Discussion in 'Church Critique' started by padraig, Dec 31, 2016.
I agree Dolours. I guess I didn't do a very good job conveying sarcasm in my last post.
Canon lawyer tells diocese to follow guidelines allowing Communion for remarried
May 19, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – A canon lawyer told priests at a workshop run by a U.S. diocese that Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia has allowed them to break with the Church’s tradition practice of refusing Communion to “remarried” Catholics.
Since the diocesan bishop has not issued his own guidelines on the Pope’s exhortation, the canonist said, the priests can follow the controversial interpretations from the bishops of Malta and Buenos Aires.
The workshop was recorded and shared anonymously with the Catholic group Mary’s Advocates. The group posted the recording on their website with identities redacted.
“Now, we don’t have any guidelines,” the canon lawyer stated. “However, if priests want a little bit of insight into things that can be done, there are other areas that have put forth guidelines. Most notably, the Buenos Aires pastoral region has put out guidelines for their priests.”
“This is important because this is the area that Pope Francis comes from,” she said. “It is also important because Pope Francis actually wrote a letter approving their guidelines.”
She then referred attendees, which included some priests, to a website run by a lay canonist that included the Buenos Aires and Malta guidelines.
“The document from Buenos Aires as well as Pope Francis’ letter of approving — I don’t want to say approving, but saying that they are good guidelines — are on that,” the canon lawyer told the audience.
The Buenos Aires and Malta directives were the first to outright say Amoris Laetitia could be interpreted as allowing Communion for Catholics living in objectively sinful situations. Other areas such as Chicago and San Diego have indicated they would follow.
Pope Francis still has not responded to an inquiry from four cardinals requesting clarification on whether he intends the document to allow Catholics to circumvent Church teaching on Communion for individuals living in non-marital unions.
Guidelines from Buenos Aires and Malta bishops
Last September, the bishops of Buenos Aires issued their directive to priests in their jurisdiction allowing Holy Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics. The document closely quoted Amoris Laetitia.
The bishops said that in “complex circumstances” when a remarried couple could not “obtain a declaration of nullity” priests can still grant them access to the Eucharist.
If a priest recognizes that “in a particular case there are limitations that diminish responsibility and culpability, particularly when a person judges that he would fall into a subsequent fault by damaging the children of the new union,” the directive said, “Amoris Laetitia opens the possibility of access to the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist.”
The canon lawyer repeated the latter statement at the recent diocesan workshop.
Pope Francis had written a letter to Argentinian Bishop Sergío Alfredo Fenoy at the time regarding the Buenos Aries directive, stating, “The document is very good and completely explains the meaning of chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia. There are no other interpretations.”
The bishops of Malta had given the OK for divorced and civilly remarried Catholics in their dioceses to receive Communion in a document released this past January.
The Maltese bishops said at the time “there are complex situations” where living chastely, the Church’s requirement for rescuing Communion while in this situation, may be “humanly impossible.”
The U.S. canon lawyer repeated this idea as well at her recent workshop.
The Maltese bishops said divorced and civilly remarried Catholics in their dioceses could receive Communion if they manage “with an informed and enlightened conscience, to acknowledge and believe that he or she are at peace with God.”
They said as well that their guidelines are “in line with the directions given by Pope Francis.”
The canon lawyer said this issue was one of personal and pastoral discernment, again using language from the document and also the controversial Synods on the Family from which it was reportedly derived.
Mary’s Advocates founder Bai Macfarlane criticized the canon lawyer’s characterization of Church teaching and canon law.
“Listeners are set up, in the beginning, to be ready to learn which ecclesiastical man-made law has been changed by Amoris Laetitia,” Macfarlane said.
“By the end of her presentation, listeners will believe that for a time (between the year 2000 and 2016), priests were restricted from telling those in second marriages that they cannot receive Communion without abstaining from sex, if they don’t have an annulment,” she continued. “Listeners will believe that Amoris Laetitia reversed and lifted that restrictive man-made law. So now priests can again tell parties to go to Communion after accompaniment and discernment.”
The canon lawyer had also said during her presentation that telling someone not to have sex is not a good thing because you are taking away one of the basic aspects of marriage. However, she said this in regard to Catholics living a second marriage without an annulment.
“The speaker treats adulterous sexual acts as if they bring the same graces as sexual acts in marriage,” Macfarlane said. “She attributes to sexual acts outside of marriage, the same graces gained by the participants, as sexual acts inside of marriage.”
