My realistic solution to the problems in Amoris laetitia

I am trying to think back through the Church’s long history for an instance in which a Pope has withdrawn one of his own teaching documents, on faith and morals.

Of course Popes have superseded previous documents by issuing their own.

But has a Pope ever withdrawn one?  How would that work?  In my mind’s eye I see a Pope giving a presser on an airplane (which in the future may become the Roman Pontiff’s official cathedra):

POPE WITH MICROPHONE: Okay, everyone, listen up!  That document I issued a while back… you know the one… okay, that’s all over now.  No more document, okay?  It’s gone. I’m withdrawing it.  It’s like… like an annulment, a rendering of something that was something into nothing, right?  Got it?  It’s not going to be on the website anymore.  We are not going to twitter about… tweet?… tweet about it.  We are asking everyone to just, like, throw it away.  If you love Vatican II, just stop talking about it.  Okay?  Thanks in advance everyone.

PRESS SECRETARY: Okay, folks, that’s it for today.

Anyway, I can’t think of an instance of a Pope withdrawing a document.

And yet, that is precisely what one group, which met recently in Rome, wants Pope Francis to do.

LifeSite reports that attendees of the Voice of the Family conference in Rome wanted Pope Francis to zero-out the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia.

ROME, May 9, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Over 100 pro-life and pro-family leaders from all over the world leapt to their feet in applause at a meeting in Rome on Saturday after hearing a call for Pope Francis to withdraw his controversial exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

At LifeSite are the text of the speech given by John Smeaton of SPUC and addresses people can use to write letters.  A video of Smeaton’s talk is posted.

Look… a lot of those people at that conference were serious people.  There is a growing sector of the Church’s serious people who find problems in Amoris laetitia.   The lack of universal enthusiasm (or at least quiet indifference) and the increasing vocal and written criticism of the problems in the document clearly have shaken some of the usual suspects in the Roman sphere.

Digression: That explains in part, I think, the bitter, peevish, angry comments Fr. Rosica made the other day when he vented his spleen about the Catholic blogosphere, thus doing exactly what he accused others of doing.  But I digress.

Meanwhile, speaking of something that needs to be withdrawn, over at The Catholic Thing, my good friend Fr. Gerald Murray has an essay about Amoris laetitia.  He concludes:

Any approach that would further confuse the sinner by telling him that the Church now has decided that he can be absolved and receive Holy Communion because for various reasons (“mitigating factors”) he is not considered guilty of mortal sin for future acts of adultery is unacceptable – and frankly untruthful.

The shepherd’s duty is to lead the sheep into the good pasture of truth, where God’s grace strengthens the repentant sinner’s resolution to live according to the law God gave us. A “permission slip” to keep committing adultery is a serious failure of pastoral charity by the priest advising someone who is living in sin.

The permission given in footnote 351 of Amoris Laetitia poses a dilemma for the priest/confessor who knows the Church’s constant sacramental discipline, based upon her unchangeable doctrine. The practical solution to the dilemma is to ignore the unwarranted permission.

The greater problem for the Church is that such permission was ever given. It must be withdrawn, for the good of souls.

So, Fr. Murray, too, clearly sees problems in Amoris laetitia. His solution is, also, that something must be withdrawn.  Murray, however, limits himself to the Infamous Footnote™… 351, which contains the imprudent, unjustifiable permission that he discerns within it.

Of course Francis is not going to withdraw Amoris laetitia.  That’s not going to happen.

But that doesn’t mean that nothing can be “withdrawn”, so to speak, from the Exhortation.

Fr. Murray’s request is reasonable and doable and, frankly, not out of the realm of imagining.

My solution: Make necessary changes to Amoris laetitia, such as elimination of, or reworking of, the Infamous Footnote, etc., and then publish the final, official version in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.  And then TELL PEOPLE about the version in the Acta.

This leads me back to something I have pointed out in the past.

The Holy See’s official instrument of promulgation of documents is the publication Acta Apostolicae Sedis… “The Acts of the Apostolic See”.  

