I'm Starting to Like This Pope

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Mon Jun 04, 2018 3:45 pm

+JMJ+

Tracking back to posts on page 57 and page 63 of this thread …


The Space Between: A Criticism of Lawler’s Lost Shepherd
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Philip Lawler, in his book Lost Sheperd, argues that Francis is creating confusion intentionally as a means to usher in radical changes that could not be carried out through the formal processes of the Church. By introducing question marks into bedrock doctrines of the Christian faith, the Pope is setting the stage for liberalizing change.

[…]

There are a few problems with this interpretation of events, however. First, it seems to underestimate the cadre of faithful Catholics and clergy who are very interested in preserving the Church’s clear teaching. …

[…]

The second problem with this interpretation is, to be sure, a rush to judgment regarding the proposals themselves. For example, anything less than absolute uniformity and rigidity on matters of the moral law is seen as a failure of the Church’s mission to teach and form the faithful. …

[…]

The third problem with this interpretation of events is that it neglects the reality of people who live in the space between clear doctrines of the Church. In the process of neglecting the day-to-day lives of Catholics or their “concrete realities” in the language of Francis, Lawler implies that a billion Catholics are eager to live by the clear teachings of the Catechism but also full of people looking to change that Catechism. Lawler leaves little to no room for faithful Catholics to exercise well-formed conscience in areas where the Catechism is unclear on specific direction. In other words, just because a person is exploring how best to live in these “gray areas,” this does not mean that person is somehow a “bad Catholic.”

[…]

When Lawler accuses Francis of “creating confusion,” therefore, he misunderstands the Pope’s objectives. Francis is not setting out to create confusion as a means to a sinister end. What he is doing is trying to explore those areas between the Church’s clear teachings. He is asking questions that can help guide those who have to live their lives where the Catechism does not, nor cannot, offer direct advice. By arguing that Francis is creating confusion, Lawler seems to reveal himself as one uneager or uninterested in helping those currently suffering today in the “outermost fringes of society.”

Francis shows in Amoris Laetitia and elsewhere how the world is becoming increasingly complex and family situations are becoming more difficult. Catholics are struggling to live the faith well in a world that is filled with sin and a variety of modern challenges for which the Catechism offers no practical response,.

Pope Benedict described these challenges in philosophical ways, as a world ravaged by materialism and relativism. Francis describes these challenges in very “subjective” ways, or ways that situate the individual in the context of a sinful world. Francis references divorce, cultural changes in which the family no longer offers as much support, individualism, consumerism, stress, the fast-paced nature of modern life, (mis)organization of society and labor, widespread uncertainty and ambiguity, misunderstanding of true freedom, fear, etc.

My point is that many Catholics are already confused. While we must acknowledge that there are clear teachings of the Church that are immutable, their applicability to specific situations is often less clear to say the least. Amoris Laetitia, in its most controversial passages, is a faithful working out of one complex area of life in which an increasing number of Catholics sadly find themselves, through varying degrees of culpability or none at all. We defend the orthodoxy of the recommended pastoral practices throughout this website.

One can accuse Francis of “creating confusion,” but one does not create confusion by revealing it and discussing it for the benefit of the faithful. And this is precisely what Francis is doing.

[…]
"In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph." - Our Lady of Fatima

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:35 pm

+JMJ+

Not a sidestep, but an affirmation
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For two years, critics of Amoris Laetitia have pointed to Poland as a celebrated example of a national bishops’ conference upholding their view of “orthodoxy.” Beginning in 2016, when a senior Polish bishop vowed to never allow communion to the divorced and remarried under any circumstances, the common view was that the Polish Church rejects the pastoral model that Pope Francis laid out in chapter 8 of the document and further clarified with the affirmation of the Buenos Aires guidelines.

Indeed, as new sets of guidelines have been promulgated, anxious Church-watchers have pounced on each document to determine on which “side” they fell. Some included outright prohibitions on communion for those in irregular situations, while others embraced Francis’ vision of pastoral accompaniment and discernment.

This situation led to some papal critics to lament that such a situation leads to even further confusion in the Church. This was usually expressed in a way similar to the late Cardinal Caffarra’s lament, “What is sin in Poland is good in Germany, that what is prohibited in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is permitted in Malta.”

Reading the official guidelines of the Polish bishops, however, this doesn’t appear to be the case. In fact, the Polish guidelines are very much an affirmation of Amoris Laetitia’s teaching, with absolutely no mention of the “Communion question.”

Several publications have called this a “sidestep.” I believe it’s an affirmation of the official Church position, that of Pope Francis and Amoris Laetitia. It’s a sign that the Church has begun to move past the controversy and further unify under the Holy Father.

