The Insidious Footnote Saga continues: Fn. 329

I’ve been traveling and – frankly – backing off from the blog in order to have an actual vacation (NB: vacation, not rest).

However, one of my Roman correspondents has again done yeoman’s work on a SUPER IMPORTANT point about Amoris laetitia, Pope Francis’ Post-Synodal Exhortation which continues to produce theological and disciplinary hairballs.

I have written before about a deeply disturbing misuse of Gaudium et spes in a footnote, 329.   BUT … ad perpetuam rei memoriam….

Remember everyone: I suggest that the Powers That Be correct AL in the version to appear in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis.  Unless, of course, they intend these problems because they wanted them in the first place.

So here is some analysis:

Michael Pakaluk of Ave Maria University has published a piece at First Things, attacking another footnote in the infamous Chapter 8. You’ll remember the ink that has been spilt, notably by Cardinal Mueller, rolling back the erroneous interpretation of Footnote 351 offered by, among others Fr. Antonio Spadaro, SJ, and Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn, both of whom maintain that the footnote opens a path toward admission of CDR’s [civilly divorced and remarries] to Holy Communion without their living “as brother and sister”.

Pakaluk finds another serious error in Footnote 329, which I copy for you below in the translation that Pakaluk employs:

“In [second marriages], many people, knowing and accepting the possibility of living “as brothers and sisters” which the Church offers them, point out that if certain expressions of intimacy [i.e. sexual intercourse] are lacking, “it often happens that faithfulness is endangered and the good of the children suffers” (cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 51).”

The argument implied in this footnote, is that for the good of their “marriage”, the partners in a civil marriage following a civil divorce ought to be permitted to enjoy sexual intercourse despite the fact that is is prohibited by current Church teaching as expressed in Familiaris Consortio, 84, and in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, among other Magisterial documents. In support of this view, the footnote references a Vatican II document (cue celestial music!). For the sake of comparison, I copy below the pertinent section of the Second Vatican Council document Gaudium et Spes, 51, (= GS 51) that is referenced in the footnote: 

“51. This council realizes that certain modern conditions often keep couples from arranging their married lives harmoniously, and that they find themselves in circumstances where at least temporarily the size of their families should not be increased. As a result, the faithful exercise of love and the full intimacy of their lives is hard to maintain. But where the intimacy of married life is broken off, its faithfulness can sometimes be imperiled and its quality of fruitfulness ruined, for then the upbringing of the children and the courage to accept new ones are both endangered.”
Pakaluk shows that AL intentionally twists the meaning of GS 51, out of context. AL footnote 329 is talking about sexual intimacy in second “marriages” — i.e., civil marriages follwing civil divorce which are invalid; GS 51 is talking about sexual intimacy in valid, sacramental marriages. Hence, GS 51 cannot be used as an authority in order to trump the prohibition of sexual intercourse between CDR’s mandated by St. John Paul II at Familiaris Consortio, 84.

What is most insidious about Footnote 329 is the callous way it tries to use the “good of the children” and “faithfulness between partners” in order to cover up the adultery (there, I said it!) that the footnote seeks to justify. Anyone can understand exactly what GS 51 is talking about, and what it is not talking about.

Anyone, that is, who tries to read the document with rhe Church. The peoblem is that it seems to contradict the Church’s teaching in some serious matters.

No one is serves by silence about this.

The only way to work through it is to work through it.

If you choose to try to commnent, think before posting. Think and weigh before posting.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. WaywardSailor says:

    “You’ll remember the ink that has been spilt, notably by Cardinal Mueller, rolling back the erroneous interpretation of Footnote 351 offered by, among others . . . Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn . . .” And yet, Sandro Magister’s latest revelation is that the Holy Father has come right out and said that +Schönborn’s interpretation is the correct one with regard to FN 351. Should we expect differently with FN 329?

    Oremus pro Pontifice . . .

  2. Titus says:

    I cannot tell whether the footnote is better or worse than the Analyst makes it out. Read carefully, it is better. The “signal” that introduces the citation to G.S. 51 is “cf.” As all we careful readers know, “cf.” means “compare,” and is used when introducing a citation that has a related point, but that does not stand entirely for the stated proposition.

