Good News and Bad News? (Amoris Laetitia)
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    It was only a few months ago when we were looking at a hypothetical scenario where matters of doctrine, tradition and scripture, and liturgy would be decided by local bishops' conferences, and "Provincial Autonomy" would, for all intents and purposes, replace the Church's Magisterium. That day may be approaching faster than we think:

    A senior analyst for the National Catholic Reporter, Rev. Thomas Reese, believes the pontifical document "Amoris Laetitia" also known as "The Joy of Love" released in April, allows bishops to make their own interpretation on the doctrine.

    "Somebody in the diocese next door could release a letter that says something totally different," Rev. Reese told the Associated Press.


    http://www.christiantimes.com/article/bishop-of-portsmouth-announces-pastoral-support-for-married-couples-after-amoris-laetitia/58712.htm

    So Bishop A declares that the Church's teaching on divorce and remarriage remains unchanged, and as such, any Catholic who remains divorced and remarried cannot receive Holy Communion in his diocese.

    On the other hand, Bishop B five miles down the road can declare that since we're all on journey, as long as you're not guilty of the fundamental option, then no matter how many times you've been divorced and remarried you can receive Holy Communion since we're all ultimately on a path, and only whoever is without sin can cast the first stone.

    So, divorce and remarriage could still be considered immoral in Diocese A, but in Diocese B it could become well accepted if people in irregular situations are allowed to receive Communion and are considered Catholics in good standing.

    This sort of decentralization of dogma is the type of thing that is capable of fracturing the Church. Bishop Tobin put it well when he figuratively threw his hands up in the air, and said Amoris Laetitia was deliberately ambiguous and that people can do pretty much what they want and point to the document for support.

    The good news is, that because of this ambiguity, people can do just about whatever they want. The bad news is, that because of this ambiguity, people can do just about whatever they want.

    Go figure!

  • Hmmm.
    To one who is an ex-Anglican-and-now-Ordinariate-Catholic this sounds awfully familiar!
    Very 'piscopal.
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  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,182
    FWIW, Cardinal Caffarra called for a clarification in a recent interview, saying that Cdl. Schönborn is mistaken, and Caffarra would be willing to tell the Holy Father that.
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  • eft94530eft94530
    Posts: 1,577
    as long as you're not guilty of the fundamental option

    What is the fundamental option?
    How would one know of such guilt?
  • mmeladirectress
    Posts: 1,080
    >>> as long as you're not guilty of the fundamental option

    mmmm.... questioning the idea that the 'provincial autonomy' could ever supersede the constant teachings of the Church through the ages?
  • dad29
    Posts: 2,225
    What is the fundamental option?


    Protestant group a/k/a "Fundies." Never good to have a group of them tied to each other, thus the saying "Don't get your fundies in a bundle."
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 2,078
    The fundamental option is a moral theory which says so long as you interiorly remain attached to God, there is no mortal sin. It is condemned in Veritatis Splendor, since certain acts objectively make it impossible to remain in relationship with God via grace as they offend the nature of charity so strongly.

    On second glance, I’ve no idea how this phrase was actually meant in context, so if I killed a joke, my bad.
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  • ClergetKubiszClergetKubisz
    Posts: 1,912
    The nature of mortal and venial sin is supported in Scripture as well.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    Mortal and venial? Latin legalism again, LOL.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,182
    Legalism can't be the right word, since it's not a matter of law; it's moral theology.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    Western moral theology. LOL. We easterners say sin is sin. I suppose we never developed the analytic mindset of the Scholastics. Perhaps that is why we don't communicate as well with each other as we should.
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  • mmeladirectress
    Posts: 1,080
    >>> Mortal and venial? Latin legalism

    if an 8 yr old decks his 8 yr old brother, that's one thing; if a 17 yr old decks his 8 yr old brother, that's different.
    Not legalism; what every parent knows,including Mother Church.
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  • Scott_WScott_W
    Posts: 468
    Mockery is unseemly, and tells more about the mocker than the thing mocked.

    Anyway, an example of the fundamental option would be a claim that adultery would only destroy sanctifying grace if the adulterer prefaced his act by thinking or saying something to the effect, "I, knowing full-well that adultery is a grave violation of Divine Law, do it anyway in defiance of you God!"

    It's nonsense. See Cardinal Arinze:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQ8CDmXYugw
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  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    if an 8 yr old decks his 8 yr old brother, that's one thing; if a 17 yr old decks his 8 yr old brother, that's different.


    That 8-year-old had it coming! He was a real brat.

