Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Avoiding the Rupturists Agenda on Amoris laetitia

Liberals are getting angry about Amoris laetitia, according to Joanna Redman, (Tablet and Guardian) who the BBC got to voice the progressive, rupture, conflict stance: good Pope Francis was held back by evil old men in the Vatican, who want to oppress women, gays, the divorced and remarried. It is not position any sensible or orthodox Catholic would want to get into.

Amoris Laetitia, has its problems, but let's not follow the liberal agenda and talk up either its problems or its importance.
Any sensible reading of this not very important and non-magisterial document must stress the importance of placing it in the light of the Church's tradition, of its Magisterium and of documents of greater weight, but most of all in a Spirit of Continuity not of Rupture. Having praised its stance on gay marriage, on transgenderism, on its support for life-long monogamous marriage, on the rights of parents, on its openness to life, etc etc, and that the Holy Father is Catholic and not some crazed lunatic who wants to ally himself with the anti-Christ, only then should we point out that Pope Francis is perhaps not one of the greatest Thomist scholars and might actually have misunderstood the Church's teaching, perhaps that he seems to be a bit deaf to advice and that Catholics certainly should treat his teaching with respect but it is not infallible, and is in the words of the Holy Father himself not in any sense binding.

One might then point out that the Holy Father, in the words of Ms Redman, is a like a kindly, old, much loved parish priest, but whose heart tends to rule his head. What we should never do is take up the agenda of the Rupturists, a more precise and less 'soft' name for Liberals, that this document changes everything, that is simply not Catholic.

God Bless Our Pope (his successors and predecessors).


August said...

It is bad. Our ancestors were not engaged in oppression against women, and the bible means what it means, not what Francis says it does. St. Paul is very clear on women; it takes a post-pill modern person to screw this up.

Pétrus said...

Do you mean Joanna Moorhead rather than Joanna Redman?

J said...

Let me disagree, Father. This document should be deeply questioned, and can´t be readed in continuity with Scripture, Tradition and Magisterium.
I think that it would be a much better to the Church if Theologians and clerics respectfully rise two or three asertive questions to the Pope to be answered by a YES or a NO, instead of playing the game that everything is ok.

Anonymous said...

The problem is that ignoring the support it gives to various heresies just allows these heresies to grow. The pope is not a parish priest, and his words cannot be treated in the same way as those of a parish priest. At some point bishops need to stand up and denounce grave papal errors in matters of doctrine, while retaining respect for the office and person of the supreme pontiff.

Murray said...

With respect, Father, this is far too starry-eyed for Catholics who have experienced over 50 years of being told that they should read strategically ambiguous documents "in a spirit of continuity not of rupture." The ambiguity is consciously intended to further the cause of rupture, and Catholics who strive to look only at the good bits while ignoring the ambiguity are unintentionally serving the agenda of the rupturists.

This is the Vatican II template:
1. Craft exceptionally long documents that contain multiple affirmations of existing Church teaching, while on the other hand suggesting here and there that these teachings may need to be softened or mitigated in order to deal with unique modern circumstances.
2. Urge concerned Catholics to ignore the ambiguous bits and read the documents through the lens of tradition, in order (so the argument goes) to deprive the rupturists of the ability to use the ambiguity to their advantage.
3. The assent of the orthodox plays into the rupturists' hands, providing them cover while they enact their preferred changes on the ground.

It's like a judo move: the assent of the orthodox to the "hermeneutic of continuity" provides a crucially needed legitimacy, enabling the rupturists to enact changes that would be impossible without that assent.

So here. The more that the orthodox talk up the good bits of AL, the more legitimacy it will gain as a magisterial document, and that legitimacy will necessarily extend to its whole content, furthering the (by now) open agenda of Cardinal Kasper, Father Spadaro, et al. We need the courage to see things as they are, rather than as we would like them to be.

Denis said...

Can anyone tell me what the Holy Father means by according to local traditions? That one aspect unsettles me and I would be grateful for a reply.
By the way Father Blake, as Petrus suggested, did you mean Joanna Moorhead? I ask because Joanna Moorhead Is habitually wheeled out to say the kind of things that Peter Stanford used to say. Neither of them know much about the faith they claim to adhere loosely too and they care even less about parading that lack of knowledge.

jack p said...