    Here, the citation, introduced by that signal, is not inappropriate. G.S. 51 is fairly citable for the proposition that abstinence within an otherwise sexual relationship can be a near occasion of sexual sin outside the relationship. In this context, a “cf.” signal is appropriate for that citation. Thus, on careful reading, the statement is not necessarily problematic.

    But, like so much else, the A.L. paragraph is not unambiguous. It is constructed in such a manner so as to suggest, at least to the lazy reader, that G.S. is being cited for more than it can fairly be cited. And even if the reader does not get the impression that G.S. is being so cited, the A.L. paragraph’s use of the weasely expression “faithfulness is endangered” in connection with “good of the children” has precisely the effect the Analyst assigns to it. May the saints preserve us from vague expressions.

  3. juergensen says:

    All I know is that God is not the author of confusion (1 Cor. 14:33).

  4. Augustine says:

    Before my wife had her previous marriage annulled, we struggled to follow what the Church teaches. Through it all, and for about a year, we did get to experiment joy (gaudium) and hope (spes) in our efforts. Indeed, we missed the joys of sex (amoris laeticiae?), but only for a while. Still, it was worth it, for there’s a blessing in obedience to God.

    PS where’s the comment preview button in the mobile version?

  5. anilwang says:

    WaywardSailor says: “Holy Father has come right out and said that +Schönborn’s interpretation is the correct one with regard to FN 351. “

    It would be more accurate to say, Pope Francis said, “I don’t remember the footnote but if you want the correct interpretation of AL, go see Cardinal Schönborn writings”. At the time of the comment, Cardinal Schönborn wrote a lot of things so it was unclear what Pope Francis was getting at.

    You may very well be right about Pope Francis’ intentions, but his comments haven’t yet it that explicit. Pope Francis is extremely slippery.

    Welcome to the Pope Francis papacy, where ambiguity, off the cuff comments on planes, obscure questions in footnotes, interviews with atheists who don’t take notes but publish “the gist of what was meant”, veiled vituperative rebukes of anyone Pope Francis doesn’t understand or care to investigate if they have valid Godly reasons, off the cuff “inspiration of the Holy Spirit” (or whatever “spirit” he was drinking that day), and interpretations from liberal Cardinals carry more weight than previous Encyclicals, the Catechism, the CDF, and the constant teaching of 2000 years of Catholicism combined.

  6. FXR2 says:

    Fr Z.,
    To my anguish I think this article speaks clearly of Amoris Laetitia.

    Please remember me in your prayers. I will pray for you and all priests.

  7. surritter says:

    For crying out loud, this stuff is from first-semester Moral Theology: we can never do anything intrinsically wrong, even if it is to bring about a good effect.
    So the implication taken from this footnote is impossible, if one wishes to still abide by Church teaching.
    Papa Francis, PLEASE speak up and clarify these issues for your flock!

  8. jhayes says:

    The Pakaluk article was published in First Things. I posted over there to suggest that he had overlooked tne second half of the sentence, which makes clear that “bonum prolis” includes “educatio liberorum” not just “fortis animus ad prolem ulteriorem”

    Professor Pakaluk, I wonder if you have overlooked the second half of the sentence, which makes clear that the issue is the “upbringing of the children” as well as “the courage to accept new ones”.

    Ubi autem intima vita coniugalis abrumpitur, bonum fidei non raro in discrimen vocari et bonum prolis pessumdari possunt: tunc enim educatio liberorum necnon fortis animus ad prolem ulteriorem suscipiendam periclitantur.

    But where the intimacy of married life is broken off, its faithfulness can sometimes be imperiled and its quality of fruitfulness ruined, for then the upbringing of the children and the courage to accept new ones are both endangered.

    I suppose the editor could be criticized for using quotation marks without diereses – i.e

    “But where the intimacy of married life is broken off, its faithfulness can sometimes be imperiled and…the upbringing of the children…endangered”

    Which is the substance of what the AL footnote says.

    [Nice try.]

  9. LarryW2LJ says:

    “By their hairballs you shall know them.”

