Saturday, April 9, 2016

Amoris laetitia confusion.

Below is a very confusing opening paragraph of the new Apostolic Exhortation, watering down Catholic teaching and discipline! At the very least it means that the Exhortation itself makes no claims at infallibility! It should be read the way you read any popular opinion, but we all have to "seek solutions better suited to [our cultural context]." Frankly, what I have found to be the best pastoral approach during this Pontificate is to ignore Pope Francis' confusing vague generalizations and documents as much as possible!

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. 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. This will always be the case as the Spirit guides us towards the entire truth (cf. Jn 16:13), until he leads us fully into the mystery of Christ and enables us to see all things as he does. Each country or region, moreover, can seek solutions better suited to its culture and sensitive to its traditions and local needs. For “cultures are in fact quite diverse and every general principle… needs to be inculturated, if it is to be respected and applied”.

Concluding Address of the Fourteenth Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops (24 October 2015): L’Osservatore Romano, 26-27 October 2015, p. 13; cf. Pontifical Biblical Commission, Fede e cultura alla luce della Bibbia. Atti della sessione plenaria 1979 della Pontificia Commissione Biblica, Turin, 1981; Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 44; John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Redemptoris Missio (7 December 1990), 52: AAS 83 (1991), 300; Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (24 November 2013), 69, 117: AAS 105 (2013), 1049, 1068-69.

N.B. It is not at all clear where the Holy Father is getting his "time is greater than space" principle, which, in any case, is not at all obvious or particularly enlightening in the context. It appears he is trying to make the case for relativity based on historical change. "Times change, so the Church's teaching should change with the times." There are clear statements from Christ which contradict this: viz. "heaven and earth will pass away but my Word will not pass away."

Having said that, we are loyal sons of the Church, and, as such (to whom this Exhortation is specifically addressed) I shall read it and obey and promote everything in it that I can, in respectful homage and deference to the Magisterium of the Church, for the greater glory of God, exaltation of Holy Mother the Church and for the salvation of souls.
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