Dear Father,
Did not start it with the following act by the vast majority of the Council Fathers that, on February 14th 2013, has been re[orted by Pope Benedict XVI, nowadays Pope-emeritus, about the Second Vatican Council to the Parish Priests and Clergy of the Rome Diocese the following attitude among the Council Fathers: ‘The Bishops said: no, let’s not do that. We are bishops, we ourselves are the subject of the Synod; we do not simply want to approve what has already done, but we ourselves want to be the subject, the protagonists of the Council’.
With these words, factually, Pope Benedict XVI did not tell us something news. This story has been repeated more oft, mostly in a triumphal manner as a victory of the Council Fathers over the Curia. Especially as if it was a fight of meanings, nothing to do with the supernatural background of a Council. However, this is the first time that such was mentioned by the Magisterium of a Pope and thus of historical importance.
Therefore, due to these words by Pope Benedict XVI the following questions must be deliberated fundamentally:
• Is it correct to consider that a gracious collaboration concerning the inspiration of the Holy Spirit is required for all Council Fathers?
• Is it correct to consider that Council Fathers who declare themselves as subject and protagonist are in contradiction to the Holy Spirit, because factually the Holy Spirit is the real Subject and the real Protagonist of a Council? That these Council Fathers are placing themselves on the seat of the Holy Spirit and that therefore these Council Fathers are not in a gracious collaboration concerning the inspiration of the Holy Spirit?
• Is it correct to consider that the preparatory work of Vatican II, or more generally the preparatory work of a Church Council is factually always under the inspiration and protection of the Holy Spirit, albeit in a distinct manner of the Council itself?
• Is it correct to consider that because the Holy Spirit does not reject His own work, the rejection of the preparatory work is demonstrating a lack of a gracious collaboration concerning the inspiration of the Holy Spirit?
• Is it correct to consider that on one hand the Holy Spirit is respecting the free will of men regardless its status, even if it concerns an ‘imperfect’ will by a Council Father; but that on the other hand the Holy Spirit is rejecting anyone who is working against Him or rejecting Him, even if it concerns a Council Father, unless such person converts, requests for Mercy and corrects his faults?
• Is it correct to consider that the intervention of Blessed Pope Paul VI by the need of issuing Nota Previae and adding this Nota to the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium to defend the Church Doctrine with regard to ambiguities introduced into such doctrinal Document is proving that a vast majority of the Council Fathers had not collaborated graciously concerning the inspiration of the Holy Spirit?
• Is it correct to consider that only a small minority of the Council Fathers had fulfilled in a gracious collaboration concerning the inspiration of the Holy Spirit?
• Is it correct to consider that an appeal to the ‘Spirit of the vast majority of the Council Fathers’ to interpret the Council’s documents is an elimination of the gracious collaboration concerning the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by the minority of the Council Fathers and factually a continuation of the Revolt against the Holy Spirit?
• Is it correct to consider that by a humble request for Mercy to the Holy Spirit with regard to the lack of a gracious collaboration concerning the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by the vast majority of the Council Fathers and thereafter by the interpretations as well as taking corrective measures needed to correct the faults are needed to resolve the Second Vatican Council by reaching the objective of that Council: the New Evangelisation.

dunmowflitch said...

May I remind J that the posing of questions to which the only acceptable answer is YES or NO was a feature of the show trials of the worst years of Stalin.

Unknown said...

Is Amoris Laetitia the same level of authority as Familiaris Consorto? They are both post synodal apostolic exhortations, right? So if AL is just a minor document, then FC is as well? It seems like people are mad at AL because it doesn't give the homage to FC that FC is due. But if FC is just an regular old exhortation, then what's the big deal?

BCCampion said...

This document has 391 footnotes, but only 3 are from patristic sources, while but 14 from Aquinas. He cites Pius X and Pius XI once each, and a couple dozen references to JPII and to Vatican II docs. Most of the rest? He quotes himself. I'm not seeing a whole lot of "continuity" in that.

CraigS said...

Dear Fr I have to respectfully disagree. AL will never be read as the musings of kindly parish priest it is a document from the Pope and its ambiguty will be taken up as a standard by Catholics lay and ordained, not to mention secular observers, as the 'official'positin of the church.

Even if strictly speaking it is non-magisterial does anyone speak of John Paul IIs familiaris consortio as non-magisterial or non-authoritative? No AL will be quoted and used in future magisterial documents and people just won't differentiate between what is orthodox and what is not within it.

Not engaging in the whole document or downplaying its importance and only concentrating on what is 'good' within it gives a free reign to those who will use it, footnotes and all to attack the doctrine of the church.

mark wauck said...

This business about how good AL was re homosexual "marriage" is missing the point. When Bergoglio was in Buenos Aires all the reliable reports are that he was very much in favor of "civil unions." He's even said to have persuaded some prayer-vigiling women to go home and stop protesting the law allowing "marriage" for homosexuals. Does anyone think his views have changed?

So, going forward, what will happen? There are a lot of positives about homosexual relationships--if you don't feel disposed to take my word on that, just ask that well known papal intimate, Cardinal Schoenborn and he'll set you straight. My prediction is that coming down the road, sooner rather than later, will be non-magisterial sanction for blessing such "unions." After all, AL said non-magisterially that they're not marriages, so what's the harm in it?