    As a layman, I must congratulate you, Fr. Z and all the faithful clergy. You bear an awesome responsibility – one that I doubt I could shoulder. You are not only responsible for your own souls, but for those of your flock. As a husband and a father, it’s tough enough trying to keep my family true and faithful in this day and age when the world has turned upside down. I can’t imagine being responsible for countless numbers of souls and for having to answer for them some day.

    I have no doubt that the faithful clergy will be greeted one day with the words, “Well done, My good and faithful servant.” (Words I so desperately hope to hear myself, some day) I would not want to be anywhere near those who will have to answer to our Lord for leading souls away from Him, no matter what the intent.

    Not sure if this applies, but here’s something I found on the Web the other day that I have taken a great liking to – it seems so appropriate for this day and age.

    “Doesn’t matter what the press says.
    Doesn’t matter what the politicians or the mob says.
    Doesn’t matter if the whole country decides that something wrong is something right.

    This nation was founded on one principle above all else.
    The requirement that we stand up for what we believe, no matter the odds or the consequences.
    When the mob and the press and the whole world tell you to move, your job is to plant yourself like a tree beside the River of Truth, and tell the whole world:

    NO. You move!”

  10. The Masked Chicken says:

    “In [second marriages], many people, knowing and accepting the possibility of living “as brothers and sisters” which the Church offers them, point out that if certain expressions of intimacy [i.e. sexual intercourse] are lacking, “it often happens that faithfulness is endangered and the good of the children suffers” (cf. SECOND VATICAN ECUMENICAL COUNCIL, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 51).”

    This, boys and girls, is called an incoherent sentence, because not having sexual intercourse in second marriages is the way to encourage faithfulness. Having sexual intercourse in a second marriage without an annulment is, in fact, being extremely unfaithful to the first, presumptively valid marriage. The first sentence doesn’t even make sense. Apparently, they accept the Church’s teaching of living as brother and sister, but they don’t accept it – apparently, being faithful harms one’s faithfulness, apparently, sinning causes one to not sin!

    Oh, I see, they were quoting Oscar Wilde, not Gaudium et Spes:

    “The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself.”

    Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

    The Chicken

  11. amenamen says:

    The point of GS 51, regarding abstinence and marital chastity, is obviously taken from 1 Corinthians 7:5, (cited in a footnote in GS 50), “Do not deprive each other, except perhaps by mutual consent for a time, to be free for prayer, but then return to one another, so that Satan may not tempt you through your lack of self-control.” This advice applies only within the context of a valid marriage. In an adulterous union, it would sound really bizarre … ‘for a time, to be free for prayer…’

    The rest of GS 51 refers to the teaching of Pius XI in Casti Conubii, regarding the evils of contraception and abortion. Should those who live in an adulterous union use contraception or abortion? No. Of course not. Contraception would be a grave sin, and abortion and infanticide are unspeakable crimes. And those in adulterous unions should avoid committing grave sins.

    Then, some nitpicking:

    1. How often is (marital) faithfulness endangered by abstinence?
    “non raro” (a double negative in Latin, ‘not rarely’)
    translated by the Vatican into English as “sometimes” in GS 51 , or “often” in AL n. 329

    2. What does too much abstinence do to the bonum prolis (of a valid marriage)?
    “and its quality of fruitfulness (bonum prolis) is ‘ruined’ (pessumdari), GS 51

    The English translation of AL n. 329 says: and the good of children “suffers’

    3. What does the bonum prolis (of marriage) include?
    AL n. 329 omits two additional phrases from GS 51 that expand upon ‘the ruin of the good of children’:
    – the upbringing of the children (educatio liberorum) …
    – and the courage (fortis animus) to accept new offspring (prolem ulteriorem) are both endangered

    So, for those in an adulterous union, too much abstinence endangers their ability to ‘educate’ their children in the Catholic faith? Well … let’s think about that.
    And it endangers their “courage” to accept new offspring? Well, yes.

  12. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    I sense a deliberate attempt (although I’m not sure who is deliberately attempting) to manipulate language so as to silence opposition. If we reject the obviously flawed logic in AL, we must be rejecting the Second Vatican Council, which AL quotes. It is roughly akin to the idea that if we reject the “pro-choice” argument, that’s because we think women are not moral agents, able to choose for themselves (and the follow-on laundry list).