Back in March, I wrote about Cardinal Wuerl’s pastoral plan for the Archdiocese of Washington, which also omit any reference to the controversy. While many papal critics celebrated the plan, saying that by not explicitly endorsing footnote 351, Wuerl was rejecting it, I argued that he was really trying to move us past this conflict. Rome has spoken clearly on the subject, so there’s no need to focus so intensely on a mere footnote. The train has left the station.

It’s pretty clear that this is what Poland has done as well.

To close, here is a link to the Polish document in English, and here is a key excerpt:

[…]
"In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph." - Our Lady of Fatima

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by tuttle » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:40 am

Sucks that we can't discuss a legitimate story about the Pope because the topic is about the "A" word.
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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by UncleBob » Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:45 am

tuttle wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:40 am
Sucks that we can't discuss a legitimate story about the Pope because the topic is about the "A" word.
https://christianpipesmokers.slack.com/
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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by tuttle » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:09 am

UncleBob wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:45 am
tuttle wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:40 am
Sucks that we can't discuss a legitimate story about the Pope because the topic is about the "A" word.
https://christianpipesmokers.slack.com/
Sucks that we can't discuss a legitimate story on CPS about the Pope because the topic is about the "A" word.

Hootenanny or slack is just alt-CPS, neither are as good or have the same benefits as the forum.
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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by UncleBob » Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:21 am

tuttle wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:09 am
UncleBob wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:45 am
tuttle wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:40 am
Sucks that we can't discuss a legitimate story about the Pope because the topic is about the "A" word.
https://christianpipesmokers.slack.com/
Sucks that we can't discuss a legitimate story on CPS about the Pope because the topic is about the "A" word.

Hootenanny or slack is just alt-CPS, neither are as good or have the same benefits as the forum.
Slack is what you make it.
"One man's theology is another man's belly laugh." - Robert A. Heinlein

"Many of the points here, taken to their logical conclusions, don't hold up to logic; they're simply Godded-up ways of saying "I don't like that." - Skip

"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please." -Mark Twain

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by tuttle » Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:31 am

UncleBob wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:21 am
tuttle wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 8:09 am
UncleBob wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:45 am
tuttle wrote:
Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:40 am
Sucks that we can't discuss a legitimate story about the Pope because the topic is about the "A" word.
https://christianpipesmokers.slack.com/
Sucks that we can't discuss a legitimate story on CPS about the Pope because the topic is about the "A" word.

Hootenanny or slack is just alt-CPS, neither are as good or have the same benefits as the forum.
Slack is what you make it.
:-|
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"Better to die cheerfully with the aid of a little tobacco, than to live disagreeably and remorseful without." -CS Lewis

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:58 pm

+JMJ+

Pope reaffirms women can’t be priests, says Church has ‘woken up’ on sex abuse
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Pope Francis greets the crowd during his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican June 20. (Credit: Paul Haring/CNS.)

ROME — In a wide-ranging interview in which he spoke about the ongoing migrant crisis in the United States, Pope Francis also touched on issues such as female ordination, the ongoing Vatican talks with China and the clerical sexual abuse scandals in Chile.

The conversation between Francis and a journalist from British news agency Reuters took place on Sunday afternoon, and sections of it were published on Wednesday. Reuters also provided a transcript of portions of the interview to Vatican journalists.

[…]

Women, ordination and their future in the Church

Asked about how he responds to a woman who “really feels the strong desire to become a priest,” Francis said that there’s a temptation to turn the discussion on the role of women in the Church into “they must do this, they must become that.”

“No, the dimension of women goes beyond a role,” he said. “It’s a much bigger thing.”

Quoting Swiss theologian Hans Urs Von Balthasar, he said that the Church can be conceived with two principles: The Petrine principle, that is masculine, and the Marian principle, that is feminine. “There’s no Church without women.”

“Yes, we must give them a role, but this is not enough. With sacred orders, you can’t do anything because dogmatically it doesn’t go — and John Paul II was clear and closed the door, and I won’t turn on this. It was a serious thing, not capricious.”

“But we mustn’t reduce the presence of the women to their role,” he insisted. “No, it’s a thing that man can’t do. Man cannot be the bride of Christ. It’s the woman, the Church, the bride of Christ.”

Francis also said that there needs to “be more” women in positions of responsibility in the Curia because there are now only a few. And to include some of them, such as Spaniard Paloma Garcia Ovejero, he acknowledged that he had to “fight.”

“In this matter it’s important to move forth according to their qualities,” he said.

“I have no problem with naming a woman as head of a dicastery, as long as the dicastery doesn’t have jurisdiction. The one for clergy does, so it has to be a bishop,” Francis told Reuters, adding that there are many that don’t, such as “that for the economy,” presumably referring to the Secretariat for the Economy, that currently has its chief, Australian Cardinal George Pell, on a leave of absence as he stands trials for historic charges of sexual abuse in Melbourne.

“We’re late, it’s true, but we must move forward,” he said.