Whistling through the graveyard. That's what we're seeing from those who should know better.

Sadie Vacantist said...

2 problems which formed the backdrop of the Council:-

1) The cult of WWII which had emerged and was growing in influence in 1962 to become an all-encompassing theology or World view.

2) The culture of critique emerging from the universities of the Anglo-Saxon and Francophone Worlds then introduced into occupied West Germany from 1945 onwards with the latter effectively a client or even a laboratory for the project.

I suggest that AL and this papacy remain under the influence of project 2 in a very literal way given that Walter Kasper is an example of such a ‘client’. What is odd is Kasper’s description in 2010 of Terminal 5 at Heathrow airport likening the UK to a “3rd World country”. This statement suggests a completely confused man especially given that one of the outcomes of the culture of critique (as outlined in point 2) is the destruction of European civilization as Kasper himself witnessed in London. A project which has been given fresh impetus in his own country in the wake of the refugee crisis.

Forget moral and sacramental theology. This Pope needs some new advisors and fresh thinking FULL STOP.


"Liberals are getting angry about Amoris laetitia", they seem quite restrained compared to the apoplexy of Traditionalists.....

Nicolas Bellord said...

Denis: South African Cardinal Napier has spoken about local customs:

“For us in Africa I think the situation is going to be: look, if people in Europe who have remarried—as somebody put it today, they are engaged in successive polygamy—why can’t a simultaneous polygamist have the same advantages? After all, in his culture it is quite acceptable for him, it’s natural…so he has no conflict of conscience about accepting Christ and living in polygamy at the same time.”

See: http://www.catholicworldreport.com/Blog/3417/watch_cardinal_napier_on_communion_and_polygamy.aspx

The problem of inculturation is that it can be taken both ways. Do you adapt the local culture to the teaching of the Church or do you adapt the teaching of the Church to the local culture? This is another example of the dangerous ambiguity of AL.

ka said...

Sorry Father, we need a new and Holy Pope

John Fisher said...

Pope Francis has come out with more guff. He certainly never studied history. The history of the Church “tells us of many people who were judged and killed, although they were innocent — judged according to the Word of God, against the Word of God,” he said. “Let’s think about the witch hunts or St Joan of Arc, many others who were burned, condemned because — according to the judges — they weren’t in line with the Word of God.”
1/ Joan of Arc was burnt by a trial involving English bishops who were pressured or obliged too by the zeitgeist in which like Kaspar they served their secular masters better than Gog... Like Wolsey.
2/ The catholic Church did not burn witches. We viewed it as superstition and ignorance. It was the Lutherans and puritans... James 1 who then became suspicious it was hysteria. Again the Protestant groups hijacked by the zeitgeist.
Does the Pope realise that all the old penalties under Roman law were adopted by the barbarian Princes of Europe based upon Grattan. The Church condemned but they burnt people..... it was because they viewed it as a type of societal treason.
Please Pope Francis don't misrepresent the failures the Church had in Christianising Europe while helping to de Christianise Europe yourself!!! I don't know why you are off to Greece. You should be more concerned of disrespect to the Greek Church which was expunged by the Turks. Lets help those that fee but near their own country so they return when the war is over. They have NO RIGht to be in Europe. Lets feed and cloth and care but not by letting the enemy in the gates. That is what Francis is a Trojan horse!

Murray said...

Every Catholic who is perplexed by the ambiguity of modern Church teaching should read this: Council Fathers on Ambiguity in Vatican II.

It turns out that a large number of prominent bishops and cardinals--including Paul VI himself--were dismayed by the ambiguity of several conciliar documents, even in their near-final form. As we survey the wreckage of the past fifty years in the Church--the collapse in vocations, the mass apostasy among the laity, the banalization of the liturgy, the open division among the hierarchy, the inability of churchmen to speak forthrightly and clearly on moral issues, the rampant papalotry--we can see that their fears were justified.

In hindsight, it's obvious that the ambiguity written into the Vatican II documents was a crucial part of a calculated strategy to destroy the moral authority of the Catholic Church. You can read them "in continuity with tradition" until the cows come home, but absent a binding clarification from a future pope, their ambiguities will continue to provide ammunition for the destroyers.

The exact same strategy is being deployed in AL. Why then do we think things will turn out any different this time around? Have we learned nothing?

Gregkanga said...

It astonishes me that many Catholics, especially of the hierarchy, who for many years were too afraid to publicly denounce the liberal cafeteria bishop in their own diocese, or brother bishop in their own country, for committing spiritual abuse and promoting dissent and heresy are rather bold and competent, not to mention hostile, in publicly criticizing the holy Father. Sitting in judgement and attributing motive to everything the Vicar Christ, the one entrusted with the Keys of the Kingdom, says or writes is not only disrespectful and uncharitable, but fraught with danger. Have these Catholics paid the same attention to the magisterial documents of the Church, such as the Catechism and its complementing General Directory, as they did to the Pope's Exhortation?