“If the Church should never tell adulterers not to have sex,” she continued, “then using the same logic the Church should not tell two high school kids to not have sex, or tell the man cheating on his wife that he should stop having sex with is new, young girlfriend.”
The full recording can be accessed HERE, and has been shared with the diocese for which the canon lawyer works.
Sent from my iPad
This is horrible news
The only upshot at all is that everything is becoming more and more stark.
Lines are being drawn.
Those who stay with what the Church has always taught and those who want a modernist Church that compromises all it once believed and walks in lockstep with the world.
Things seem to be speeding up as well.
This is a blessing of sorts.
It might mean the agony will be shorter lived.
Perhaps we are at the point in the Passion of the Church where the timeless words of Our Lord have been uttered again:
...That which thou dost, do quickly.
May 19, 2017, 12:04 am
Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal, a Venezuelan Communist and Modernist, is carrying out Francis’s agenda.
Understanding the adage that personnel is policy, Pope Francis has been planting Marxists throughout the Church, including at the top of the troubled religious order to which he belongs. In 2016, the Jesuits, with the blessing of Pope Francis, installed as its general superior a Venezuelan, Fr. Arturo Sosa Abascal, whose communist convictions have long been known.
Sosa has written about the “Marxist mediation of the Christian Faith,” arguing that the Church should “understand the existence of Christians who simultaneously call themselves Marxists and commit themselves to the transformation of the capitalist society into a socialist society.” In 1989, he signed a letter praising Fidel Castro.
Turn down any corridor in Francis’s Vatican, and you are likely to run into a de facto communist: Francis has a communist running his order, a communist running his Council of Cardinals (the Honduran cardinal, Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga), a communist running the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (Margaret Archer, a British sociologist who has said that she represents the “Marxian left”), and communists such as the renegade Brazilian liberation theologian Leonardo Boff and the Canadian socialist Naomi Klein drafting his encyclicals.
It is no coincidence that the only U.S. presidential candidate who made a visit to the Vatican during the campaign was a socialist who had honeymooned in the Soviet Union. Bernie Sanders turned up at the Vatican in April 2016, having received an invitation from Pope Francis’s close Argentine friend, Bishop Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo.
“We invited the candidate who cites the pope most in the campaign, and that is Senator Bernie Sanders,” explained Sorondo, who added that Sanders’s agenda is “very analogous to that of the pope.”
In this smug leftist atmosphere in Rome, Sosa’s elevation to the head of the Jesuits was inevitable. In the past, the Jesuits had been called the pope’s marines. Under Sosa, they are more like the pope’s Marxists, peddling his climate-change propaganda as a pretext for global socialism.
But Sosa’s ambitions, like Pope Francis’s, go well beyond meddling in economies. He is also pushing a moral revolution in the Church, evident in his astonishing claim that, since none of the Apostles tape-recorded Jesus Christ, his words on adultery can be elastically re-interpreted.
“You need to start by reflecting on what exactly Jesus said,” Sosa told an Italian interviewer in February. “At that time, no one had a tape recorder to capture the words. What we know is that the words of Jesus have to be contextualized, they’re expressed in a certain language, in a precise environment, and they’re addressed to someone specific.”
In other words, Sosa is confident that he understands Jesus’s meaning better than the Gospel writers. Like Francis, Sosa can’t resist the mumbo-jumbo of Modernist biblical scholarship, which always manages to dovetail conveniently with liberal views.
The Council of Trent explicitly condemned the claim that the Gospel writers were just making stuff up when recounting the words of Jesus Christ. But Sosa has no problem trafficking in that heresy.
“Over the last century in the Church there has been a great blossoming of studies that seek to understand exactly what Jesus meant to say,” he said.
The presumption here is extraordinary but typical of a Francis acolyte. The new orthodoxy is heterodoxy, and Sosa is wallowing in it. He is given to little sermonettes on relativism, such as this whopper:
The Church has developed over the centuries, it is not a piece of reinforced concrete. It was born, it has learned, it has changed. This is why the ecumenical councils are held, to try to bring developments of doctrine into focus. Doctrine is a word that I don’t like very much, it brings with it the image of the hardness of stone. Instead the human reality is much more nuanced, it is never black or white, it is in continual development.