    I don’t want to see a linkage, but surely there is one. Cardinal Mueller tells the Society of St. Pius X that it must accept the Second Vatican Council, and AL quotes said council to support its (various adjectives removed by poster) position. More than ever we need clarity of thought and speech, and yet His Holiness seems both unwilling and unable to speak with such clarity. Is this what Our Lady meant when she said that the Holy Father would have much to suffer?

  13. The Bear can resist anything except temptation. Partial and out-of-context quotes is a standard tactic. That’s why you can never trust any quote without looking it up yourself. Whole doctrines have been built on the back of one, poor, out-of-context quote.

  14. Hidden One says:

    So often the saga of Amoris Laetitia has reminded me to pray for seminarians. I am just waiting to hear and read reports of this document being used against orthodox seminarians.

  15. Deo volente says:

    Monday Vatican had this to say:

    Grygiel makes accuses forcefully: “Some of our shepherds or ‘archshepherds’, trying not to make Moses’ same mistake openly, and at the same time trying not to expose themselves to the criticism of being ‘hard of heart,’ assure everyone that the indissolubility of marriage is beyond discussion.” On the other hand, they claim that “the pragmatic rationale concerning failed marriages pivots on the word ‘but’, as this will permit them to construct a casuistry through which they can justify adultery.”

    Grygiel clearly speaks of a “yes, but” casuistry, that “does not take into consideration the conscience of the human being together with its inclination to evil.” This is the reason why, Grygiel explains, “if things keep on going this way, it is to be expected that chaos will follow shortly.”

    This is one of the risks incurred when applying the concept of a critical mass instead of carrying forward a diplomacy based on truth.

    This is also the today Church’s dilemma. The Church is apparently suspended between the concept of truth and a casuistry that Pope Francis always says he does not want.

    At the moment, what is perceived is that the defenders of pastoral praxis are more visible than the defenders of doctrine, that fluid diplomacy based on the pursuit of concrete goals is more present than the diplomacy of truth, that the gesture becomes the message, as Pope Francis said during his meeting with the Grand Imam of al-Azhar.

    Is this enough to solve the Church’s dilemma, which is also the current pontificate’s dilemma? Probably not.

    In the end, the Pope Francis’ ecclesial dilemma lies entirely in this primacy of conscience that helps professionals in casuistry more than people of faith. A casuistry as cold as a sociological analysis – and in fact, the papers of the so-called “progressive” theologians barely mention the joy of faith. How Pope Francis will solve the dilemma is yet to be seen. Certainly, the fact that he can count on a hidden advisor like Benedict, who lives in contemplation and close to him, does not undermine the authority of his pontificate. It rather supports it.

    MondayVatican (Andrea Gagliarducci): Pope Francis’ dilemma is the dilemma of Today’s Church

  16. ConstantlyConverting says:

    As a child of a valid, although hotly contested for tens of years, marriage, with siblings from an illicit union, I can witness to the fact that it is an absolute falsehood that it is for the good of any child to be living in either open adultery or pretendsies brother and sister arrangements.

    I left the church for over 15 years – Confessions of St Augustine style- over the tacit acceptance of no holds barred communion. It didn’t seem to provide any evidence as to the believability of the Real Presence or even in its own statues or scriptures. Further undermining the bible/canon law will only cause more destruction.

    But from a typological viewpoint Israel was decimated before Jesus came, so at the very least it will have to get worse before it gets better anyhow. As with the Maccabees and the two righteous kings, the only answer is orthodox liturgical worship.

  17. Ann Malley says:

    This insidious twisting for the sake of appeasement is nothing new. Zero.

    It is standard fare, folks. Just look at the ridiculous double speak that has Catholics fearing that it is hateful to evangelize the Jews. As if preaching the Messiah (in the same way St. Peter did on the first Pentecost) is some high hate crime, one that denies the malignant dual salvation theory concocted to overcome the uncomfortable reality that all salvation comes through Jesus Christ. Same goes for the pretense about Islam. (Those who practice Islam may be seeking the same God, but the exercise of false religion as set down by a book that contradicts the gospels is anathema. Pretending otherwise is listening to Peter and just skipping out on going to Jerusalem. A suggestion that got Peter called Satan.)

