First, we have now a nickname for the new Letter.
Thanks to The Great Roman™!
Next, I am gobsmacked by something I heard. US radio talk show host Michael Savage has been reading – on air – portions of Amoris laetitia. He loves it! Be clear: he has commented with brutality on Pope Francis’ notions about economy and the environment. Savage does not like this Pope at all! But, Savage is positively impressed by Amoris laetitia on marriage! I am looking for the podcasts.
Also, remember waaaaay back when … when Summorum Pontificum was issued in 2007? It seems an age of the world ago, doesn’t it.
At that time I wrote that this was the first document in who knows how long that actually did something for priests. Summorum Pontificum takes priests seriously. For a change, Benedict did something positive and constructive to build up priests, instead of the incessant, obsessive focus on bishops ever since Vatican II’s Christus Dominus.
Benedict, in Summorum, emancipated both the older form of Mass and priests who say it!
With Amoris laetitia, Francis too has done something to emancipate priests from their bishops!
If by Summorum Pontificum the Pope laid down that priests can do something and their bishops have no say about it, then so too the Pope laid down something in Amoris laetitia and, again, bishops can’t do anything about it.
In the case of Summorum, priests can say the traditional Roman Rite’s Mass, etc., and bishops can’t stop them because the Pope said so.
In the case of Amoris, priests can now, it seems, tell people in the confessional that they can do whatever the hell they want, and bishops can’t stop them because the Pope said so.
What game changer. Now and in the future, sooooo many bishops try rein in their errant liberal priests as they hear confessions …. right? But, “NO!”, the priests will say, “Pope Francis says I can!”
As libs are reasoning now, Amoris is the huge game changer. Rules are out! Mercy is in! Who needs the laws of God and the perennial teaching of Holy Church? Priests can now affirm everyone’s conscience just as they are in the internal forum and no bishop can stop them!
Similarly, as libs want to point out, very few people go to the Traditional Latin Mass since Summorum Pontificum!
Are liberals or fallen away Catholics or people in “irregular” relationships beating down doors to get into confessionals?
Maybe we don’t have such a big problem and not much has changed after all.
Okay… I’m sure that, by now, you figured out what I was doing there.
Amoris laetitia is, literally, an exhortation. It prompts all of us, especially priests, both to compassion for people in rough times and (in the case of liberals and dissenters) to fidelity to the Church’s teaching as it stood before and still stands now. Everything of value in Amoris has been said before. Anyone who appeals to the compassion and mercy dimension of the Letter without also adhering to the truth of Catholic teaching that stands now as it has always stood is a hypocrite. There is no true compassion and mercy in dissent from the Church’s teachings or in the breaking of her clearly promulgated laws, which uphold and defend those teachings.