A friend sent to me this morning a commentary on the exhortation by Robert Royal. I link to it here. In his article, he starts off by lauding the thing for the "positive" restatement of various points of Catholic teaching. I've seen in Facebook many Francis-groupees taking faithful Catholics to task for pointing out only the "controversial" parts. I responded to one of them by asking why on God's green earth should a Church document ever contain "controversial" elements as they should always be the epitomes of the defense of Christ and His Church's teachings.
Let's look at the matter from another angle, and I'll use an analogy I've used before to deal with this "positive versus negative" nonsensical paradigm. Say there's a lovely meal set before you. The food is healthy, delicious and visually appealing. There's just one teensy little problem. You've received credible information that this lovely meal is laced with a bit of deadly poison. It's not enough to cause the meal to lose its sensory appeals but it's there. Who in their right mind would take one bite of that otherwise healthy, delicious and visually appealing meal?
What is happening with Amoris Laetitia is exactly what I just described. The only difference is that we aren't talking of bodily nourishment versus poisoning, but rather spiritual nourishment versus poisoning. The latter is far more serious for that comes with eternal consequences.
"But does that discount the good in the exhortation?", I can hear the groupees whine. Well, yes. In fact, the so-called "good" in the exhortation becomes much less than good. In the meal example, the offering of the otherwise healthy food becomes an evil act because of the evil motive of camouflaging the poison. Recall from Catholic moral theology that an act that is of itself good or neutral can be rendered evil if the motive behind it is evil.
Therefore I put forth the very real probability that all the "positive" statements towards the beginning were done with less-than-noble intents. It's quite probable that they were placed there in order to disarm the readers' critical thinking processes so that they would unwittingly swallow the spiritual poison that this exhortation does contain. That in fact renders the presence of the so-called "positives" evil in and of itself.
So that is why we "mean-spirited", "rad-trad" bloggers focus on the "negative" in proclamations coming from the Church. They should contain not one scintilla of "negative" (meaning variance and dissidence from Church Teaching) whatsoever. Look at it this way. If there was no "negative" in fact, you wouldn't have to hear from us meanies! If what we tell gets under your skin, go to the source of the problem versus the ones who merely inform you of the problem.
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