Pelerin said...

The following two comments which I have found on other blogs seem to emphasise the division this document has caused among the faithful.

'Catastrophic document'
'Most enlightened honest and down to earth and common sense Papal pronuncement ever.'

There are many similar comments on both sides in the Catholic blogosphere. The fact that there can be such diverse opinions seems to reveal how ambiguous the document must be. Oh for the clarity of Pope Benedict!

Pelerin said...

Following reading a comment asking where were the analyses of AL on the US Catholic Bishops' site, I had a look to see what was on both our own diocesan website and blog and that of Westminster. Absolutely nothing. No mention whatsoever and yet it is obvious from the Catholic blogs that AL is at present uppermost in the minds of many worried readers.

At least the Paris diocesan website has a video interview with Cardinal 23 on AL put out on the 8th April, a written article and a link to an interview by him with the newspaper 'La Croix'. But why the silence from this side of the channel?

Jacobi said...

Two thousand years of Catholicism have influenced this document. I find it most interesting, if a trifle lengthy, but am somewhat relieved that it is not infallible. And I pray for the intentions of the Holy Father in front of a Crucifix, that is not meant to be funny, Father Blake. Quite serious. I need all the Indulgences I can get!

Perhaps we can now all get back to the real problems afflicting the Church. The collapsing statistics, the disinterest of the young, i.e., 16+, the virtual elimination of Christianity in the Biblical Lands, (except for the small Christian militias still clinging on, and of course, the increasing secularisation and Islamisation of our European Catholic-derived society.

Anonymous said...

I just finished reading Amoris Laetitia.

With this document, it appears obvious what his game plan is. The Pope appears to be inaugurating a New Church that is or will be essentially a grouping of dis-unified "denominations" nominally under a vague form of authority of the Seat of Peter.

In Germany we already have essentially a new Lutheran denomination. In England, the Catholic Church leadership leans Anglican-ish. In the USA we will see all sorts of antagonistic "branches" of Catholicism if the Pope gets his way.

Basically a New Protestantism.

Probably in a hundred years the liberal and heretical branches the Pope seems to favor will have died off and withered away. In the meantime, much chaos and heresy will be turned loose and the name of Holy Mother Church will be disparaged and the Mystical Body bloodied and beaten by heretics and sodomites.

This really does make me ponder on who the "Man of Lawlessness" is as cited in 2 Thessalonians. Especially in light of the Pope's misquoting of the words of Jesus on which is the First and Greatest Commandment in paragraph 161 of Evangelii Gaudium. WHO in Church history has EVER produced such a misquote? He attacks order and law of every sort...most recently the law of Christ on marriage and divorce and remarriage.

While we know the Pope cannot "change Church teaching" he can and has changed Church practice. The Devil is happy either way.

Liam Ronan said...

As the Chinese proverb instructs:

"He who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount."

Liam Ronan said...


If that is your take on it then I suggest you might be set to music.

"How do solve a problem like Maria?"


Gillineau said...

What a jolly bunch you lot are! You sound like Jehovah's Witnesses, all misery and darkness. How about we all just carry on being Catholics; you know the rules - it's all in the Good Book and the Catechism. And Pope Francis is an old, old man. He, like his forebears will pass on soon enough. And then the next chap will say some stuff, do some stuff.

Cheer up, for goodness sake. Nobody's going to join a club that's all fear and anxiety, all hair-shirts and empty stomachs. Go down Lidl, get a decent bottle of their excellent House 9 of Pope, cream crackers and a good sharp cheddar, drink and eat and go look at the stars. The immeasurable, ineffable majesty of the Lord will fill your soul.

John Fisher said...

Maybe Francis wants us to apply the theory of gradation to sexual abuse perpetrated by clergy on their trusting flock? It is logical that if the mortal sins of fornication and adultery no longer require condemnation then why not any old mortal sin. Francis does not get it and he is by age, education, and complicity a disciple of Modernism. We use the word Modernism a great deal but fail to grasp it rejects scriptures, tradition indeed the twelve and Christ. Theses are substituted by distorted idols of a reinterpreted Christ redacted and tailored to serve Francis and men of his ilk. They love to rubbish the past for their own selfish narcissism does not allow comparison. Oh God how long how long?

Nicolas Bellord said...

Father: You may think the current Finance Bill 2016 at present before Parliament is totally off-topic but I sense that the spirit of Amoris Laetatis may be spreading fast. Take for instance proposed clause 35 which reads:

35. For the current fiscal year 2015/2016 the basic rate of tax will remain at 20% and other allowances and provisions for income tax collection will take effect as set out in Schedule III to this act but subject to the following provisos:

(a) Non-payment of income tax will no longer be regarded as a criminal or grave matter.

