Fr. Z’s take on the Pope’s remarks to Chilean Bishops

amoris vaticanPeople are asking me in email what I think of the Pope’s alleged statements to Chilean bishops making their ad limina visit.  Apparently the Holy Father told them, as reported by the UK’s best Catholic weekly The Catholic Herald (for which I write a weekly column):

The Chilean bishops were speaking to the newspaper El Mercurio, which paraphrased their remarks and included a few direct quotations. Here’s the key passage:

¿Comunión a los divorciados? Con la misma decisión, el Pontífice negó que su objetivo con el sínodo al que convocó sobre la familia haya sido autorizar la comunión de los divorciados. Les habló de que no hay “moral de situación”, dicen otras fuentes. “Nos cuesta mucho ver los grises”, les habría dicho, cuando contó un caso personal, familiar suyo. “Tengo una sobrina casada con un divorciado, bueno, católico, de misa dominical y que cuando se confiesa le dice al sacerdote ‘sé que no puede absolverme, pero deme su bendición’”.

The Pope says a few separate things here:

  • The objective of the Family Synod was not to authorise Communion for the remarried (“autorizar la comunión de los divorciados”).

  • “It’s not a matter of ‘situation ethics’.” (“Les habló de que no hay ‘moral de situación.’”)

  • It’s difficult for us to see grey areas. (“Nos cuesta mucho ver los grises.”)

  • His niece is married to a divorced man who doesn’t take Communion, but tells the priest: “I know you can’t absolve me, but give me a blessing.” (“Sé que no puede absolverme, pero deme su bendición.”)

Some are taking this as an “indirect” response to the Five Dubia of the Four Cardinals aroused by the objectively murky bits of Amoris laetitia.

My response?  What do I make of this?  How to make sense of this thrashing bag full of cats?

If and when Pope Francis wants clearly to respond to the Dubia, he knows how to do it.

Moreover, I respond that today is a Friday in Lent.  Say your prayers, pray the Stations, examine your consciences and…

GO TO CONFESSION!

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7 Responses to Fr. Z’s take on the Pope’s remarks to Chilean Bishops

  1. iamlucky13 says:

    In short, more ambiguity, but at least it sounds like orthodox ambiguity.

  2. John the Mad says:

    Well of course the pope knows how to respond. He merely has to book a flight with reporters on board and ….

    Ack, now your admonishment to go to confession has become a necessity. This Lent I couda been a contender but now……mea culpa …. mea maxima culpa ….

  3. KateD says:

    “Thrashing bag full of cats”. -)best analysis yet.

  4. 2Maronites says:

    I pray for all priests nightly (some by name) and especially the Pope. I understand that his remarks to the Chilean Bishops are promising but if true…what of not correcting the German or Malta Bishops? There cannot be 2 Truths, there can be only One (not to quote Highlander, but just did). I am praying this is a first step towards clarifying Amoris on divorced and remarried w/o annulment. I think we need to work more on marriage prep and not just a couple of meetings and “boom” wedding.

  5. The Cobbler says:

    “It’s difficult for us to see grey areas.”
    Certainly there has been a concerted effort to ignore the dark in “grey areas” in favor of alleged light in them…

  6. Daniel W says:

    The pope says: “His niece is married to a divorced man who doesn’t take Communion, but tells the priest: “I know you can’t absolve me, but give me a blessing.” (“Sé que no puede absolverme, pero deme su bendición.”)”

    Yes, but what about his niece???
    The situation implies they are not married in the eyes of the Church (otherwise it is not really relevant).
    If his niece is receiving Holy Communion, that would imply… that she meets all the conditions in a scenario such as:
    *she cannot leave him
    *he makes it impossible for her to live as sister to him.

  7. John the Mad says:

    2Maronites:
    “I think we need to work more on marriage prep and not just a couple of meetings and “boom” wedding.”

    I’ve been married over 26 years and as I recall in Toronto my then unbaptized, fiancee and I had a whole year of marriage prep involving weekly meetings at a Franciscan run parish. The large marriage prep group was largely composed of young Italian couples in the early to mid-twenties. I was then a 38 year old serving Air Force officer and my fiancee was in her early thirties.

    We are still married with two grown children. My wife was baptized on Easter Sunday four years ago and is a devout Catholic. Thank you Jesus for your sacred gift of marriage. Pope Francis should answer the dubia and let us live in clarity, not meander in ambiguity. It is the truth that sets us free. “What God has put together let no man put asunder,”