Digression: For the last few decades, when an important document is to be issued, there is a presser during which some churchy experts talk about the thing.  Journalists get copies in modern languages a little in advance along with print outs of the dull speeches they must endure listening to before a too brief Q&A dominated especially by Europeans who don’t know how to ask a question without a several minute intro.   So, at the time of the presser, the document is released in various languages.  Some years back, Latin was one of those languages, and then the next day the Latin would be printed in L’Osservatore Romano.    These days?  Latin?  Not so much. The problem today is that documents are not being written in Latin.  They are translated into Latin from whatever language was the original or from the Italian, which itself might have been a translation of the original.  You might not believe this, but it is true.  When the Catechism of the Catholic Church was produced in Latin, it had to be translated from the Italian, which was itself a translation from the original working language French.  Can you imagine what that did to quotations that were originally in Latin or French?  It was a mess.  Eventually staff at the Augustinianum had to clean the whole thing up and correct all the errors in citations.  But I digress.

Between the time that documents are released and the moment that they appear in the Acta changes are often made to them.  The official version of the document is the version in the Acta which nobody bothers to consult.  Newsies and scholars and priests and bishops and students and deaconette wannabes refer to the modern language versions which were released at the time of the initial presser.  Those modern language versions are put on the Vatican website and published in booklet form and sold all over the world.  They are not revised in light of the changes in the Acta version.

Therefore, virtually everyone is quoting a document that isn’t really the official document.

Could it be that the first released version and final official version coincide?  Sure!  But you don’t know that until you look, right?

Again my solution to the problems in Amoris laetitia?  Make the first version a draft of the final version.

Make necessary changes and then publish the final, official version of it in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.

I can imagine the presser on the plane with the Pope:

POPE WITH MICROPHONE: Okay, everyone, listen up!  That document I issued a while back… you know the one… okay, we’ve got some news about that.  We made some changes and the final, official version is being posted on the website as I speak.  It’s also being sent out 140 characters at a time on my Latin Twitter account.  Ha ha!  Gotchya!  I’m here all week.  And be sure to tip your flight attendants.  [barely audible muffled question]  No, John, I don’t write those Tweets, c’mon.  So, it’s… you know… we listened to the people of God and, like… we got some marriage counseling for the Exhortation instead of an annulment.  See what I did there?  Huh?  Yeah?  Anyway, we are asking everyone to just, like, to stop listening to Card. Schönborn and Card. Kasper and just look at the website.  Okay?  You’re going to see some really great changes because you spoke and we listened and because we – unlike Fr. Z – all love Vatican II and that’s what Vatican II really wanted, right?  Thanks in advance everyone.  [barely audible muffled question]  No, John, he’ll never be a Monsignor.  Not on my watch.  And another thing….

PRESS SECRETARY: Okay, folks, that’s it for today.

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45 Responses to My realistic solution to the problems in Amoris laetitia

  1. Charles E Flynn says:

    When products are shown to be defective, they get recalled. It’s what we do.

  2. Joe in Canada says:

    I have decided that if the document is indeed flawed as some say, I will continue with the Catholic faith. And if it is not flawed, I will continue with the Catholic faith. I can live as if it doesn’t exist, until forced to deal with it by a superior in the Church.

  3. Thomistica says:

    Fr. Z, the suggestion of a retraction is a good one. I have to confess, however, to an Old World and weary cynicism that it is going to happen. Things are now too far along.

    The Kasperitists have made dramatic inroads in just two years or so. Consider Chicago under Cupich, Germany, the Philippines …and now consider remarkably audacious statement by San Diego’s Bishop McElroy, who will be holding his own ‘shadow synod’ that replicates the last one: http://www.thesoutherncross.org/main_headline.asp
    Note this *very* telling passage: “the principle of gradualness reaches far beyond the question of marriage to embrace all elements of the Christian moral life, …”

    Wow. The bishop obviously has a *very* ambitious agenda, which merely follows the playbook of AL’s redactors, who selected as their focus Communion for the remarried, fully understanding that this could serve as a Trojan horse for unraveling a whole swath of Catholic moral theology.

    In my view, what is needed now is far more discussion of concrete actions the laity can and should take to stand athwart the current trends. I just don’t see the bishops, with just two or three exceptions, going public with their dissent from AL. Nor do I see any lay organizations really engaged in the hard-hitting, grassroots organizing that it will require to counteract the already highly organized network of people now involved in foisting a clericalist “dictatorship of relativism” on the laity.

    On the table should be options like: a Manhattan Declaration type document that personally commits signees not to support wayward understandings of doctrine and practice in the Church. In addition, a sort of guide (like the Cardinal Newman Society guide for colleges and universities) as to the most sound dioceses in which to live. There should even be discussion about diversion of hard-earned parishioner contributions that enable activities of wayward diocesan activities. Re. the latter, there is no hard and fast rule here. Presumably it would not be appropriate to withhold all of one’s contributions, as the Sacraments administered in any diocese still remain efficacious (… though isn’t one obligated to redo Confession if confronted with a wayward confessor?)

