Right in the first paragraph Walford says to the cardinals, "you have trouble accepting the two authentic interventions of Pope Francis in which he has already affirmed that in certain cases, sacramental discipline has been changed". He then confirms his own understanding of the pope's statements to the Argentinian bishops. What Walford fails (or refuses) to acknowledge is that sacramental discipline must always conform to the Teachings of the Church and of Jesus Christ Himself. I'll reiterate that those who are civilly married and who have not had their first marriages annulled are living in the mortal sin of adultery. If these people receive Holy Communion while continuing their adulterous conduct, they commit yet another mortal sin of sacrilege against the Eucharist. The cardinals "have trouble accepting the interventions" because they are in contradiction with the teachings of Our Lord as found in Scripture and Sacred Tradition.
He then goes into the gobblygoop about "law of gradualness". Not applicable. The sinner in question must move to remove him/herself from the sinful situation and any near occasions of sin with the greatest speed and alacrity. Any allowance for the sin to continue is to place one's soul in danger (not to mention endangering the soul of the accomplice in adultery). Until the sin ceases and a proper confession is made with absolution given, the reception of Holy Communion cannot happen without incurring guilt of sacrilege. I wonder of Walford would carry on about "gradualness" if the sin in question was not adultery but serial murder. How would one apply this "law of gradualness" to that???
I don't have time to go through that huge tome and pick apart the whole mess (at least not now). I will close with this whopper of his towards the end, when he asks the cardinals, "What do we gain spiritually by fighting against those grace filled divorced and remarried souls who truly desire Sacramental union with Jesus? Do we believe nothing can be gained for them?"
So much error in that - I'm glad it isn't longer.
- "Fighting"? What does he mean by that? When we restrain them from making sacrilegious communions, we are sparing their souls from the guilt of yet another mortal sin. When we tell them the truth about their rebellious conditions, the purpose is to call them to repentance and the sacrament of confession so that they can protect their eternal salvation. It would be the epitome of hate to allow them to continue as they are, as Walford seems to be doing.
- "Grace-filled divorced and remarried souls"? If they are living in a state of adultery, that is, mortal sin, their souls are bereft of sanctifying grace until they immediately correct their situations and confess the sin of adultery.
- Do they truly desire Sacramental union with Jesus? They must desire that more than they desire their mortal sins.
- "Do we believe nothing can be gained for them"? That's a question only they can answer, and they must answer it on the terms set forth by God and His Church, not their own.
Walford suggests that the dubia cardinals reconsider their position. I on the other hand applaud the cardinals and strongly suggest that Walford reconsider his stances, for they appear to be at serious variance with the Traditions of the Church.