Moral/Sexual Issues

Stuttgart, Germany, Apr 29, 2016 / 10:49 am (CNA).- Greatly valued as an advisor by Saint John Paul II, a friend of Benedict XVI, and widely held to be the most important German Catholic philosopher of recent decades, Robert Spaemann, emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Munich, expressed a distinctly critical interpretation of Amoris laetitia in this interview with Anian Christoph Wimmer, editor of CNA’s German-language edition. Please find the full text of the interview here.

The full interview is carried in Catholic World Report. His interview concludes with, 

What consequences do you see for the Church?

The consequences are already foreseeable: uncertainty and confusion, from the bishops’ conferences to the small parishes in the middle of nowhere. A few days ago, a priest from the Congo expressed to me his perplexity in light of this new papal document and the lack of clear precedents. According to the respective passages fromAmoris laetitia, not only remarried divorcés but also everyone living in some certain “irregular situation” could, by further nondescript “mitigating circumstances”, be allowed to confess other sins and receive Communion even without trying to abandon their sexual conduct – that means without confession and conversion.

Each priest who adheres to the until-now valid discipline of the sacraments, could be mobbed by the faithful and be put under pressure from his bishop. Rome can now make the stipulation that only “merciful” bishops will be named, who are ready to soften the existing discipline. Chaos was raised to a principle by the stroke of a pen. The Pope must have known that he would split the Church with such a step and lead toward a schism – a schism that would not be settled on the peripheries, but rather in the heart of the Church. May God forbid that from happening.    
     
One thing, however, seems clear to me: the concern of this Pope – that the Church should overcome her own self-referencing in order to be able to free-heartedly approach persons – has been destroyed by this papal document for an unforeseeable amount of time. A secularizing push and the further decrease in the number of priests in many parts of the world are also to be expected. It has been able to be observed for quite some time that bishops and diocese with a clear stance on faith and morality have the greatest increase in priests. We must remember the words of St. Paul in the Letter to the Corinthians:  “If the bugle gives an indistinct sound, who will get ready for battle?” (1 Cor. 14:8).
   
In your opinion, where do we go from here?    

Every single cardinal, but also every bishop and priest, is called upon to preserve uprightly the Catholic discipline of the sacraments within his realm of responsibility and to confess it publicly. In case the Pope is not ready to make corrections, it remains reserved for a later Pope to officially make things right.    

For the whole interview, click here.

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From Catholic World Report:

Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, “On love in the family,” has been one of the most widely anticipated papal documents in recent years, following the closely watched and sometimes controversial Extraordinary Synod of Bishops in 2014 and the Ordinary Synod of Bishops in 2015. It is also one of the longest and wide-ranging papal documents in recent memory, touching on a host of theological, spiritual, practical, moral, and pastoral questions about family, marriage, children, sexuality, and related matters.

In these essays CWR contributors offer their reflections and analysis of the document, drawing upon their knowledge and experience as married people, priests, theologians, scholars, and journalists.

Francis’ sprawling Exhortation a marriage of profound and muddled | Carl E. Olson

In Amoris Laetitia, who is admonishing whom? | James V. Schall, SJ

The Joy of Love in the Hands of the Clergy | Dr. Leroy Huizenga

The Mystery of Matrimony and Amoris Laetitia | Michael J. Miller 

Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia and St. John Paul II | Eduardo Echeverria 

In Amoris Laetitia, the family is an opportunity, not a problem | Stephan Kampowski 

Make sure you read these passages from Amoris Laetitia, too | Catherine Harmon

The Trending of the Pope | Mark Brumley

The Two Synods and the Exhortation that Followed Them | Mary Jo Anderson

The Shape of Repentance: Reflections on Amoris Laetitia | Adam G. Cooper 

Amoris Laetitia: Another Nail in the “Overpopulation” Coffin | Dr. Samuel Gregg 

Accompanying, Discerning, and Integrating—in the Way of the Master | David Paul Deavel

“Amoris Laetitia’: The Good, the Disturbing, and the Torturous | Dorothy Cummings McLean

First thoughts on the English version of Pope Francis’ Amoris laetitia | Edward N. Peters 

The law before ‘Amoris’ is the law after | Edward N. Peters 

First thoughts on Amoris Laetitia | Bishop Robert Barron

Watch: Ignatius Press editorial staff members discuss “Amoris Laetitia” 

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The world is a flurry with commentary on the Pope’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Seems to be understood very differently by different people with differing perspectives and agendas. 

Cardinal Burke wrote an interesting piece on the Pope’s exhortation and John Jalsevac wrote an interesting critique of Burke’s column. I post this because it a very good summary of the whole matter. You can read it here.

There will be weeks of digesting this sprawling exhortation but these two items seemed to sum it up well, along with Dr. Ed Peter’s piece (The Law before ‘Amoris’ is the Law after

A few others reactions here: George WeigelUS Bishops. Bishop Barron. Cardinal Schönborn. Cardinal Burke. Read the full document.

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