    Someone should create a dynamic youtube showing a world map, with the spreading ideology of Kasperitism. There’s one out there that shows the decline and fall of Rome’s influence that could serve as a model.

  4. Traductora says:

    I agree with Thomistica, that are too far along for such a move to have any effect, even if he “withdrew” it all. Also, the problem is not just with the immediate issue of “remarried” divorced people, but with the moral theology (or lack thereof) that is the basis for the whole document. It is this, more than the specific issue, that has given the Kasperites and people like Bishop McElroy permission to “look at all elements of the Christian (?) moral life” in this new light.

    Sandro Magister has a very good piece in Chiesa today (accompanied by excellent analysis provided by Giovanni Scalese) of the basic – and extremely Hegelian and Marxist – postulates of Bergoglio’s thoughts. Granted, in his documents, Bergoglio expresses them in a confused way, partly because he’s not exactly a great thinker, nor are the authors of his documents, but also because the premises themselves are confused, self-referential and obviously in conflict with Catholic philosophy, theology and doctrine.

  5. Amerikaner says:

    The answer is the Rosary.

    The Pope should re-encourage it’s use with the 100 anniversary of Fatima next year and push all dioceses, etc. to publish & make known the 15 promises attached thereto.

  6. Andrew says:

    The Church’s teaching cannot be irrational. No one is given authority to teach that something is both true and false at the same time. No part of Amoris Laetitia can be interpreted in such a way that it would contradict Familiaris Consortio no. 84

    The language in Amoris Laetitia is vague enough to conclude that it cannot be contradictory to Familiaris Consortio.

  7. Luvadoxi says:

    From an ordinary confused Catholic:

    What about the Orthodox solution–what if the whole marriage issue is about a commandment of the Lord and not an ontological, unchangeable reality?

    Please don’t throw tomatoes! I really am just trying to understand. I mean, the Orthodox can’t be accused of not being liberal dissenters. Just really wondering if a compromise would really be the end of all Catholic truth….

    [This was explained in the Five Cardinals Book™.]

    US HERE
    UK HERE
    ITALYHERE

  8. Luvadoxi says:

    correction: the Orthodox can’t be accused of being liberal dissenters. One too many “nots”. Sorry about that.

  9. Luvadoxi says:

    The Church already recognizes some ways to void a marriage, right–Petrine and Pauline privileges….so why can’t they use the power of the keys, and speak in the name of Christ, in certain circumstances to allow a new start.

    Again–just an ordinary confused Catholic. Please don’t throw stones.

  10. I like this solution. Let’s clean up the Latin before making it official. I doubt that they’ll go that route, though.

  11. SimonR says:

    I’m weary of it all.

    I was attracted to the Catholic Church through John Paul II’s Pontificiate.

    I was enthralled and enthused through Benedict’s Pontificate.

    If Pope Francis was the Pope some years ago, I would never have been drawn to the Church.

    I would have stayed within the waters of evangelical Christianity and not the vague ambiguous faith that Pope Francis teachers.

    I’m sad, weary and exhaused by this Pontificate.

  12. Cradle Catholic says:

    SimonR says: “I’m sad, weary and exhaused by this Pontificate.” I concur -in spades.

  13. I understand that people are frustrated, but don’t lose your cool and don’t be despondent. And… don’t mope and scandalize others.

    We are members of the Body of Christ. We have the Sacraments and clear sources of teaching and authority, even though during this pontificate there is confusion. This is just one little blip in the history of the Church, a parenthesis which one day soon will close.

    Meanwhile, since we are in the Octave of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit – the Consoler, the Advocate – has been give to us!

    Isn’t that wonderful?

  14. ChrisR says:

    I’ve been thinking for some time of organizing a good ole auto-da-fé for the exhortation.
    I wonder if they had marshmallows back then?

  15. Mike says:

    Excellent advice! (By the way, the link to Fr Murray’s piece works but you cited as Crisis, when its at The Catholic Thing.)

  16. CatholicMD says:

    Father I have many of the same feelings as SimonR. As a former Anglican I stil have PTSD. This pontificate’s multiple seeming violations of the law of non-contradiction is eerily familiar.