When it comes to the women being lay or religious sisters, he said that it was indistinct, what matters is that they’re women because they have “another vision.”

[…]
"In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph." - Our Lady of Fatima

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:43 am

+JMJ+

Intra-thread Trackbacks: pg 63 / pg 64 / pg 65 / pg 65


Raymond Arroyo: Party over Faith [Opinion, In-Depth]
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Photo Credit: Max Pixel
Can someone explain to me why Raymond Arroyo still has a show on EWTN? Bad enough that whenever Arroyo hosts Kevin Appleby, from the Center for Migration Studies and a longtime staffer on the issue at the bishops’ conference, he’s paired with someone from the viciously anti-immigrant Federation for American Immigration Reform. This would be like hosting Cardinal Timothy Dolan, [former] chair of the bishops’ Pro-Life Activities Committee, and pairing him with Cecile Richards from Planned Parenthood. But, last week, Arroyo discussed the bishops’ spring meeting and their discussion of immigration with First Things’ Matthew Schmitz, and Arroyo did nothing but make apologies for Donald Trump’s willingness to separate children from their parents, and blame it on the Democrats.

Michael Sean Winters
Michael Sean Winters takes the words out of my mouth. The quote above, from his links column yesterday, as well as his new column today demonstrate the lengths to which Arroyo will push his political views, even when those views directly contradict the teachings of the Catholic Church.

The Catechism teaches:
2241 The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.

Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.
Make no mistake. In the teaching on immigration, the Catholic Church’s official catechism asserts the right to immigrate. Good people might differ in their prudential views of how nations might best assist people in asserting that right. Of course better and more humanitarian regulations are needed in this country. People are being exploited and abused by the current system, and the system needs an overhaul. But prosperous nations are obliged to welcome the foreigner. And what more prosperous nation is there than the United States?

I know that many of our readers consider themselves conservative, and are members of the Republican party. Most of our readers understand that our editorial position at Where Peter Is is non-partisan. We are not beholden to any political party or candidate in any country. We realize that we have a diverse reader base, and some readers may be unhappy with us for taking a position that is critical of a particular party. We simply strive to be faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church, doctrinally orthodox, and committed to following the Magisterium.

[…]

During these weeks, however, Raymond Arroyo has not been part of the outcry. He’s been a cheerleader for an unjust and un-Catholic policy. The week before his discussion with Matthew Schmitz, his guest was Mark Krikorian, Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington-based think tank that advocates for lower levels of immigration. (The video is here.) The two discussed the justifications for the policy as if there was no other respectable choice. Arroyo suggested that the United States provides something akin to “foster care” for the separated children, citing the “sports training” and “education” they receive. Almost as if this is the desired outcome for these families.

[…]

What damage is Arroyo’s dissent causing? Michael Sean Winters discusses his influence:
“Hundreds of thousands of Catholics think he speaks for the church. His show is a scandal in both the generic and theological sense of the word.”
I have family and friends who watch his show and allow him to influence them. It is doubtful that most of his viewers fact-check his assertions after watching the program.

It’s important that until he repents or is removed from his program, Catholic leaders must continue to speak out against the falsehoods he spreads. When he spreads misinformation or promotes dissent from Catholic teaching, he must be called to account for his words. As Katie Prejean-McGrady — a young Catholic mother and representative to the Vatican pre-synod meeting of young people — did at last week’s meeting of bishops in Ft. Lauderdale.

[…]

My next piece on Arroyo will discuss how his program has been used as a platform to attack the Holy Father.

Stay tuned….
"In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph." - Our Lady of Fatima

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:16 pm

+JMJ+

Father Murray and the Truth Idols [Opinion, In-Depth]
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[…]

During the 2018’s Holy Chrism Mass, Pope Francis has delivered a superb homily on the subject of closeness, whose reading I recommend in full.

Unfortunately, the message of this homily has been obscured by a negative article from Fr. Murray on “The Catholic Thing. Fr. Murray, I remind you, is a priest who is a regular appearance on Raymond Arroyo’s “World Over” in EWTN, where he has consistently decried Amoris Laetitia’s true interpretation (as he does explicitly in the article I linked.)

On the subject of His Holiness’ homily, Fr. Murray takes issue mainly with one paragraph:
“We must be careful not to fall into the temptation of making idols of certain abstract truths. They can be comfortable idols, always within easy reach; they offer a certain prestige and power and are difficult to discern. Because the “truth-idol” imitates, it dresses itself up in the words of the Gospel, but does not let those words touch the heart. Much worse, it distances ordinary people from the healing closeness of the word and of the sacraments of Jesus.”
Fr. Murray, on the other hand, categorically rejects the possibility that truth may ever become an idol. He makes some good points: from Thomas Aquinas’ transcendentals, according to which God is Himself Truth, Goodness and Beauty… to Jesus Christ’s saying that “He is the Way, the Truth and the Life.”

