Wherein Pope Francis and Card. Burke agree about ‘Amoris laetitia’

time is greater than spaceCard. Schoenborn gave an interview about Amoris laetitia to Antonio Spadaro, SJ an excerpt of which is in Civiltà Cattolica.  Almost before the excerpt was released MS Winters at the National Sodomitic Reporter issued a 1500 word fatwah proclaiming Schoenborn’s infallibility, while also taking pot shots at Card. Burke (of course) and Archbp. Chaput.

Most of what Winters wrote (and, darn, he can write fast – its almost as if he wrote it before it was released) – is of little interest.

But there is something that must be addressed immediately.

Pace MS Winters, Fr. Spadaro, SJ and Card. Schönborn, there really is a dispute about the magisterial authority of Amoris laetitia.

Liberals like Card. Schönborn simply assert that “of course it is magisterial!” However, if you read Schönborn closely (and he really should know better than to argue the way he did, which wasn’t really an argument at all) you will not find any explanations to back up his claims.

There is an adage, “Gratis asseritur, gratis negatur“. Something that someone simply asserts without proofs, can simply be denied by others.

Consider this. Francis himself sets aside the concept of magisterial teaching in Amoris laetitia in the THIRD PARAGRAPH. Allow me to quote it for you:

3. Since “time is greater than space”, I would make it clear that not all discussions of doctrinal, moral or pastoral issues need to be settled by interventions of the magisterium. [Did you get that? If not, go back to the beginning and read it again.] Unity of teaching and practice is certainly necessary in the Church, but this does not preclude various ways of interpreting some aspects of that teaching or drawing certain consequences from it.

Nota bene: This is the only reference to “magisterium” in all of Amoris laetitia. Did you get that, too? Because “time is greater than space”, he sets aside the concept of magisterium in the THIRD PARAGRAPH.

This is what has led some to conclude that Francis is not invoking his magisterial authority.

It was Card. Burke who first pointed out this pesky, stubborn FACT, by the way.

“But Father! But Father!”, some of you liberals, lefties and “questioning” will blurt, “If what you say is true, then neither is Familiaris consortio magisterial! Neither is Sacramentum caritatis! But you can’t see that because you hate Vatican II!”

To which I respond, neither John Paul II nor Benedict XVI said anything in their Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortations to distance their documents from their ordinary magisterium.

Benedict XVI wrote books about Our Lord while he was Pope. He said that these books weren’t part of his magisterium, rather like Francis did in Amoris laetitia.

So… please, someone… PROVE that Pope Francis and Card. Burke are wrong when Francis says in Amoris laetitia 3 that this document isn’t magisterial.

Moderation queue is ON.

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  1. Yosef says:

    My concern is that in saying “To be clear” etc. isn’t very clear at all. It is, in my opinion, ambiguous in that it leaves an opening so the paragraph really could be interpreted multiple ways.

    Clarity would be to simply say “This document is not part of my Magisterium, only my reflections as a “private” theologian”,or something along those lines.

    How can we say or prove with certainty that paragraph 3 was actually referring to the Document, and not another issue entirely?

    Even with all that aside, and assuming that it really is intended to be “non
    -Magisterial”, the problematic parts of the document remain problematic and scandalous, especially coming from the highest levels of the Church.

  2. Augustine says:

    But Father! But Father! You can’t see that because you hate the spirit of Amoris Laetitia!

    [I don’t hate giving good pastoral care to people who have gotten themselves into spiritual troubling situations.]

  3. Burke says:

    I think one must bear in mind that Cardinal Burke is one of the wisest and most erudite (which do not always go together in these dark days) men of our age, as well as being among the greatest defenders of orthodoxy – if not the greatest – of our day. We should all ponder carefully what he says and, if we can not produce compelling arguments against what he has to say, humbly yield.

  4. Grumpy Beggar says:

    I found Deacon Jim Russell’s Aleteia article, Pope Francis’ ‘Time Is Greater Than Space’: What Does It Mean? helpful, in that it presents a fairly thorough description of what he believes this recurring theme in Pope Francis’ writings signifies . The way Rev. Mr. Russell sees it, “Our Holy Father is a process-starter and not a space-dominator.”

  5. benedetta says:

    I just don’t think I would want to take lessons on what the magisterium is or is not from a publication that has spent decades denying its existence in the first place. I mean, why this one but not that, that, or that, or those…? Zero credibility. It’s whatever we want to say it is, it’s whatever we feel like it is, at the moment, I guess. It’s a rorschach. Or the proverbial jello nailed to the wall. It’s a crazy salad. And it’s nothing at all. It’s all meaningless. Like I said, gut sacred scripture, gut tradition, and we wind up with dilettantes and elitists telling us what to do based on how they feel that particular day. No accountability. No authenticity. No ability to verify objectively. I think that our glorious consciences at least entitle us to, utilizing reason, to verify independently? One columnist’s opinionating is exactly as good as mine on that which is near worthless. Let us all take up and read and verify for ourselves. Why should we take their word for it when this is a viewpoint which has taught and practiced the non existence of any magisterium, mocking the very word, for several decades pretty much. No, thanks. I’ll instead teach my own on this one…

  6. Noticed that Edward Pentin tweeted Archbishop Cupich’s tweet for Catholics to go read the CNS version. The Bear is having difficulty reconciling the USCCB’s claim that CNS is independent, real journalism while running with an “interview” in which one of AL’s biggest cheerleaders and another fan, Cardinal Schonborn, simply agree with each other that it’s magisterial (“obvious”), and also an evolution toward some other vague and undefined teaching. Things are so obvious anymore, I feel sort of stupid for even pointing them out.