    But hey, nobody wants to be considered anti-Semitic. So the, don’t mention or pray for the conversion of the Jews slid right by because it was too uncomfortable to confront. Same thing goes for pretending that we should just encourage Muslims to be good Muslims. To do so is to invite the destruction of our own Christian brothers and sisters. Hello.

    Now, however, it’s the integrity of OUR marriages that is being messed with. Now folks who would otherwise tut tut at those so-called trouble makers who rightfully seek clear doctrine sans ambiguity are getting a taste of the mud in their waters. Not so clear and not very palatable. It seems that pesky devil in the business suit has finally let his tail peek out of his pants. And many a prelate are happy to go along because they’ve got lots of stuff hidden beneath the robes of office. A tail is a no big deal. Pshaw.

    So statements like, “Anyone, that is, who tries to read the document with the Church. The problem is that it seems to contradict the Church’s teaching in some serious matters. No one is serves by silence about this,” an absolutely, Heck Yeah!

    I’ll give a two thumbs up for the ‘NO ONE IS SERVED BY SILENCE ABOUT THIS’ only going back a lot further than this latest mystery meat offering. We’ve been chawing on the gray gunk for far too long. And the logic of not only wanting but needing clear teaching that doesn’t present a monster magisterium that eats its own head is long overdue. But too many have been bred to believe that gray gunk is the only food in town, cooking the real stuff is too elitist, difficult, time consuming, etc.

    We can’t come to the banquet. And besides, that funky head eating manifestation is durned funny to watch. Why be a killjoy and make the entertainment stop. The crowds love it!

  18. Ann Malley says:

    …and what to do for the benefit of the “poor children” should husband or wife become incapable of the sexual act directed toward marriage? Are we, for the good of the little ones, to call in a sexual surrogate (a prostitute) to alleviate that tension that is no doubt going to result from having to sacrifice and do without?

    Come on, people. We’re all well enough in leaving off sugar if we discover that we’re severely diabetic and could die for indulging our sweetie must-have. But the sex, good grief, gotta have it because if you don’t then you’ll be tempted to commit adultery and hurt the children.

    Kind of goes back to Adam blaming God for giving him the woman. I mean, God gave mankind his/her sex drive, so I suppose it’s all God’s fault for setting us up to harm our children if we cannot learn to contain ourselves.

    Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat.

  19. J.M.C. says:

    When I first read this footnote, my impression was that +Francis was simply calling attention to the fact that virtue can at times be costly. I.e., that for some people, striving for chastity might come at the “price” of a certain degree of domestic tranquility.

    I don’t think +Francis was therefore saying that this price isn’t worth paying (because of course it is!), but was only pointing this out in order to help pastors to be more sensitive to the real pain some repentant people might experience as they seek to reconcile with the Church.

  20. Orphrey says:

    I want to be very careful how I write this so as not to cast any stones. I have an honest question.

    In the context of Amoris Laetitia, I have been pondering this quotation from Matthew 19:6-8: “Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder. They say to him: Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorce, and to put away? He saith to them: Because Moses by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.”

    My question is: if Moses allowed “irregular unions” due to the “hardness of your heart,” could that mean that today’s liberal stand with regard to divorce and the sacraments reflects hardness of heart (even if its proponents are well-intentioned)? Those pushing for Communion for the divorced and remarried often frame their position in terms of “mercy” and “love” and “compassion” and “accompaniment” and “inclusion” and other nice terms, but could it be that their position really comes from hardness of heart? They often characterize those who take our Lord’s words literally — e.g. that it is adultery to get divorced and take a new partner — as legalistic, pharasitical, rigorist, judgmental, unkind, exclusionary, etc. — but could it be just the opposite, that those who act out of “mercy” are actually the ones who are hard of heart?

    (I have not studied theology, so I don’t even know exactly what “hardness of heart” means in this context.)

  21. JabbaPapa says:

    I spotted this myself — the most literal meaning though is that “moral suffering results from adultery, and adultery begets adultery”.

