We must deal soberly with the ramifications of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia. Despite some of its advantages, the document has problems.
A friend sent an email with some interesting analysis, which I am reworking and posting hereunder.
Sandro Magister has just now published the background report of Cardinal Gerhard Müller’s talk in Madrid from last week along with key excerpts of it in English. HERE Italian HERE The original Spanish of Card. Mller’s address HERE
The English excerpts contain all his important statements about the issue of Holy Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried.
I know this is getting tedious, but this is important.
Card. Müller, former bishop of Regensburg and the editor of Joseph Ratzinger’s Opera Omnia, is still the Prefect of Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. It is still his right and obligation, and that of his Congregation, to clarify the meaning of papal documents.
Unless and until Pope Francis changes by a published decree the force and intent of the apostolic constitution, Pastor Bonus, the Roman Curia remains constituted as it was before this pontificate. If Pope Francis wants to change this, he knows how to do so.
The upshot of Mueller’s intervention in Spain is that Amoris laetitia does NOT change the teaching of the Church as it is expressed in Familiaris Consortio 84.
Here is a quote from Cardinal Müller’s the English translation of Spanish address with my emphases:
“Some have affirmed that “Amoris Laetitia” has eliminated this discipline and has permitted, at least in some cases, the divorced and remarried to receive the Eucharist without the need to change their way of life according to what is indicated in FC 84, which means abandoning the new union or living in it as brother and sister. To this it must be replied that if “Amoris Laetitia” had wanted to eliminate such a deeply rooted and significant discipline, it would have said so clearly and presented supporting reasons. There is however no affirmation in this sense; nor does the pope bring into question, at any time, the arguments presented by his predecessors, which are not based on the subjective culpability of our brothers, but rather on their visible, objective way of life, contrary to the words of Christ.
“But isn’t this change of course found – some object – in a footnote that says that in some cases the Church could offer the help of the sacraments to those who are living in an objective situation of sin (no. 351)? Without entering into a detailed analysis, suffice it to say that this footnote refers to objective situations of sin in general, without citing the specific case of the divorced in new civil unions. The situation of these latter, effectively, has particular characteristics that distinguish it from other situations. These divorced persons are living in contrast with the sacrament of marriage, and therefore with the economy of the sacraments, the center of which is the Eucharist. This is, in fact, the reason recalled by the previous magisterium to justify the Eucharistic discipline of FC 84; an argument that is not present in the footnote or in its context. That which footnotes 351 affirms, therefore, does not touch the previous discipline: the norm of FC 84 and of SC [= Sacramentum Caritatis] 29 is still valid, and its application in every case.“
Thus, Card. Müller.
The importance of these observations by Müller is manifold.
First, they support the interpretation of Card. Burke who, only days after the publication of Amoris laetitia, issued a statement publish by the National Catholic Register saying that Amoris laetitia was not magisterial teaching and that it did not change the longstanding teachings of the Church on holy matrimony and Holy Communion. Burke’s interpretation was challenged by Card. Wuerl, Card. Lehmann and others. However, Card. Müller has essentially supported Card. Burke.
Secondly, Card. Müller’s statement, even more than Card. Burke’s, throws down the gauntlet and challenges Pope Francis to deny what Müller claimed. If the Pope remains silent, but one of his surrogates does contradict Müller, then we will be one step closer to such a division between senior prelates over the authentic interpretation of Amoris laetitia that a public clarification could be called for.
On the other hand if Pope Francis wants to say that his Prefect of the CDF has Amoris laetitia wrong, then let him do that.
Finally, Archbishop Bruno Forte will be remembered by many as Pope Francis’ aide-de-camp during the 2014 Synod. He was responsible for introducing into the Interim Report the language calling for the welcoming of homosexual couples into the Church. No one understood really what “welcome” meant. However, on account of that maneuver and the furor that it caused among Synod Fathers, Forte pretty much disappeared from view.
Now Forte has committed a second gaffe, apparently stating to an interviewer that the Pope told him to keep the language concerning Communion for divorced and civilly remarried ambivalent so that conservatives wouldn’t be able to get too upset about it. Forte went on to comment how “Jesuitical” that was of the Pope. HERE
The thick plot thickeneth more.