Om - Amoris Laetitia

Crux: ‘Amoris Laetitia’ doesn’t undermine Church teaching on sin

13. april 2016

Austen Ivereigh skriver bl.a. 

'Amoris Laetitia' has caused a shift in moral theology — but no innovation: As many have pointed out, it’s wholly consonant even with recent papal teaching, and is rooted in an ancient pastoral tradition. To walk with people living in objective states of sin but with diminished subjective culpability, helping them to do God’s will in their concrete state with the help of the sacraments, doesn’t undermine teaching on sin, but puts into practice the merciful pedagogy of God.

If Father Raymond de Souza’s response to the Archbishop of Washington shows anything, it is that the lens through which Cardinal Wuerl suggests we read Amoris Laetitia remains hard for some to put on.

The hermeneutic of interpretation of Pope Francis’s document on the joy of love, says Wuerl, is that the Church’s teaching on marriage has not changed. Questioning that idea, de Souza responds that Wuerl can only be right if the German and Maltese bishops are wrong.

This is a classic maneuver of those whom the cardinal accurately describes as “challenging the integrity” of Amoris. De Souza says he hopes Wuerl is right, that “nothing has changed”; but if it hasn’t, then how can the Maltese bishops say “something has changed?”

But Wuerl never says nothing has changed. He says church teaching and laws on marriage haven’t changed.

Something has changed, not in church law or doctrine, but in moral theology and the pastoral application of sacramental discipline.

This shouldn’t be necessary to say, but for the record, Amoris Laetitia throughout its nine chapters upholds, promotes and passionately seeks to restore lifelong, faithful, stable, indissoluble unions.

Nowhere does it surrender to the individualist zeitgeist, the culture of divorce, or subjectivism, but issues a lucid and robust rejection of these.  

Nor does Amoris question, undermine, or dilute John Paul II’s Veritatis Splendor’s clarification that intrinsically evil acts may be rendered subjectively good.

And, just to be clear, it never remotely  - not ever, not by a long shot - admits the possibility of recognizing second unions that have not been preceded by a death or annulment.

Adultery remains adultery. There is no remarriage. In the Catholic Church. Ever.

But as John Paul II compassionately recognized in Familiaris Consortio 84, it is inadequate to treat all divorced and remarried solely as adulterers living permanently and forever in a state of mortal sin.

And as the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith recalled in February 1989, there is a distinction (but no opposition) between objective disorder and subjective guilt, which depends greatly on intentions, motivations, and concrete circumstances.

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