Since I posted this a short while ago, I saw at First Things a commentary by Gerhard Ludwig Card. Müller (third in a series) precisely touching on the issues raised by Card. Cupich in England. This is obviously Müller’s response. Here is a taste… then read the post below, then read all of Müller and all of Murray. It’s like a seminar! With homework! Time well spent. FATHERS! You MUST know this stuff.
Can there be “paradigm shifts” in the interpretation of the deposit of faith?
In commenting on Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, some interpreters advance positions contrary to the constant teaching of the Catholic Church, by effectively denying that adultery is always a grave objective sin or by making the Church’s entire sacramental economy exclusively dependent on people’s subjective dispositions. They seek to justify their claims by insisting that through the ages there has been a development of doctrine under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, a fact that the Church has always admitted. To substantiate their claims, they usually appeal to the writings of John Henry Cardinal Newman, and in particular to his famous Essay on the Development of Christian Doctrine (1845). Newman’s arguments are indeed worth considering. They will help us understand the sort of development that is possible in the matters touched upon by Amoris Laetitia.
The criteria that Newman unfolds are useful, then, to disclose how we should read Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. The first two criteria are “preservation of type” and “continuity of principles.” They are meant precisely to ensure the stability of the faith’s foundational structure. These principles and types prevent us from speaking of a “paradigm shift” regarding the form of the Church’s being and of her presence in the world. Now chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia has been the object of contradictory interpretations. When in this context some speak of a paradigm shift, this seems to be a relapse into a modernist and subjectivist way of interpreting the Catholic faith.
See what’s going on?
___ Originally Published on: Feb 21, 2018 @ 09:28
My friend Fr Gerald Murray, frequently on EWTN with Prof. Robert Royal on Raymond Arroyo’s show – which some with globalist and Jesuit ties want silenced – has a good piece at The Catholic Thing about some statements made recently by His Eminence the Archbishop of Chicago, Card. Cupich.
Cardinal Cupich’s Revolutionary Conscience
Ever since the publication of Amoris Laetitia, doubts have been cast upon the necessity of adhering to this understanding of marriage. Chicago’s Cardinal Blasé Cupich recently spoke on Amoris Laetitia at St. Edmund’s College in Cambridge, England. His line of argument undermines the Church’s teaching on marriage, and everything else, [NB] by treating one’s lived experience as some sort of divine revelation. This means that what one does becomes the standard of what one should believe. [This “lived experience” is a staple of the Kasperite approach, which replaces philosophy with politics. Utter “lived experience” and everyone nods, knowingly.]
Cardinal Cupich speaks about a synodal church in which:
there is no hierarchical distinction between those with knowledge and those without. As such, the most important consequence of this call to accompaniment ought to be greater attention to the voices of the laity, especially on matters of marriage and family life, for they live this reality day to day.
Laymen are often better instructed in Catholic doctrine than their pastors. The shepherds should rejoice when they find their flock to be knowledgeable and faithful believers. But what if they reject Church teaching? Is that rejection to be embraced as a sign of God’s action in their lives? [The answer is, of course, YES! “Lived experience”! Remember that the Church might offer “ideals” for life, but no one can really be held to those ideals, after all. “Lived experience” suggests that commandments, like policies, can be bent and even changed.]
Cardinal Cupich claims: “accompaniment also is an act of forming Church teaching. There is a continuum of accompaniment which undergirds this entire range of actions by the Church. And thus . . . the core goal of formal teaching on marriage is accompaniment, not the pursuit of an abstract, isolated set of truths. [“ideals” apart from “lived experience”] This represents a major shift in our ministerial approach that is nothing short of revolutionary.” [Emphasis added.]
What does this revolution involve? Cardinal Cupich says:
When taken seriously, this definition demands a profound respect for the discernment of married couples and families. [And if the married couple reject the Church’s teachings on anything? But watch this next part…] Their decisions of conscience represent God’s personal guidance for the particularities of their lives. In other words, the voice of conscience – the voice of God – or if I may be permitted to quote an Oxford man here at Cambridge, what Newman called “the aboriginal vicar of Christ” – [We’ve seen elsewhere how this use of Newman is tenuous at best.] could very well affirm the necessity of living at some distance from the Church’s understanding of the ideal, while nevertheless calling a person “to new stages of growth and to new decisions which can enable the ideal to be more fully realized” (AL 303). [In my conscience, based on my lived experience, I affirm my own decisions – even when they clearly contrast with the Church’s perennial teaching – as being the VOICE OF GOD. And YOU not only can’t disagree, you must affirm me and accompany me. Moreover, because of my “lived experience”, which automatically trumps anything you “official” teachers say, my decisions and your obligation to accompany, is an act of “forming Church teaching”.]
Thus a decision of conscience, for instance, to leave one’s wife and civilly “remarry,” is labeled “God’s personal guidance” that would grant divine approval to one’s blameless embrace of the “necessity” of what is euphemistically called “living at some distance from the Church’s understanding of the ideal.” Cardinal Cupich is telling us that God will inspire someone to serenely decide in his conscience that it is necessary for him to commit adulterous acts, and that this is therefore God’s will for him.
Is there any possible way that this opinion is reconcilable with Catholic teaching on the nature and proper formation of conscience, the necessity to avoid mortal sin at all times, and the impossibility of God approving of what He condemns, i.e., adultery?
I am sincerely looking for a way to reconcile the ramifications of this with the Church’s teaching and I’m coming up with nothing.