(b) Ignorance of any tax laws will entitle taxpayers to exemption from that tax

(c) For any income tax to be levied the complete consent thereto of each individual taxpayer will be required.

There is an explanatory note which reads:

“351. In view of these provisos HMRC is to be renamed Her Merciful Revenue and Custom. Instructions have been issued to HMRC that such hurtful phrases as “avoidance of tax” or even “evasion of tax” are not to be used in corresponding with taxpayers. In future there is to be no recourse to the Courts for any kind of judgemental approach to the payment of income tax. Instead by kind agreement with Cardinal Vincent Nichols disused confessional boxes are to be made available throughout the country staffed by Inspectors of Taxes where taxpayers can come to generous and secret agreements with HMRC as to how much tax they think they ought to pay on the lines of what has been agreed with Google, Starbucks and others. There is an absolute ban on any kind of coercion in these boxes.

However it is appreciated that many will not avail themselves of these opportunities and in that case they are encouraged to enter into a process of discernment with their Financial Advisors (independent but paid for by the Government) as to their ability to pay tax. They should look carefully at any new obligations they have entered into in the previous fiscal year. Such obligations might well be the acquisition of a new wife or two, children or perhaps a cat, an expensive car or TV, holidays in Panama, the maintenance of a 'popsy' in Brighton etc. This might well lead to conscientious decisions that it would be unwise to pay any income tax in the current year. HMRC must respect such decisions as the conscience of the taxpayer and thus their consent are primordial as per subsection 35(c) above. Further other departments have been warned that their must be no discrimination against such conscientious non-taxpayers and the full range of social benefits must be available to them regardless of entitlement in particular the NHS”

Unfortunately some tedious MPs have raised objections to all this at the committee stage suggesting that a resultant fall in tax revenue might jeopardise the continuing viability and real presence of the NHS so do not count on this.

Denis said...

Thank you for your reply. I agree it does read that way.
On another topic, why were some in the Vatican so unhappy about The Pope meeting Kim Davis, the Registrar who opposed same sex marriage. What message did that send about the future direction of The Church in this regard?

Nicolas Bellord said...

Denis: I think the Vatican is trying to follow a 'diplomatic' line reminiscent of the disastrous Ostpolitik followed prior to St JPII whereby the idea was to suck up to the Communist regimes. Pope Francis failed to meet dissidents in Cuba and he has recently praised China to the dismay of faithful persecuted Catholics in China. Kim Davis was a bit too much in your face for the Vatican.

Liam Ronan said...

Dear Jacobi,

I hope you don't take my previous comment as snarky. It wasn't meant to be. It's just that having read your observations:

"Two thousand years of Catholicism have influenced this document...but (I) am somewhat relieved that it is not infallible.

Perhaps we can now all get back to the real problems afflicting the Church."

I genuinely had flashbacks (or would it be audio-backs?) of The Sound of Music seeping into my brain like sort of elevator music on a continuous loop.

I both envy and congratulate you on your optimism. For my part I am trying desperately to map-out how to wend the Von Trapp family safely through the mountains.

Anonymous said...

Just posted on onepeterfive ...by Father Brian Harrison:

Father Brian Harrison, O.S., S.T.D., theologian, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.:

While the Holy Father’s exhortation contains much practical wisdom and moving reflection about marital and familial love, I cannot agree with those who are assuring us that the document leaves intact the Church’s bimillennial doctrine. For doctrine – which includes divine law – can be effectively changed not only when it is directly and explicitly contradicted, but also when it is undermined by radical changes of discipline (de jure or even just de facto) that are inseparably linked to it. And this kind of revolutionary change is embedded in two key footnotes to Amoris Laetitia, nos. 336 and 351. In note 351, Pope Francis, speaking of those in illicit sexual unions, first says that “in certain cases” they may receive the help of “the sacraments” (plural) at the discretion of their pastors. Then, in the following two sentences, by severely warning priests not to be too harsh or demanding in administering Penance and Eucharist, he makes it abundantly clear that he has these two sacraments especially in mind. But giving Absolution and Communion to persons who, Jesus himself says, are committing adultery will clearly conflict with perennial Catholic doctrine and discipline (see CCC, nos. 1650, 2384, and last sentences in 2390). It is prohibited absolutely by the June 2000 Declaration of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, which confirms explicitly the Church’s unbroken tradition that, as a consequence of divine law, no exceptions can ever be made, even for those civilly remarried divorcees whose personal guilt may be mitigated by psychological or other factors. The reason, says the Declaration, is that since these persons are living publicly in an objectively gravely sinful situation, the Church would be seen as diluting the Law of Christ himself, and so lead others into sin, by admitting them to Holy Communion. This scandal is what we are now facing as a result of Amoris Laetitia.