  17. Matthew Gaul says:

    Re: digression two: Canonically, must the Acta be in Latin?

    Why not leave it in the language in which it was drafted? If quotes are in various languages, that is the typical stuff of cosmopolitan writing anyhow. Mit Brennender Sorge wasn’t in Latin, and the world kept turning. The early popes wrote in Greek, etc.

    The Apostolic See is – or should be – the most cosmopolitan of organizations. It is the capital of the world, truly.

    Arguments from conformism / uniformity or sentimentality do not impress me in this case. So what if experts must translate multiple languages for the masses? Now they have to translate Latin for the masses anyhow. I think leaving documents in the original tongue would be more organic.

    Humbly submitted.

  18. ChrisR says:

    “Book burning” would be a better word, I just realized auto-da-fé has a different meaning in English. My mistake.

  19. kiwiinamerica says:

    Withdraw the document, withdraw the footnote, impound it……whatever. That won’t solve the problem. There’s more trouble coming because the systemic problems which caused the issuing of this deceptive and erroneous document, still remain. The faithless rogues who were responsible for this malarkey are still running loose.

    Let’s all think about this for a moment……a Pope……a Pope, is propagating error and openly contradicting one of his predecessors.

  20. Benedict Joseph says:

    A realistic solution for any of the travails within Roman Catholicism has not been deemed appropriate, desired or welcomed for quite some time — 1961 — because people prefer notions and confections over the Cross.

  21. Pingback: Fr. Z’s answer to Amoris Laetitia: Just Rework Footnote 351 | Biblical False Prophet

  22. iamlucky13 says:

    “The permission given in footnote 351 of Amoris Laetitia”

    But there is no permission given there. Cardinal Muller is right, and Cardinal Schonborn even said the same, at least in basic principle (“there is no general rule…”).

    Some may wish to read it that way, but then they violate the parts of Amoris Laetitia that prefaced the proposal to discuss the matter in the “internal forum” by insisting it be done with a conscience well-formed in the teachings of the Church. Cardinal Burke is correct on that part – Amoris Laetitia has to be read in continuity with the perpetual teachings of the Church.

    That said, correcting via the Act the lack of clarity that allowed the wishful reading is an excellent idea. Given his comments during the in flight press interview about the misguided obsession by others on footnote 351, I could almost see Pope Francis being amenable to the corrections. Yet, I doubt it will happen.

  23. Elizabeth M says:

    The withdrawn document could be disposed of in some sort of fire ceremony? Or do we only burn holy things?
    Could it be printed on water soluble paper and thrown into the Tiber?

  24. Augustine says:

    I wonder what’s happened to the Chair of Peter. Where does papal infallibility lie in these post VII days, with the ghost writers, with the presser expert, with the press secretary, with the Latin translator? It seems that it’s least likely to be found with Francis, since he’s the first to defer to others to clarify what he purportedly penned.

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  26. Cornelius says:

    Andrew- I think the solution to your dilemma is not found in performing logical or semantic backflips to try to reconcile AL with FC, but simply to stop treating AL as though it were Church teaching – which it couldn’t possibly be if it conflicts with not just FC, but what the Church has always taught.

  27. Sofia Guerra says:

    Re: Pope with Microphone >”Presser”

    ?????????????
    Stahhhhhp. I. Just. CAN’T. Process. It.
    Too too funny. Merci, Monsignor!

  28. Sofia Guerra says:

    Sorry the QUESTION MARKS were supposed to be emojis laughing hysterically crying !

  29. Thomistica says:

    Part of the problem these days is lack of concerted *concrete* action by the laity. Prayer, absolutely, but also correlative action is needed.
    I just don’t see much grass-roots organization to resist the Kasperitists. The ratio of rhetoric to action these days among the faithful — consider the vast number of articles commenting on a document that doesn’t begin to deserve the scrutiny it has gotten–is awfully high. There really needs to be far more attention to concrete action.
    The Kasperitists are very well-funded, extremely networked, and quite savvy people. Their day has come, and they know it, and they have to be resisted using their own tactics.
    People like Archbishop Cupich and Bishop McElroy are squarely in the camp of the German wing of the Church. These people have been around for a very long time, but now this pontificate has created a sea change. They used to work in the background, while paying lip service to Catholic doctrine. Now they’re going public with their dissent about the traditional concept of conscience, and the traditional concept that doctrine and pastoral practice are closely intertwined.
    This willingness to go public with their dissident views is a massive sociological change in the Church.
    Faithful Catholics are too nice and don’t think the way they do. But it’s now necessary to work hard to counter the Kasperitists and their many allies in the secular m dia.
    Think Matthew 10:16, in other words.