Were St. Ignatius of Loyola alive today, the order he founded wouldn’t ordain him, and he would have wondered how a de facto Protestant ended up on the chair of St. Peter. Nor would St. Ignatius have believed the sheer sophistry that now passes for theological “sophistication” in his order.
Fr. Antonio Spadaro, another Jesuit close to Pope Francis, tweeted out earlier this year this profundity: “Theology is not #Mathematics. 2 + 2 in #Theology can make 5. Because it has to do with #God and real #life of #people.”
Gobsmacked by the relentless leftism of Francis and his aides, Al Gore asked in 2015, “Is the pope Catholic?” The question is no longer a joke.
Though Benedict is still living, Francis is trying to bury him. Upon his election in 2013, Francis began to pursue an agenda that Joseph Ratzinger had opposed throughout his career. A stress on the pastoral over against the doctrinal, a promotion of diverse disciplinary and doctrinal approaches in local churches, the opening of communion to the divorced and remarried—all these proposals were weighed and rejected by Ratzinger more than ten years ago in a heated debate with Walter Kasper. For better or worse, Francis now seeks to reverse Ratzinger.
The conflict began with a 1992 letter concerning “the fundamental elements that are to be considered already settled” when Catholic theologians do their work. Some theologians had suggested that while doctrine might be universal and unchanging, it could be bent to meet discrete pastoral realities—allowing for a liberal approach, say, in Western Europe and a more conservative one in Africa.
In order to guard against this idea, Pope John Paul II and Ratzinger, then head of the Inquisition, insisted that the universal Church was “a reality ontologically and temporally prior to every individual particular Church.” There would be no Anglican-style diversity for Catholics—not under John Paul.
Behind this seemingly academic debate about the local and universal Church stood a disagreement over communion for the divorced and remarried. In 1993, Kasper defied John Paul by proposing that individual bishops should be able to decide whether or not to give communion to the divorced and remarried. Stopping short of calling for a change in doctrine, he said that there ought to be “room for pastoral flexibility in complex, individual cases.”
In 1994, the Vatican rejected Kasper’s proposal with a letter signed by Ratzinger. “If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law. Consequently, they cannot receive Holy Communion as long as this situation persists.” Kasper was not ready to back down. In a festschrift published in 1999, he criticized the Vatican’s 1992 letter and insisted on the legitimate independence of local churches.
Ratzinger responded in a personal capacity the following year. It is because of such responses that he gained his reputation as a rigid doctrinal enforcer, but this caricature is unfair. Benedict has always been a poet of the Church, a man in whose writing German Romanticism blooms into orthodoxy. We see it here in his defense of Christian unity. He describes the Church as “a love story between God and humanity” that tends toward unity. He hears the gospel as a kind of theological ninth symphony, in which all humanity is drawn together as one:
The basic idea of sacred history is that of gathering together, of uniting human beings in the one body of Christ, the union of human beings and through human beings of all creation with God. There is only one bride, only one body of Christ, not many brides, not many bodies.
The Church is not “merely a structure that can be changed or demolished at will, which would have nothing to do with the reality of faith as such.” A “form of bodiliness belongs to the Church herself.” This form, this body, must be loved and respected, not put on the rack.
Here we begin to see how the question of the universality of the Church affects apparently unrelated questions, such as communion and divorce and remarriage. Ratzinger cited 1 Corinthians, where Paul describes the unity of the Church in terms of two sacraments—communion and matrimony. Just as the two become one flesh in marriage, so in the Eucharist the many become one body. “For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.”
The connections Paul draws between marriage, the Eucharist, and Church unity should serve as a warning for whoever would tamper with one of the three. If the one body of the universal Church can be divided, the “one flesh” of a married couple can be as well. And communion—the sign of unity of belief and practice—can turn to disunion, with people who do not share the same beliefs joining together as though they did.
Kasper’s rejoinder came in an essay published in English by America. It is the earliest and most succinct expression of what would become Pope Francis’s program. It begins with a key distinction: “I reached my position not from abstract reasoning but from pastoral experience.” Kasper then decries the “adamant refusal of Communion to all divorced and remarried persons and the highly restrictive rules for eucharistic hospitality.” Here we have it—all the controversies of the Francis era, more than a decade before his election.
(It should be noted that overwrought terms like adamant and highly restrictive, for which Kasper has sometimes been criticized, were introduced by an enthusiastic translator and have no equivalent in the German text.)
