I have found a “news story” (but not really) at the site of Vatican Radio by Philippa Hitchen saying something about the letter. HERE
Also, in today’s L’Osservatore Romano of 12-13 September there is an unsigned piece on p. 7 which makes reference to the letter. HERE
Does this entirely put the question to bed?
Probably. Unsigned articles in L’Osservatore are usually quasi-demi-semi-hemi official. This is not quite as good as a response directly from the Holy See Press Office, but I think we have to go with it. Yes, the Pope really wrote that letter.
And, yes, the Pope really endorsed the Argentinian document which opens the door to the divorced and remarried who do not use the brother and sister option to both the Sacrament of Penance and, hence, to reception of Communion.
Pope Francis, in his letter to the Argentinian bishop, the seeming chairman of the bishops who composed the document, confirms that the document “nella sua pienezza… in its entirety” shows “il senso del capitolo VIII dell’esortazione apostolica … the intent of chapter VIII of the Apostolic Exhortation”.
Here is the deal. Again, we do NOT have here the doors thrown open to official approval of Communion for anyone in any circumstance whatsoever. This is not carte blanche.
As a matter of fact, if we want to be fair to what has been written (rather clumsily and unclearly), were someone, some couple, to read and take seriously – with the help of a good, faithful priest – what Amoris said, and what the Argentinian thing said, not many people would be able to discern that they can honestly receive Communion.
I’ll also repeat that, those who are rightly disposed toward the Church’s teaching and laws will work with all of this in continuity with the Church’s entire body of teaching, in obedience and fidelity. Those who are not inclined to obedience and fidelity will continue to do whatever the heck they want, no matter what any Pope writes.
However, it seems to me that the way that this has all been handled, and the way this all will surely be reported, will open the door to abuses, abuses which I – for one – cannot fathom that any Pope would intend!
____ ORIGINAL Published on: Sep 12, 2016 @ 11:03
A complicated game is being played between those who defend the Church’s doctrine about matrimony and Communion, and the Kasperites who want to overturn the Church’s concerning doctrine matrimony and Communion for the divorced and remarried.
This game is being played in the Gray Zone.
First, it is important that we do NOT have a spittle-flecked nutty about what’s happening, or appears to be happening. Spittle-flecked nutties don’t do us any good and, frankly, they are the right of the Left. There is surely a lot that we simply do not know.
We have an alleged papal letter which appears to communicate Pope Francis’ approval of the content of a document of a region of bishops in Argentina. That document has some dodgy things in it, including a really bad section – 6. The Pope is alleged to have written to a bishop in Argentina saying that that Argentinian regional document is in keeping with the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, that the regional document accurately interprets Amoris laetitia. Section 6 of the regional document from Argentina effectively says that the divorced and remarried who are still together for whatever reason and who are not abstaining from sexual relations CAN be admitted to Communion.
Yes, I wrote “alleged”. The “Vatican” hasn’t acknowledged that it is real. The Press Office was asked about the letter, but no response was given. So, we can’t affirm that the letter is from the Pope or whether someone in the shadows made it up as part of a campaign of disinformation.
The Francis Forgery?
Why is the Holy See Press Office unavailable for comment?
Why should we believe that the Pope wrote this? Because it appeared on InfoCatolica (which speaks for whom)? Ditto LifeSite.
Isn’t there a Holy See Press Office and Social Communications dicastery?
We do not have all the facts in this matter.
The problem is section 6 of the Argentinian document. One could throw mud at other sections of the Argentinian document, but 6 is the bad one. To wit (trans. at LifeSite):
6) In other, more complex circumstances, and when it is not possible to obtain a declaration of nullity, the aforementioned option may not, in fact, be feasible. Nonetheless, it is equally possible to undertake a journey of discernment. If one arrives at the recognition that, in a particular case, there are limitations that diminish responsibility and culpability (cf. 301-302), particularly when a person judges that he would fall into a subsequent fault by damaging the children of the new union, Amoris Laetitia opens up the possibility of access to the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist (cf. notes 336 and 351). These in turn dispose the person to continue maturing and growing with the aid of grace.
BTW… the Argentinian document has been removed from where I saw it first at InfoCatolica… removed “for revision”. It is available at LifeSite.
Note also that in the alleged papal letter the writer does not explicitly condone anything. Read it carefully (without the spittle-flecks).
I will repeat what I wrote before. Nothing that has come out – authentic or not, real or forgery – changes anything. The Pope has not changed anything. Church doctrine and law are not changed through letters to individual bishops in reaction to local documents that have no real authority. Has anything been promulgated in the proper way?
If the Pope wants to change something, or try to change something, he must do it explicitly with the proper form and promulgation. Private letters and off-the-cuff remarks on airplanes don’t change law or doctrine.
The moderation queue is really ON this time!