  30. HealingRose says:

    When the document originally was released, a fellow parishioner (65 yrs old) said something along the lines of how wonderful that the Church was welcoming the divorced back to Communion. With my water-downed formation (I’m thirty years younger), I have since done quite a bit of research about the Church, EF, and Canon Law. In this new light of knowledge, I asked the fellow parishioner again a few days ago to confirm what they meant. I gave them a scenario of a person being divorced and remarried without an annulment, and should that person receive Communion. They responded that it was between that person and God. [Insert long pause.] I then went on about the disrespect for the Holy Eucharist, and I was told I shouldn’t judge others. (It was downhill from there, and the conversation quickly ended.)

    I have a sense that this is probably how most [American] Catholics feel. Most just want to turn a blind eye. So how would withdrawing the document impact these people?

    It is easy to make changes when it is inclusive and feel-good, but when you have to humble yourself and admit wrong, all you get is silence. (So easy to have a feel-good year of mercy, but shouldn’t we have had a challenging year of honest repentance and humility before a year of mercy…)

  31. Dr. Edward Peters says:

    “Of course Francis is not going to withdraw Amoris laetitia. That’s not going to happen.” Numquam dic numquam.

  32. Thomistica says:

    Dr. Peters rightfully suggests numquam dic numquam.
    Keep in mind, however, that a whole lot would have to be corrected in this document. This document’s ambitions go well beyond just one issue. Its drafters intend for it to be a vehicle to introduce a subjectivist understanding of conscience, across the board
    But let’s us suppose, ex hypothesis, that a final version of AL is corrected. All will not yet be well. After all, this document–and public statements by McElroy, Cupich, and their counterparts in Europe and the Philippines and who knows where else–has created a new environment under which, without reprise, people in the hierarchy are now emboldened to make public statements that attempt to rationalize what everyone knows has been going on “subvertly” under their watch for decades. As such, this willingness to go public with wayward and dissenting views about things long settled in the Church is a very important sociological marker of how far things have gone.
    So in my view it’s not at all the case that if this document is corrected in its final version, there is reason to celebrate. Once again, the current version of AL should be a wake-up call that encourages a far more activist, street-level attempt to counter the Kasperites and the Bologna School types. The latter understand organization, networking, social media, and the manipulation of the press. They dominate academia. In sum, they are currently far more effective than their counterparts in the magisterially faithful world.
    This papacy too will pass. But the sea-change that it has precipitated could be exploited by these people in the next conclave. This possibility should be the main point of concern now, and why time is running out for more by way of organized resistance, and less by way of more articles and conference that speak to the choir.

  33. robtbrown says:

    Thomistica says,

    Its drafters intend for it to be a vehicle to introduce a subjectivist understanding of conscience, across the board.

    How can conscience be anything but subjective?

    AL has very little to do with Walter Kasper. Karl Rahner, however, is another matter.

    BTW Abp Cupich and Bp McElroy were both educated by Jesuits.

  34. chantgirl says:

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/lets-be-clear-amoris-laetitia-does-not-and-also-does-open-the-door-to-commu

    This post gets to the heart of the matter.

    Footnote 351 is not the only problem in AL. If the exhortation is the summary of discussion and conclusions of the two synods, we have a split-personality hierarchy. If the document is not serving to confirm the brethren, it needs to be withdrawn- by this pope or a future pope.

  35. Thomistica says:

    “How can conscience be anything but subjective?”
    Distinguo:
    –a concept of conscience unmoored by reference to the objective natural law, versus
    –a concept of conscience so moored, in which the individual has an obligation to form conscience properly, that is, in light of the natural law.