Hovering in the background of this dispute, as of so many Catholic disputes, is the issue of liturgy. Ratzinger was already known as an advocate of the “reform of the reform”—a program that avoids liturgical disruption, while slowly bringing the liturgy back into continuity with its historic form. Kasper, by contrast, uses the disruption that followed Vatican II to justify further changes in Catholic life: “Our people are well aware of the flexibility of laws and regulations; they have experienced a great deal of it over the past decades. They lived through changes that no one anticipated or even thought possible.” Evelyn Waugh described how Catholics at the time of the Council underwent “a superficial revolution in what then seemed permanent.” Kasper embraces that superficial revolution, hoping that it will justify another, profounder one.
He laments that Ratzinger does not see things his way: “Regrettably, Cardinal Ratzinger has approached the problem of the relationship between the universal church and local churches from a purely abstract and theoretical point of view, without taking into account concrete pastoral situations and experiences.” Ratzinger has failed to consult what Kasper calls the “data” of experience: “To history, therefore, we must turn for sound theology,” where we will find many examples of a commendable “diversity.”
Though Kasper’s language is strewn with clichés (“data,” “diversity,” “experience”), it has genuine rhetorical appeal. We want to believe that there can be peace, peace, though there is no peace between Church and world. Just as we can be moved by visions of unity, we can be beguiled by promises of comfort. The contrast between the two men is thus rhetorical as well as doctrinal: Ratzinger inspires; Kasper relieves.
America’s editors invited Ratzinger to respond, and he reluctantly agreed. His reply notes that we are baptized not merely in but into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. We are not made members of one of various local Christian associations, but are united with God. For this reason, “Anyone baptized in the church in Berlin is always at home in the church in Rome or in New York or in Kinshasa or in Bangalore or wherever, as if he or she had been baptized there. He or she does not need to file a change-of-address form; it is one and the same church.”
Kasper closed the debate in 2001 with a letter to the editor, in which he argued that it “cannot be wholly wrongheaded … to ask about concrete actions, not in political, but in pastoral life.” There the controversy seemed to end. Ratzinger became pope and Kasper’s proposal was forgotten.
Twelve years later, a newly elected Pope Francis gave Kasper’s proposal new life. In his first Angelus address, Francis singled out Kasper for praise, reintroducing him to the universal Church as “a good theologian, a talented theologian” whose latest book had done the new pope “so much good.” We now know that Francis had been reading Kasper closely for many years. Though he is usually portrayed as spontaneous and non-ideological, Francis has steadily advanced the agenda that Kasper outlined over a decade ago.
In the face of this challenge, Benedict has kept an almost perfect silence. There is hardly any need to add to the words in which he resoundingly rejected the program of Kasper and Francis. And yet the awkwardness remains. No pope in living memory has so directly opposed his predecessor—who, in this instance, happens to live just up the hill. This is why supporters of Francis’s agenda become nervous whenever Benedict speaks, as he recently did in praise of Cardinal Sarah. Were the two men in genuine accord, partisans of Francis would not fear the learned, gentle German who walks the Vatican Gardens.
And so the two popes, active and emeritus, speaking and silent, remain at odds. In the end, it does not matter who comes last or speaks most; what matters is who thinks with the mind of a Church that has seen countless heresies come and go. When Benedict’s enraptured words are compared to the platitudes of his successor, it is hard not to notice a difference: One pope echoes the apostles, and the other parrots Walter Kasper. Because this difference in speech reflects a difference in belief, a prediction can be made. Regardless of who dies first, Benedict will outlive Francis.
Matthew Schmitz is literary editor of First Things
I think this is true of many "rigid" people including myself. I actually much prefer to be an easygoing, loving, tender person. This is my natural state. It is only when heterodoxy rears it's head that I find myself forced into a mode of being "rigid" in defending Truth. In essence it is the heterodoxy of the left that causes orthodox Catholics to become intransigent in defending the faith lest it be despoiled.
That's the modus operandi of the promoters of the anti-Christian agenda in the secular world. Having watched it play out for decades and seen them destabilise the fabric of society by destroying the very meaning of marriage and family as soon as they gained a grip on power, I'm amazed that people don't recognise it being replicated within the Church. Perhaps they don't want to see it and that's why they try passing it off as Ignatian spirituality. St. Ignatius must be turning in his grave.
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