The Catholic Thing.
Meltdown in Malta [They should start using The Maltese Fiasco, btw]
The bishops of Malta have regrettably embraced the get-out-of-jail-free mentality. They recently chose to instruct their faithful as follows:
If, as a result of the process of discernment, undertaken with “humility, discretion and love for the Church and her teaching, in a sincere search for God’s will and a desire to make a more perfect response to it (AL 300), a separated or divorced person who is living in a new relationship manages, with an informed and enlightened conscience, to acknowledge and believe that he or she are at peace with God, he or she cannot be precluded from participating in the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist (see AL, notes 336 and 351).
Thus Maltese Catholics who are living in an adulterous second marriage are now being told by their bishops that they can engage in gravely sinful behavior that is publicly known and not be denied Holy Communion when they “acknowledge and believe” that they are “at peace with God.”
What did Our Lord ever say that gave the bishops the impression that being at peace with God includes committing acts that are explicitly and strictly forbidden by God? Did Our Lord tell the woman caught in adultery “Go and sin no more, unless you have convinced yourself that you are exempt from obeying the Sixth Commandment, and that adulterous behavior in your case is pleasing, not displeasing, to God and should therefore be embraced as good for you by the rest of the Church community, including any spouse aggrieved by this behavior.” No. He simply said: “Go and sin no more.” (Jn 8:11)
How should Maltese priests who hear confessions respond from this point on to divorced and remarried Catholics who seek absolution without a firm purpose of amendment? Are they to cooperate in what is plainly an act of non-repentance of adulterous behavior, as in the case of a man who tells the priest in confession that he plans to continue committing acts that he was taught were mortally sinful but now, thanks to this new document, he believes he is at peace with God?
Are priests now to accept without question the “at peace with God” claim of divorced and remarried Catholics who come forward for Holy Communion in their parishes? Is there no harm and scandal given when publicly known behavior reprobated by God is treated as a matter of indifference by the Church – so long as the person engaging is such behavior has decided, against the plain words of Our Lord, that he is just fine with God. Or thanks to his bishops, he is now sure that God has no problem with his behavior, which he has judged to be good for himself in his concrete circumstances? Clearly, this is scandalous and destructive of faith and morals.