Digging deeper into ‘Amoris Laetitia’
Dr Rocio Figueroa
The inclusion of the Argentinian bishops’ guidelines on Communion for civilly remarried Catholic divorcees in “Acta Apostolicae Sedis”, the official record of Vatican documents and acts may clarify chapter 8 of Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia but it will not end the controversy surrounding it.
Peruvian theologian Dr Rocio Figueroa, systematic theology lecturer at Good Shepherd College in Ponsonby, said while this might shed light on some issues raised against the exhortation, she does not think it will not [sic] silence the critics.
“It clarifies his posture,” Dr Figueroa said. “But he already published that letter. And all the people read the guidelines of the Argentinians.”
She said those, mostly theologians, who have a very rigid interpretation of Church teachings will struggle with the fact that there are exceptions to the rule.
“They will have to accept (the Pope’s decision),” she said. “But they need time to assimilate the truth.”
“When some people say ‘it’s not clear’, ‘it’s confusing’, for me, it is most clear!” said the Peruvian theologian.
Does Amoris Laetitia open the floodgates for the remarried divorcees to receive communion? No, said Dr Figueroa.
Does it close the possibility for civilly remarried divorcees to receive communion? No, she said.
There is a process of discernment, not just by the person in the sinful situation but also the person’s priest. If the person’s sin is discerned as not having one of the three conditions for it to be mortal sin (grave matter, full knowledge and deliberate consent), then he can receive the Eucharist.