  36. Thomistica says:

    “AL has very little to do with Walter Kasper.”
    I’ll let you take up the issue with this author:

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/amoris-laetitia-the-key-to-the-francis-pontificate

    “The controversial sections of Amoris Laetitia begin at article 300 with the headline “Mitigating Factors in Pastoral Discernment.” It is impossible to provide a full commentary here on all of the pope’s arguments presented in the second half of Chapter Eight. There are those, such as George Weigel, who believe that AL did not employ the “Kasper Proposal”—that of German Cardinal Walter Kasper who argued that under certain conditions Holy Communion may be given to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, since AL does not explicitly teach that those in irregular unions may fully participate in the Eucharist. However, Chapter Eight is completely dominated by a moral theology that rests on the primacy of conscience as the ultimate arbiter of whether a person is subjectively culpable for serious sin. It is indeed this very Kasparian reliance on the “internal forum” that can permit the Church (after discernment by a priest in particular cases) to offer Holy Communion to those in irregular unions. The point being that, those who sincerely believe they are not committing serious sin, then before God they are not culpable for sin, God thus does not count it as sin against them—and in this way such persons may receive Holy Communion.”

  37. Thomistica says:

    Attn.: robtbrown
    Re. Kasper, see

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/amoris-laetitia-the-key-to-the-francis-pontificate

    “The controversial sections of Amoris Laetitia begin at article 300 with the headline “Mitigating Factors in Pastoral Discernment.” It is impossible to provide a full commentary here on all of the pope’s arguments presented in the second half of Chapter Eight. There are those, such as George Weigel, who believe that AL did not employ the “Kasper Proposal”—that of German Cardinal Walter Kasper who argued that under certain conditions Holy Communion may be given to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, since AL does not explicitly teach that those in irregular unions may fully participate in the Eucharist. However, Chapter Eight is completely dominated by a moral theology that rests on the primacy of conscience as the ultimate arbiter of whether a person is subjectively culpable for serious sin. It is indeed this very Kasparian reliance on the “internal forum” that can permit the Church (after discernment by a priest in particular cases) to offer Holy Communion to those in irregular unions. The point being that, those who sincerely believe they are not committing serious sin, then before God they are not culpable for sin, God thus does not count it as sin against them—and in this way such persons may receive Holy Communion.”

  38. Giuseppe says:

    Robtbrown,

    Bishop Morlino, the extraordinary ordinary, was also educated by the Jesuits, in his case at Scranton Preparatory School and Fordham University.

  39. robtbrown says:

    Thomistica says:

    “How can conscience be anything but subjective?”
    Distinguo:
    –a concept of conscience unmoored by reference to the objective natural law, versus
    –a concept of conscience so moored, in which the individual has an obligation to form conscience properly, that is, in light of the natural law.

    In so far as your moniker refers to St Thomas, let us employ his understanding of the matter: Conscience is the act by which what someone considers to be moral principles are applied to particular circumstances. This opposes certain other Medieval theologians, beginning with Alexander of Hales, who considered Conscience to be either a faculty or an act.

    Obviously, the possibility of erroneous Conscience exists either from ignorance of moral principles (vincible or invincible) or from true moral principles incorrectly applied (also with the obvious possibility of culpability).

    An act of conscience is therefore subjective, just as thinking is subjective, whether or not what is thought corresponds to reality, i.e. true (adaequatio mentis ad rem). The act of knowing is an act of a subject, whether or not the knowledge is actually objectively true.

  40. robtbrown says:

    Thomistica,

    I’ll try to deal with your other comments later. Right now, I need to run some errands.

  41. robtbrown says:

    Should be: . . . who considered Conscience to be either a faculty or a habit.

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  43. robtbrown says:

    Thomistica,

    1. It is always the person who accuses himself of culpability. Culpability, however, is not what is at stake in this matter. The situation here concerns those who are objectively in bad second marriages, not their culpability. It is possible that there are people whose first marriages were invalid but never received an annulment. No pastor, confessor, or spiritual advisor, however, can assume that such a first marriage was not valid. Further, and perhaps more important, none of the three can approach it with neutrality: There can never be a presumption that it is as likely the marriage was invalid as it was that the marriage was valid. Marriage enjoys the favor of law. A marriage tribunal does not exist to prove that a marriage was valid.

    2. I don’t deny the theological problems with method that AI seems to tolerate. I do, however, deny that Kasper is the source. If you want to find the source, look at jesuits Rahner, Fuchs, and Glaser, whose theology can be understood as at least permitting thesubstitution of moral ideals for moral principles. The latter are prescriptions and proscriptions for moral human behavior. On the other hand, the former posit unreachable exemplars, which undermine the distinction between grave and light matter.

  44. JesusFreak84 says:

    The release of AL at the same time as the SSPX seems so close to regularization is what’s so puzzling to me; surely no one actually thinks Society priests would give the Eucharist to known public adulterers…?

  45. cl00bie says:

    And the official release should be in Latin.