    I think part of the problem is that the west has suffered from over analysis and over definition of nearly everything. Even with areas that the east would consider knowledge belonging to God, the west attempts to know and define them anyway. To us that seems presumptuous, but it appears to be a difference in approach by two different cultures. If you said that we don't think alike, you would be correct.
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  • mmeladirectress
    Posts: 1,080
    i wasn't mocking anyone, Scott. A relative, who was born/raised Catholic and started going to the little-church-of-what's-happenin'-now, told me that sin is sin and there's no mortal or venial - I was stunned. she has 5 children and as a mother, she knows there certainly is a difference.
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  • There is, it seemeth to me, precious little that is beyond the (often nastily) inventive capacity, the merciless genius, of the Church of Rome to put into legalistic framework.
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  • Scott_WScott_W
    Posts: 468
    i wasn't mocking anyone, Scott


    My comment wasn't directed at you. Put simply, even when I disagree with another religion's doctrinal content, I've never felt the need stoop to cheap caricatures.
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  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 9,182
    Yes, there is a certain Eastern Christian mythology about supposed Latin hairsplitting. According to the myth, the detailed intellectual analysis found in Scholasticism is mere vanity.

    But in the Middle Ages numerous Orthodox theologians took a positive interest in Scholasticism, at least according to a book published at Oxford in 2013: a review at First Things is on-line.

    If I understand right, it's just a fact that the Byzantine world didn't have a lot of medieval universities like those of the West, whose debating customs produced Scholasticism. It may have been tempting for later Orthodox polemicists to affect a dismissive superiority about anything that developed in the West but not in the East. But the Desert Fathers wouldn't have indulged such an attitude.

    I think we're going to have to accept the fact that certain areas of theology developed in greater detail in the West than in the East, and probably vice versa. Certain challenges only arose here, and certain ones only arose there, and the resulting differences in development are not something that either side needs to feel shame or pride about.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    I readily agree that west and east share the same ability to create their own problems and that both sides have blunders galore to their credit. God must be protecting the church. It would have ceased to exist if left up to actions of the people in charge.

    I have come to the conclusion that the essence of Christianity resides in the teachings of those Desert Fathers. When in doubt, that is where I go for answers and guidance.
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  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    Cardinal Sarah also regularly goes out to remote places to fast and pray like the Desert Fathers did. From the Catholic Herald:

    As archbishop, Sarah decided that every two months he would make a spiritual retreat in an isolated place, fasting from food and water for three days. He would take with him only a Bible, a travelling Mass kit and a book of spiritual reading.

    He remarks that this practice helped him “to recharge and return to the battle”, and it is obvious that a deep habit of prayer has remained with him.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,955
    Read his book, if you haven't already. He is an amazing man.
  • Blaise
    Posts: 439
    If I remember correctly, about a month or two ago, His Holiness expressed some shock about the controversial footnote attributed to him.
  • VilyanorVilyanor
    Posts: 388
    I think part of the problem is that the west has suffered from over analysis and over definition of nearly everything. Even with areas that the east would consider knowledge belonging to God, the west attempts to know and define them anyway. To us that seems presumptuous, but it appears to be a difference in approach by two different cultures. If you said that we don't think alike, you would be correct.


    I think the real problem isn't over-analysis, but exaggerating the knowledge we really have. Though we know /about/ God and what he's done, and we can say things of him that are true (God is good, God is holy, God is love, etc.), we can't really /know/ God in this life or even fully what we mean by saying "God is good" and so on. This idea of apophatic theology (theology of darkness) is better disseminated in the East than in the West, where it's sometimes passed over or ignored. A child born in darkness can discuss light and its significance and its attributes, but he can't truly know it until it shines on him and he knows it.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    Oh my gosh. My heart goes out to the brave signatories who wrote such a careful and charitable document, always seeking to give the benefit of the doubt. It's very interesting to read the technical language of the censures and how some of the statements in AL are categorized. For instance, AL 304, the infamous footnote referring to a teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, was characterized as

    i). Haeretica, sacrae Scripturae contraria.
    ii). Scandalosa, prava, perversa.


    Ouch.

    This is an absolutely astounding conclusion:

    "The propositions censured are so damaging that a complete listing of the censures that apply to them is not attempted. Most if not all of them fall under the censures of aequivoca, ambigua, obscura, praesumptuosa, anxia, dubia, captiosa, male sonans, piarum aurium offensiva, as well as the ones listed."

    P.S. Speaking of piarum aurium offensiva, I've just looked at the Vatican teen sex-ed program released yesterday at WYD, and it could no doubt be categorized as piorum oculorum offensiva, if such a category exists.

    O tempora! O mores!
  • StimsonInRehabStimsonInRehab
    Posts: 1,923
    Male sonans - I think I've found the name for my new men's chant group . . .
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    Wish we had a laugh button!! That is so funny.
  • JulieCollJulieColl
    Posts: 2,465
    On the contrary, how about bene sonans, dulce sonans, or mellisonus?
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