What doth it profit a man to attend Latin Masses, but not live like the Good Samaritan?
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Friday, 29 April 2016

Amoris Laetitia is open to interpretations against the Catholic Faith

Sandro Magister has just published an article that should make all Catholics seriously reflect on the growing damage that Amoris Laetitia has created in the Church. The ambiguity, the confusion, the refusal to reaffirm - without any equivocation - Familiaris Consortio No. 84, is a grave error. The Pope has a solemn obligation before Christ to reaffirm with charity, but with clarity. Indeed, there is no charity, without clarity. 

It does not matter that Amoris Laetitia has many beautiful and true things in it. That is not the problem. The problem is, it contains a small, but dangerous bit of poison. 

Magister provides us with a serious critique of Amoris Laetitia by E. Christian Brugger, Professor of Moral Theology at St. John Vianney Seminary in Denver: 

For Catholics who feel weary about the abuse that the Christian family has lately suffered at the hands of militant secularism, Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation "Amoris lætitia" (AL) has many encouraging things to say: e.g., its forthright assertion that “no genital act of husband and wife can refuse” the truth that “the conjugal union is ordered to procreation ‘by its very nature’” (AL 80; cf. 222); its ardent rejection of the killing of the unborn (no. 83); its unapologetic affirmation that every child has “a natural right” to have a mother and a father (no. 172), and its needed treatment – the lengthiest in any papal document of the last 50 years – of the importance of fathers for children (no. 175).

But though the text says many true and beautiful things about “love in the family,” Chapter 8 (entitled “Accompanying, Discerning and Integrating Weakness”) allows – and seems intentionally so – for interpretations that pose serious problems for Catholic faith and practice.

I focus here on five such problems:

1. The way it presents the role that mitigated culpability should play in pastoral care
2. Its inconsistent notion of “not judging” others
3. Its account of the role of conscience in acquitting persons in objectively sinful situations
4. Its treatment of moral absolutes as “rules” articulating the demands of an “ideal” rather than binding moral duties on everyone in every situation
5. Its inconsistency with the teaching of Trent

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