  7. Blas says:

    As I read that paragraph is worst. He is not saying that AL is not magisterium but that magisterium (all of it) is useless.

  8. iamlucky13 says:

    Related, the media noticed that Archbishop Chaput has issued a document on implementing Amoris Laetitia in Philadelphia, and it’s generating some spirited (in many cases, mean-spirited) discussion, including from Winters (who’s comments are best left unread):

    Philadelphia archbishop: Divorced Catholics must avoid sex

    The actual document is here, and refreshingly concise. This kind of writing could have cut about 200 pages off of Amoris Laetitia while still providing better pastoral guidance and less confusion yet still emphasizing the mercy offered to us in the sacraments:

    “What of Communion? Every Catholic, not only the divorced and civilly-remarried, must sacramentally confess all serious sins of which he or she is aware, with a firm purpose to change, before receiving the Eucharist. In some cases, the subjective responsibility of the person for a past action may be diminished. But the person must still repent and renounce the sin, with a firm purpose of amendment.

    With divorced and civilly-remarried persons, Church teaching requires them to refrain from sexual intimacy. This applies even if they must (for the care of their children) continue to live under one roof. Undertaking to live as brother and sister is necessary for the divorced and civilly-remarried to receive reconciliation in the Sacrament of Penance, which could then open the way to the Eucharist. Such individuals are encouraged to approach the Sacrament of Penance regularly, having recourse to God’s great mercy in that sacrament if they fail in chastity.”

  9. surritter says:

    “Liberals like Card. Schönborn…” Yikes — I heard somewhere that he was one of the main writers of the Catechism. You’re implying that he went off the rails after that, or else I should be a little careful when reading the Catechism!

    [NO! And NO! again. The CCC is fine. The Catechism, having been checked over by my old school the Augustinianum for accuracy in its references, etc., went through the CDF under Ratzinger. It was approved by St. John Paul II and called by him a “sure reference” for the Faith. As a matter of fact, the CCC is good enough that liberals are now attacking it, calling for it to be changed in regard to homosexual sex acts, etc. Even certain bishops are attacking the CCC. And those who are attacking it, ironically, underscore the fact that the CCC is good.]

  10. Pingback: Morning Catholic must-reads: 08/07/16 | CHRONICA

  11. pmullane says:

    I welcome Mr Winters’ newfound enthusiasm for the Magisterium. His next step is to find out what it means.

  12. yatzer says:

    Thank you, Father for calming my anxieties about Cdl. Schoenborn’s involvement with the CCC in your response to surrittur.

  13. Landless Laborer says:

    Theoretically a pope could make a declaration ex cathedra that is not magisterial. If a declaration conflicts with previously defined doctrine, it misses one of the criteria for infallibility. The Pope is safeguarded from error when defining that which has not already been defined, by intervention of the Holy Ghost. The Pope, the Living Magisterium is safeguarded from doctrinal rupture by Tradition, not necessarily through divine intervention. Like salvation, the preservation of truth requires human participation. Therefore it is impossible that AL conflicts with prior Church teaching and at the same time is magisterial. We were given reason, we are expected to use it.

  14. WYMiriam says:

    “3. Since “time is greater than space”, I would make it clear that not all discussions of doctrinal, moral or pastoral issues need to be settled by interventions of the magisterium.”

    Please forgive my ignorance, but how does {time being greater than space} have anything to do with (a) doctrinal, moral, or pastoral issues; (b) doctrinal, moral, or pastoral issues which are needing to be settled; (c) interventions of the magisterium; and/or (d) the magisterium itself?

    In order to get some grasp of what this statement means, I remove the first clause of AL3, as well as some of the other unnecessary verbiage, and am left with “not all discussions need to be settled by the magisterium”.

    My own off-the-cuff-fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants translation: “you kids need to settle your differences by yourselves and not come running to Papa every time you argue. You know where the dictionaries, encyclopediae, Catechisms, and other reference materials are — go look it up and find out who’s right! Meanwhile, let me get back to work telling you what I think about all this.” Of course, that begs the question: why wasn’t the rest of AL simply an unmistakable reiteration of official Church teaching?

    [p.s. How can time be greater than space, anyway? Isn’t time possible precisely (= “only”) because there IS space?]

  15. rmichaelj says:

    Time being greater than space, makes it extremely important that any process the Holy Father starts is moving in the correct direction (toward sanctity).

  16. TimG says:

    I think we need to be very upfront about Pope Francis’ feelings on the Church and how to interpret Amoris Laetitia. Cdl Schonborn is the “great theologian” who has been designated Chief Speaker on this document, so that is absolutely how we should understand Pope Francis’ intent with this document.

    Anything Traditional or Conservative should be viewed in light of the Pope’s latest comments and news (from Lifesitenews.com);

    1) Abp Cupich named to Congregation for Bishops

    2) Pope Francis states The pope’s latest comments came when Morales Solá asked the pope about opposition from “ultra-conservatives.”

    “They do their job and I do mine,” Pope Francis responded. “I want a Church that is open, understanding, that accompanies wounded families. They say no to everything. I go ahead, without looking over my shoulder.”

    He then hinted at his approach to such “conservatives,” saying, “Nails are removed by applying pressure to the top…or, you set them aside to rest when the age of retirement arrives.”


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