  22. Thomistica says:

    Perhaps readers saw this:

    “Archbishop Chaput Clarifies Role of US Bishops’ ‘Amoris Laetitia’ Committee”
    “Our goal is to gather what the bishops of the U.S.A. are doing and share that information with the other bishops, and then also send a report to Cardinal [Lorenzo] Baldisseri, who has asked for reports from the various conferences.”

    Would that this report be made public. Already evidence is mounting of the deleterious impact of Amoris Laetitia, but this report might synthesize the data in a comprehensive way. **Personally I think the Vatican is looking for evidence that AL is having an impact — as justification *not* for changing AL but to publicly promote it.** Call me cynical! But some of us, who have been watching trends in the Church for decades, weren’t born yesterday.

    Re. the spreading influence of the Kasperitist ideology, I haven’t yet seen any op-ed pieces in the Catholic news media generally about San Diego Bishop McElroy’s ‘diocesan synod’. It sounds like an ambitious effort to extend AL’s view of conscience to moral theology, across the board. At least that’s certainly what his announcement suggests. So: now, just in the U.S., Chaput and McElroy are two bishops entirely on board with AL’s spin on conscience. More are bound to go public.

    Communion for the remarried is just a red herring. The Kaspertists have a much larger agenda for which AL’s material about communion for the remarried is merely a Trojan horse. Personally I’m growing tired of the endless exegesis of a document that doesn’t begin to deserve the attention of so many gifted writers. That moment has to wrap up, and the next moment begin: discussion of concrete actions by the laity.

  23. Peter Stuart says:

    The Apostolic Exhortation seems to have contributed not a whit to our understanding of marriage, but it sure has contributed a boatload of misunderstanding and contention.

    As an exasperated SSA Catholic struggling to be faithful, I don’t know what it takes to get voices like mine heard, and at this point I don’t much care. You’ve done your damage, liberals. Take a bow. And a curtain call.

  24. Father Bartoloma says:

    Clear as mud.

  25. iamlucky13 says:

    I mentioned before that not only is it out of context, but the official English translation of Gaudium et Spes is different from how the quote was rendered in the English translation of the draft of Amoris Laetitia. The proper quote plainly discusses married life with no indication of applying to irregular situations, and periodic abstinence if appropriate for just reasons (eg – natural family planning).

    That said, Amoris Laetitia 298 and the accompanying footnote 329 most certainly can (or rather, must) be read in full accord with the perennial teachings of the Church. Read critically. The passage is ordered as follows:

    1) Some of those in irregular situations do not feel it is possible to separate.

    2) The Church recognizes some situations exist (some, not all – this leads to #5 below) where these conditions are serious enough to warrant living together as brother and sister.

    3) “Many people point out” that this is difficult and can endanger fidelity and care for children. Note the word choice here. Despite being phrased in the wording of Gaudium et Spes, the point is presented as a chorus of individual objections (“many people point out”), not a relevant conclusion of the Church in Gaudium et Spes, or even of Pope Francis as an individual, who otherwise speaks abundantly in the first person in Amoris Laetitia. This footnote only highlights a factor that makes the solution offered by Familiaris Consortio 84 difficult. It does not reject Familiaris Consortio.

    4) Several examples are listed of difficult situations.

    5.) Pastors are advised to discern situations carefully (Discern to what end? See #2 above).

    6) The passage closes by noting, “We know that no ‘easy recipes’ exist.” Giving in to the desire for intimacy in a situation where doing so violates the solemn oath of one’s real marriage would clearly be quite easy, but Pope Francis (in contrast with #3, here he writes in plural first person, seeming to signify a general understanding of the Church) tells us that what is easy is not a solution.

    The concern still remains that the confusing verbosity of passages like this may have been intentional. But the solution to confusion is to read more carefully, not to assume the first interpretation that appeals to the reader. Read exegetically along with the references, the extensive quoting of Familiaris Consortio 84 makes it clear that the prior exhortation is an essential source for understanding Amoris Laetitia, making it absurd to treat gaps in the quotations as nullifying them. There is no attempt made whatsoever to say, “This part of Familiaris Consortio is right, but that part is wrong.”

