Here is a link to Amoris Laetitia as it appears on the Vatican website in English. Please note that this English translation is on the Vatican's site. There can be no claims to "poor translation"; the pope owns the mess. So now let our Friday penance begin.
Paragraph 3 is a thinly disguised attempt to justify situation ethics. Notice the line "each country or region can seek solutions better suited to its culture and sensitive to its traditions and local needs". Wrong. It is the eternal Teaching of Our Lord, manifested through Sacred Tradition, that is to take precedence over "local tradition". Solutions must be based on Our Lord's words and Teaching - that and that alone, with no tweeking for the sake of "tradition". When he evangelized Ireland, should St. Patrick have been sensitive to the "tradition" of druidic human sacrifice? No less should our bishops today give any lenience to the mortal sin of adultery, which is what the divorced and "civilly married Catholics commit to the eternal detriment of their souls.
So that's only page 4. We've got 260 more pages of this pig-slop through which we must slog. But we will soldier on! In paragraph 4 he said that the synod process was both "impressive and illuminating". I might agree with him there, but I saw it to be "illuminating" for the heretical proclivities and strong-arming of faithful Catholics that it revealed.
In paragraph 7 he said that "everyone should feel challenged by chapter 8". I think I will pop over there, but notice how he words his statement. What does he mean by "challenged"? Is this more of the "god of surprises" flim-flam? Let's move to chapter 8.
At the end of paragraph 294 and going into 295, we hear talk of this "law of gradualness". To wit:
"That is how Jesus treated the
Samaritan woman (cf. Jn 4:1-26): he addressed
her desire for true love, in order to free her from
the darkness in her life and to bring her to the
full joy of the Gospel. Along these lines, Saint John Paul II proposed
the so-called law of gradualness in the
knowledge that the human being “knows, loves and accomplishes moral good by different stages
I read the passage of the woman at the well a number of times. That conversation between Jesus and the woman occurred in a matter of minutes. I don't consider that to be especially "gradual". He got right down to the nitty-gritty and did not permit her to remain in her sin without direct confrontation of that sin. What the pope is proposing in terms of addressing the needs of a cohabiting couple is - not to address their real need of immediate repentance, for as long as they remain in sinful situations they place themselves and each other in danger of hell. If any of us realized that our loved ones were in a burning building, would we consider the "law of gradualness" or would we rush in to rescue them?
In paragraph 297 there occurs a curious and perhaps heretical statement: "No one can be condemned forever for that is not the logic of the Gospel". Excuse me, but what does the pope think hell is? Is he denying the existence of hell? Among other things, it is the abode of those who are condemned forever by their own doing. Then he talks about an "unmerited, unconditional and gratuitous mercy". There is no such thing. While God's mercy is unmerited, by no means is it "unconditional and gratuitous". The necessary condition for receipt of God's mercy is repentance. Repentance entails the forsaking of sinful conduct and near occasions of sin.
Paragraph 298 is not much more than an attempt to justify those divorced who are living in adultery. With all the litany of sad circumstances, the fact still remains that as long as the couple are living as husband and wife when they aren't they place themselves and one another in mortal sin. I wonder how they can claim to love one another and still jeopardize the eternal salvation of each other? Or doesn't eternal reality factor into their considerations?
Paragraphs 299 and 300 are also full of blather seeking to justify adultery. Paragraph 301 sees the pope being a bit more blatant about it. Read this: "Hence it is can no longer
simply be said that all those in any irregular situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are
deprived of sanctifying grace." Oh yes it can and it must. What was once true is always true. Those living in adultery are living in mortal sin. Sexual sins are always grave matter and obviously consent is present. Even with the lackluster catechesis in the church today there is often an intrinsic realization that adultery is sinful.
He tries to cite St. Thomas Aquinas as a source for this strange teaching by saying "Saint Thomas Aquinas himself
recognized that someone may possess grace
and charity, yet not be able to exercise any one
of the virtues well" There's a vast difference between "not exercising any one of the virtues well" versus living in a state of mortal sin.
Paragraph 305 is an outright vilification of clergy who act in fidelity to the Tradition of the Church and who rightly hold that individual conscience must yield to that same Tradition. He states that such pastors are "throwing stones at people's lives" and that they are of "closed heart of one hiding behind Church teaching". How can it be wrong for one to "hide" behind God's word? Would that all engaged in such "hiding", rather than in hiding behind progressive and humanistic justifications for slapping God in the face by regarding His commands with less than obedience. As you read this paragraph, please take note of footnote 351 for therein you'll find both insult against the sacrament of Confession and a thinly-disguised justification for adulterers receiving Holy Communion.
Voice of the Family has an excellent treatment on this eighth chapter. Rorate Caeli and AKA Catholic should also be studied. I hope to put some more time into the reading of this thing but the consumption of 260+ pages of flim-flam is an onerous task.
The New Religion of Synodality
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