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Amoris Laetitia And The Pope’s Deafening Silence

January 20, 2018 Frontpage No Comments

By JOSEPH MATT

Countless petitions, open letters, heartfelt editorials, endless pleas from concerned Catholics, bishops, and cardinals, filial corrections, and even a plea in the form of a Dubia have all resulted in a deafening silence from the Holy Father.

Pope Francis through his failure to clarify or his unwillingness to acknowledge that there is a serious issue with the infamous chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia implies a complicit approval if not an advancement of the dissident thought that is surrounding this harmful document. Publication of Pope Francis’ letter confirming the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia by the Buenos Aires bishops in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis makes it more probable that the Pope has said all he is going to say concerning the defense of this document.

As we approach the second anniversary of this troublesome document, it is difficult to deny the damage that it is doing to the Church.

With this attempt to breach the slippery slope of redefining mortal sin, the immediate more practical consequences of such an action would seem obvious to the Catholic Church and her members. Examining everyday areas in the life of the Catholic Church, we can easily observe the devastating effects of this dissident thought.

Evangelizing: What is the attraction of a Church which redefines the teaching of Christ to fit the modern-day narrative like the 20,000 other Christian denominations have done over the course of time? One of the many attractive attributes of the Catholic Church has always been its consistency and solid adherence to 2,000 years of Catholic doctrine.

Catechizing: How can parents properly catechize their own children when some in the hierarchy of the Church are attempting to redefine and undermine that very doctrine that has been immutable since the time Christ walked this Earth? Children especially are extremely adept at picking up shortcuts and seeing through false and phony arguments. When we start redefining sin, human nature naturally looks for the easy way out (kids especially) and this kind of thinking certainly provides that. What young adult would not see the inconsistency and the false logic of this argument? (What a great excuse to justify sin because of a sense of fraud in the doctrine of the Catholic faith!).

            The Priest or Pastor: Imagine the enormous responsibility the cleric has on his shoulders as he advises a married couple with marital issues or an engaged couple about to be married in the Church. Yes he must advise them and educate them as to what the Church teaches regarding any issues or concerns they may be having. But how does that square with some of the undermining rhetoric coming out of the Vatican?

            The Secular Media: The events surrounding Amoris Laetitia have been great fodder for the secular press. What a great opportunity for the secular world to jump on the bandwagon to undermine the Catholic Church! This is making it much easier for secularists to advance their Godless morally depraved culture. The Church is eating its own and the secular world can further its cause and watch the self-destruction.
It is also an affront to the multitudes of Catholics who are in a difficult marital situation and who are doing their best to persevere in living according to Catholic teaching.

These are obvious implications of such dissident thought that have affected the Church since the inception of this document. Recent headlines indicate this issue is taking on more urgency as the discussion is now broadening beyond marriage to contraception to homosexual unions.

Amoris Laetitia Brings ‘Paradigm Change’ to Church, Says Cardinal Parolin” (Catholic World News, January 11, 2018).

Bishops Use Pope’s Teaching to Push Homosexuality at 2018 World Meeting of Families” (LifeSiteNews, October 17, 2017).

VP of German Bishops Conference Wants To Bless Homosexual Couples” (LifeSiteNews, January 10, 2018).

New Academy for Life Member Uses Amoris to Say Some Circumstances ‘Require’ Contraception” (LifeSiteNews, January 8).

As The Wanderer reported last week, the above article went on to say: “Responsible parenthood can obligate a married couple to use artificial birth control, a recently appointed member of the Pontifical Academy for Life has argued, basing his theory on Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia.”

Given these more recent headlines, we are seeing the ambiguous interpretations of Amoris progress from attempts to allow exceptions in regard to the doctrine of marriage to contraception and now to homosexuality. This should be no surprise, since once we have crossed the threshold of redefining one sin, the logical progression would be to expand to the whole spectrum of sin. And this is what we are seeing now as “permissible” dialogue is creeping into dissenting arguments involving contraception and homosexuality. This is the dangerous and harmful path the Church is now facing with this document.

This month canon lawyer Fr. Gerald Murray (featured on p. 1A), in an essay on The Catholic Thing, has thoroughly defined and accurately outlined the obvious distinctions that represent the current crisis in the Church. The Church is now at a crossroads. Now that the problem has been clearly defined and some of the forces on both sides have exposed their allegiances (to God or to the narrative of the day). As Catholics we must choose a side. If we are to remain true to our Catholic faith we must side with the teachings of Christ that the Church has held without wavering for some 2,000 years.wandererad(3)

There are those few in the hierarchy who have courageously voiced their opposition and there are those clerics who continue to promote dissent and try to take advantage of the situation and have used this opportunity to attempt to make permanent changes to doctrine. And then there are also those who appear to be silent on the whole matter.

As laypeople, we grow weary with frustration because we are limited in how we can we can resist this assault on our Church. We must live out our faith to its fullest on a daily basis and insist to our clergy that the teachings of Christ cannot be tampered with. And, of course, we cannot discount the power of prayer, through which we can be of enormous help regarding this current crisis.

Ultimately it will be the Magisterium of the Church that will have to remedy this situation and that is where we can plead with our bishops and cardinals to take action on this issue.

As the crisis in the Church escalates, the time is now for a formal declaration to be issued on the key areas of Church doctrine that are “not clear” in Pope Francis’ teachings by the Magisterium of the Church. This option was suggested some time ago (if the Pope did not respond to the Dubia) by Raymond Cardinal Burke, one of the Dubia signers. There is no better time than now.

It is time for the laity to urgently plead with those in the hierarchy who have been silent, for they bear some responsibility for this Vatican-based crisis in the Church. Let’s appeal to those silent cardinals and bishops to join with and encourage Cardinal Burke to initiate this formal correction for the good of the Church, without which it seems we will descend into a much darker period and a more difficult time. Each passing day will bring this crisis to a worse level, making a formal correction even more difficult as the damages mount. We are running out of options.

We again appeal to Pope Francis to put an end to all this confusion. As the assaults continue, the strength of his Church sways in the balance. The Pope, the Vicar of Christ, Christ’s representative here on Earth, who is given supreme authority to define in all questions of faith and morals, can solve this problem with the simple removal of chapter 8 from Amoris Laetitia. The above-mentioned Fr. Murray, in a January 11 interview with Raymond Arroyo, on EWTN’s The World Over, said:

“Indeed, my hope and prayer is that Amoris Laetitia chapter 8 would be withdrawn, because I think it’s causing huge problems in the life of the Church.”

The Pope can be criticized on any number of grounds, but it is hard to deny that chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia, by all logical accounts, is an attempt to change doctrine. There is no other way to look at it. As Catholics we pledge obedience to our Pope but when our Pope conflicts with the teachings of Christ we must take issue with that and it appears to even the casual observer that on this issue of chapter 8 in Amoris Laetitia the Pope is wearing no clothes.

 

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