Fr Ray Blake said...

Where do we go from there? If we take the Rupturist line there is nowhere for us.

Jacobi said...

Now Liam,

Why would do that? And what optimism? My daddie, and he knew a thing or two about such situations, said some time ago, that the real time for humour is when things get desperate, as they are in the Church now!

What about,

"Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue
And they went to sea in a sieve"

Difficult to find a tune. Sound of music doesn't fit.

What about "Polly put the kettle on"?

Unknown said...

I must have got it wrong (sorry to all you self-appointed guardians of orthodoxy), but Jesus demolishes your argument totally - but perhaps scripture was never your strong point was it?

Try reading Matthew 23:4

They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

Jesus hated the wretched practitioners of orthodox religion who neglected matters of justice - washing cups and arms but inside corrupt and evil.

This site is the very antithesis of anything Catholic let alone Christian.

Mary's Contrary said...

Thank you, Father Brian H.
As a married mom of five, I find Amoris Laetitia very troubling because of its
acceptance of adultery on a case by case basis. The pope is even saying people can find sanctification and grace in situations which are objectively sinful - adultery or living together without marriage. How is this helpful?
When I teach Confirmation at a local church, we tell the kids that receiving Eucharist in a state of mortal sin is to commit another mortal sin. What do we teach now?
That sometimes continuing in objective mortal sin is healthy and may be good for us.

I'm not Pius X and I'm not schismatic. I consider myself Roman Catholic under the pope emeritus and the Catechism but I dont feel I can follow the advice or teachings of this pope - at least not in some cases.

Liam Ronan said...


"Far and few, far and few,
Are the lands where the Jumblies live;
Their heads are green, and their hands are blue
And they went to sea in a sieve"

How about setting it to the tune they play for the FOX NEWS jingle?

Gregkanga said...

Fr Ray, surely "where you go from here" will depend on your ordinary, the appointed competent authority? In 1992 John Paul II promulgated the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which following the Vatican Council by the way, was a request from the bishops themselves, and look at what happened to Catholic education, formation houses and catechesis in general. Most of the dioceses in West taught contentless and doctrine-free catechesis. This is why the faith has collapsed in the West, and the Church's mission has come to a grinding halt. The same thing happened with so many other Encyclicals, exhortations and decrees in the Church over the years. Bishops just ignored them, or used them to promote their own liberal agenda.

Anonymous said...

Father Blake,

We absolutely need to pray, pray and pray, not only for the Holy Father, but also for ALL the Cardinals and Bishops. At the very least, the daily rosary.

"Pelerin", who sometimes comments on your site, mentioned in a comment on another blog, that leFigaro online reported that 30 cardinals tried to persuade the Holy Father to remove certain sections. He also mentioned he could not confirm the veracity of leFigaro's claim.

Furthermore, in his essay entitled "Can divorced and civilly remarried people receive communion" Willhem Jacobus Cardinal Eijk in the book Eleven Cardinals Speak on Marriage and the Family says the following:

Beginning of Cardinal Ejik's excerpt

"We must realize that the question of administering Communion to divorce and civilly remarried persons is not an incidental, secondary matter. If we were to agree that it was, we would be also agreeing that the mutual gift of the spouses did not have to be total either at the spiritual level or the physical level. Consequently, we would be compelled to change the Church's doctrine about marriage and sexuality in other areas"...

[The Cardinal then links what he says to the following...]

........ "we would be compelled to also accept sexual acts that are not directed to procreation at all, such as homosexual acts". End of Cardinal Ejik's excerpt.

As a result AL also contains a Trojan Horse.

...given the excerpt by Father Harrison, and the essay by Cardinal Eijk, it is clear that the AL is unacceptable, even if 99% of it is orthodox.

N.B. The book of the 11 Cardinals was published for the participants in the Oct 2015 Synod.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Unknown: Please tell where you disagree with what has been said on this blog with specific rational argument rather than just calling us a load of Pharisees.

John Fisher said...

"This site is the very antithesis of anything Catholic let alone Christian". You write this because for many liberal "Catholics" Christ taught a changeable truth that is really just a reflection of man. They argue from where we are not where we should be or what Christ taught. The Pharisees were a group that made up laws rather like Pope Francis and Kaspar. They were not linked to the Sadducee ... the Levites but were a rather middle class group. We don't make up laws but hear Christ. The Pope is bound by these but not men like Kaspar from the Catholic Church in Germany that has been a failure in opposing culture for quite a few centuries. If those living in adultery can receive Communion why not anyone guilty of mortal sin that is unconfessed? Why not anyone? Holy Communion has been desacralised and desecrated in Germany. I speak as someone with a mother with 2 civil marriages, 2 Church marriages one annulled and all broken. Priests that allow divorcees without an annulment but committing adultery spiritually abuse them, those that see it and their children. We live in an age in which the Church abuses the faithful giving snakes when we ask for bread.