    So let’s focus on what Amoris Laetitia really says, instead of falling into the trap laid by those who would undermine fidelity to marriage, who are trying to draw faithful Catholics into a flawed reading of the exhortation to not only further their agenda, but also to drive division between the faithful and the Pope and falsely portray the faithful as being the dissenters . The Reporter, for example, started this strategy before Amoris Laetitia was even published.

  26. Thomistica says:


    In the posting above, instead of the referencing Chaput in the sentence immediately below, I meant to say Archbishop Cupich of Chicago! Major difference!

    “So: now, just in the U.S., Chaput and McElroy are two bishops entirely on board with AL’s spin on conscience. More are bound to go public.”

  27. Jim in Seattle says:

    1P5 noted this very concern last month with this clear analysis of the slide from Casti Connubii to Amoris Laetitia.

    Amoris Laetitia must be withdrawn and re-written or (better) scrapped.

  28. RafqasRoad says:

    Dear Peter Stewart,

    Know that you are loved and prayed for concerning the cross that you bear and your fidelity to Holy Mother Church and her teachings (regardless of the antics perpetrated by some of her leadership). Take heart and be of good courage for your walk of faith alone is a witness to Christ’s truth. Run the course, fight the good fight and stay the course as St. Paul states, not merely to receive a material crown that will wither and fade, but that which is imperishable and eternal. Our Lord, Our Lady, the court of the Saints, Holy Angels and Archangels are by your side. May Our Lady of Good Success intercede for you.

    Thank you for being a quiet yet brilliant source of light in a world of darkness.

  29. Charles E Flynn says:

    From: “Amoris laetitia”, conscience, and discernment, by Fr. George Woodall, for The Catholic World Report:

    Pope Francis stated that the synod on the family of 2014-2015 was not intending to change doctrine, but only to examine matters of pastoral discipline. It must be accepted that he did not ‘change’ doctrine; hence, previous teaching remains fully in force. While pastoral discipline is not doctrine directly as such, it must express and be based upon doctrine; it must never undermine it. Thus, were a Pope to claim to introduce merely a new discipline, if that discipline appeared to contradict or to call into question the teaching of Jesus on the indissolubility of marriage, that of St. Paul that adultery excludes from the kingdom of God or the Church’s constant doctrine and practice that those intending to return to live in a state gravely at odds with those teachings cannot be absolved or receive communion, that Pope would be under a grave moral obligation to explain clearly to the faithful how, in his view, such a disciplinary change did not in fact do that.

  30. Nicolas Bellord says:

    Titus: I have always understood that ‘cf’ means ‘confer’ not ‘compare’ i.e. that this is evidence to support an assertion.

  31. Kerry says:

    Rafqas Road, your warm words to Peter Stewart, Amen. Peter, “Hold fast”!

  32. DonL says:

    “Communion for the remarried is just a red herring…”

    As my favorite priest often remarked, “Satan seeks to attack the priesthood and the Eucharist.”
    This entire issue, left simplistically to “conscience” and pastoral consultation, not only encourages sacrilege, but places the priest in a position of risking complicity with the sinner, while the sacrament of Reconciliation can easily become under minded.
    I believe, the Sacraments are the target, for they are the weapons Christ left to His church here on earth.
    When I hear from Rome that seeking to know and love “doctrine ” is not a good thing, I recall Christ’s answer to Pilate’s question; why did you come here?” “I came to bring the truth.”

  33. un-ionized says:

    cf means compare in English.

  34. dochm13 says:

    Finally people are coming around to footnote 329. I screamed out at me immediately, and I wrote about it two days after AL was published HERE:

  35. dochm13 says:

    “Now back to footnote 329, the second part, which references GS51. Go back and look at the footnote. +Francis is moaning that, while of course the living as brother and sister option is always available, that idea is just so cruel and unmerciful, we must find a way around it for the sake of the children. Then he quotes GS 51 to support the argument.

    Except guess what. GS51 is talking about PEOPLE WHO ARE REALLY MARRIED. First marriages. Not divorced and remarried. Furthermore, the topic at hand in GS is the licitness of refraining from full intimacy for the sake of spacing of children, which is WHOLLY DIFFERENT from the topic we are dealing with in AL.”

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