Fr Ray Blake said...

I think it will be long for here.
I never give out other people's email addresses

Sadie Vacantist said...

Some of the comments here are hysterical. How can Anglo-Saxons attack Germany when post-war Germany is a product of allied occupation? Look at the mess which is the Middle East. There was the same attempt to secularise muslim countries accept the project met resistance. Walter Kasper should be pitied. Sacked? Of course but ultimately pitied.

Deacon Augustine said...

Father, if you are going to allow anonymous reprobates to hurl ad hominems of "Pharisee" at all the commenters on your blog, you might at least remind them that it was precisely the Pharisees and Herodians who supported divorce and remarriage, and who had St John Baptist murdered for his defense of orthodox religion. But perhaps Scripture was never his strong point anyway.

John Fisher said...

Kaspar the Triumph of the Will. The German Catholic Church did little to oppose the militarism of Prussia and its blackmail of the various German states. Either you join the unification or we will occupy you. That is the ultimatum put to Bavaria. Bismark made the Catholic Church beholden to the State. I am not aware of any German bishops protesting during WWI when obviously Germany had invaded a neutral country. The Weimar Republic another crazy self indulgent mess like German society today.I don't recall the majority of German bishops opposing Nazism... I have lived in Germany and understand it. Conformity to individualism because that is the illusion they are fed does not result in individualism but a herd of sheep who are the same conforming but not knowing it. They self coordinate their bah noises. It results in conformity to legal social norms that follow unthinking fashion... and that is the German vice. The individualism of Luther who was also a real control freak and narcissist who clams to be scriptural but never was.So these two things produce Germany. How many German war criminals fled to Argentina? Perhaps Francis has sympathy for German sentiments.

Girrard .OP said...

I am amazed how far the document moved church culture and developed doctrine. I am a progressive Catholic and surprised that Francis was able to say so much that helps the church. I'm not sure how Cardinal Müller feels. But as a progressive Catholic I too am worried about local customs and what that may mean.

James said...

"Any sensible reading of this not very important and non-magisterial document must stress the importance of placing it in the light of the Church's tradition, of its Magisterium and of documents of greater weight, but most of all in a Spirit of Continuity not of Rupture."

## If the Holy Father took the trouble to produce the Exhortation, however indirectly, that of itself is enough to entitle the Exhortation to docile and reverent acceptance by Catholics. I haven't seen any progressivist critiques of it - but an awful lot of traditionalist or "conservative" (Republican ?) Catholics seem very unfavourably impressed by it. Quite what they object to, is seldom made clear: "a little learning is a dangerous thing", indeed; particularly in Catholic theology. It is of little use to "stress the importance of placing it in the light of the Church's tradition, of its Magisterium and of documents of greater weight" - to some people, that is simply "making excuses".

Given its length and detail and scope, the Exhortation deserves better than to be downplayed. If the HF had regarded it as no more significant than a paper aeroplane, he would not have recommended it to the Faithful. It does not have the authority of some Papal utterances, but that is no reason to treat it as something like an embarrassment.

That it is, as a whole, not infallible, is beside the point - the CCC contains a good deal of non-infallible matter, but that is no reason to treat it as having no authority. The notion that something has authority only if it is infallible, is the very opposite of what the Church teaches. Those who are inclined to dismiss the Exhortation because it is not infallible, should be asked whether they accept the non-infallible parts of the Ecumenical Councils; and if so, why. Ignoring non-infallible utterances of Popes and Councils leaves one with an eviscerated and mutilated Catholicism.

Nicolas Bellord said...

James: Whatever AL says and how it is to be interpreted is one thing. But the point that should worry us all is that it has provoked such divergent views on a matter of fundamental importance viz: whether you can leave your spouse and 'marry' another without the new continuing sexual relationship being regarded as mortal sin precluding one from taking communion. It goes to the crucial point, of relevance to the vast majority of the population, as to whether sacramental marriage is indissoluble or not. There are other concerns about what is meant by inculturation etc that is the principal one. This dissension comes about through ambiguity in the document and the whole history of how it was produced.

Yes many of us including myself are not trained theologians but can we not expect clear teaching? "Feed my sheep" said the Lord; I think we are entitled to complain that we are getting a pretty meagre diet.

Nicolas Bellord said...

Perhaps 'meagre' was the wrong word in mentioning the diet we are getting. It is more a case of wondering whether the tares were separated from the wheat at the time of the harvest and there is something nasty in the diet. Another way of looking at is that the progressives in the Church are continually pushing the envelope; they never quite express a heresy but always trying to see how far they can go without doing so.

Anonymous said...

Bravo for your very clear comment, James. Have you swum over here from 'The Catholic Thing' to comment? I assume that you are the same James. ...?

I agree: I think it is very important to be CLEAR about the Exhortation, which is what a priest is doing in his blog 'Arise, Let us be going'.

He is one of Pope Francis' Missionaries of Mercy, who truly loves our Lord and His Mother. He has written numerous short posts on the AL - and is speaking with parrhesia - true parrhesia, that is, not the 'parrhesia' of the Synods. Here is the link to one of his short posts.


Ignatius Press has provided permission for a limited number of priest-bloggers to publish Cardinal Ejik's FULL essay, - the one that I refer to in my previous comment on this post. This priest has taken Ignatius Press up on their permission, and will publish the essay shortly for the benefit of the faithful.

...., here is his post regarding the essay, ...


P.S. I am not a member of the clergy, nor am I a blogger. I am just a frequenter of orthodox blogs, as most of the commenters here. I think it is important to address AL from an orthodox point of view - which is what this priest is doing, and apparently, so is Ignatius Press.

Anonymous said...

@Nicolas Bellord - you said"

"Yes many of us including myself are not trained theologians but can we not expect clear teaching? "Feed my sheep" said the Lord; I think we are entitled to complain that we are getting a pretty meagre diet"

Check out the blog 'Arise, let us be going" - by an orthodox priest, a Missionary of Mercy - yes - one of those named by Pope Francis. He is trying to provide as much as a substantial diet as possible. He has posted a number of posts on AL, some of which I link to in my comment to James.

Here is another - in true parrhesia:

James said...

@Nicholas Bellord: Maybe the answer to the question is that the clarity that is fitting for doctrinal assertions, is a different kind from the kind that is fitting moral theology. One can say that someone in an irregular union in a state of sin, because it is a sin to live in a way that is contrary to the virtue of chastity. But - and this is where things get confusing - it does not follow from the fact of being in an irregular union, that a particular soul, at a given moment, is not in a state of grace. One cannot tell, from doctrinal assertions alone, what the spiritual state of a given person at a given time may be. Any more than one can tell, from the fact that a religious is technically in the "state of perfection", that that particular religious is at a given moment in a state of grace.

It may be ignorance on my part, but I really don't think the Holy Father is saying anything that is not consistent with the logic of Catholicism. If he were saying that souls in unabsolved mortal sin should be permitted to receive the Bl. Sacrament, that would be troubling - but I don't see anything that amounts to that in AL. The lack of clarity comes, I think, from the Holy Father's unwillingness to lay down a discipline that covers all possible cases. Life is not cut-and-dried, it is unpredictable, it is "messy", and the unforeseen happens. I think he is keenly aware of that, and is trying to allow the fullest possible discretion and freedom of action to pastors for the good of souls, consistent with the Faith and discipline of the Church.

I realise this reading may seem absurdly starry-eyed. His behaviour is unconventional, and some may be less than prudent; but I do not believe that he is in any way trying to destroy the Faith, the Church, or her discipline. And as the Exhortation is addressed to a Church that is made up of many different and varied local churches, the problems of some, won't be problems found everywhere: polygamy is not a big problem for English Catholics - it is in parts of Africa. The result of trying to address the whole Church, is some degree of lack of precision in specifics.

Any text can be misused. That AL can be taken in an unorthodox sense, does not mean it should be so taken. Scripture itself has not been spared such mistreatment - is is surprising if AL is subjected to similar distortions ?


1. Yes, same poster.

2. Thank you for the kind words.

James said...


That last link is just a lot of (extremely disrespectful) dissent. And it is at least the third attack on AL by a Catholic priest I have come across. He accuses the Holy Father of "malice" - so how can he be a Missionary of Mercy ?

Nicolas Bellord said...

Obnoxious Papist: Paragraph 3 of AL is an invitation to interpret DOCTRINE at a local level as a matter of inculturation. Interpretation of doctrine defines what that doctrine is. This is not just a matter of pastoral concern or discipline.

I quite understand that someone living in an irregular situation is not guilty of mortal sin because of ignorance of the doctrine and is therefore entitled to receive communion. However it is proposed that there should be a process of discernment. I can only suppose that the process will ensure that he is not told what the doctrine is as if it did he would then be guilty of mortal sin if he continues with the irregular sexual relations :-)

But please explain how a proper process of discernment can leave a person in any doubt as to the sinfulness of irregular sex I.e. having sex with somebody to whom one is not married. I am afraid I see AL as being written in a very confusing way which will mislead people. I am tempted to say it is actually dishonest.

My point is that it is being interpreted as giving licence to adultery - see the remarks of Cardinal Kasper. Further are the remarks of Archbishop Bruno Forte to be taken seriously as according to him both Pope Francis and himself regard all this as something to joke about?

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