From these fine points, he jumps to a conclusion that seems grounded at first, but is actually not: If truth and God are the same, then if we worship truth we are worshipping God. Therefore, truth could never become an idol. As Fr. Murray says, truth would be an antidote for idolatry, it would free us from the error of idolatry.

The problem of this assertion is… it is true at a first glance, but it is not the full truth. And herein lies the crux of the matter… for all purposes. For it is precisely because a certain truth can sometimes be not the full truth, that truth can become an idol.

[…]

But there is another truth-idol contained in Fr. Murray’s constant interventions in EWTN: the worship of the truth about intrinsically evil acts being always objectively evil. This is true… and yet, Fr. Murray uses this truth to fight against another truth: that mitigating factors may diminish subjective culpability for any sin.

To prove what I say, here is a video of one of Fr. Murray’s interviews (watch from 05:18 to 06:37.) In there, Fr. Murray completely ignores what Cardinal Coccopalmerio said, which was clearly about subjective culpability, and shifts the topic unto the intrinsically evil nature of an adulterous relationship, as if that was ever the point. He doesn’t even acknowledge the doctrine of mitigating factors, he just seems oblivious to it. He cites the Catechism #1753, and ignores #1754 right after that (not to mention #1735 and 2352.) And this isn’t an isolated incident, rather it’s his typical modus operandi… whenever someone defends AL on the orthodox grounds of mitigating factors, he will claim that the doctrine of intrinsically evil acts is being denied.

Just like the arian can’t reconcile the equally truthful aspects of Jesus’ humanity and divinity, and idolizes one to the detriment of the other… AL dissenters seem unable to reconcile the equally truthful aspects on the objectivity of sin and the subjectivity of guilt. By idolizing the former to the detriment of the latter, they morph it into a falsity.

Let us prove how this idolatry has turned a truth into a falsehood. …

[…]

As Francis has said, Fr. Murray’s truth-idol is an abstract truth (the good father explicitly defends abstraction on his article.) It is a comfortable idol, for it gives easy one-size-fits-all solutions to every pastoral problem he may come across. By doing so, he will distance the ordinary people who would otherwise be drawn close to the Church by Francis’ pastoral approach. His truth-idol dresses itself up in the words of the Gospel, but does not let the words of the Gospel touch the heart. And, even though I don’t doubt Fr. Murray’s sincerity and good intentions, it is undeniable that his interventions offer him a certain “power and prestige” among a growing subset of the Church, which feeds on discontentment against Pope Francis.

In other words, Fr. Murray’s piece fulfils every point of Pope Francis’ warning. Therefore, we should not read Pope Francis’ homily in light of Fr. Murray’s article, but rather the contrary. We should read Fr. Murray’s article in light of Pope Francis’ homily. Because Fr. Murray’s piece is a perfect case study on what Francis was talking about when he described truth-idols. Contrary to Fr. Murray’s assertions, truth can be turned into an idol and a falsehood… and his own piece denying it proves this.
"In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph." - Our Lady of Fatima

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Fri Jul 06, 2018 8:24 am

+JMJ+

Pope to rich: Stop trampling on the poor, including migrants and refugees
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Pope Francis celebrates Mass on the Italian island of Lampedusa in this July 8, 2013, file photo. The pope called attention to the plight of immigrants by making his first trip as pope to Lampedusa, an entry point for African migrants into Italy. On Friday, ahead of the July 8 fifth anniversary of that visit, he said Mass for migrants and those who help him in Rome's St. Peter's Basilica. (Credit: CNS photo/Paul Haring.)

Pope Francis on Friday celebrated a special Mass in St. Peter's Basilica to mark the fifth anniversary of his 2013 outing to the island of Lampedusa.

ROME — According to Pope Francis, the only “reasonable response” to the challenges presented by contemporary migration is “solidarity and mercy,” less concerned with political calculations and more with an equitable distribution of responsibilities.

Quoting a passage from the Bible, the pontiff on Friday said that “the days are coming” in which God will “send a famine on the land… a thirst for hearing the words of the Lord” upon all those who “trample upon the needy, and bring to ruin the poor of the land.”

Many of the poor, Francis said, are trampled on today.

“How many of the poor are being brought to ruin! All are the victims of that culture of waste that has been denounced time and time again,” including migrants and refugees who “continue to knock at the door of nations that enjoy greater prosperity.”

Pope Francis’s words came at a private Mass he led in Rome’s St. Peter’s Basilica, not on the main altar but in the one known as the Altar of the Seat of Peter, located behind the main altar, allowing for smaller ceremonies. Some 200 people, including migrants and those who work with them, were in attendance.

A just immigration policy, the pontiff said, “is one at the service of the person,” and is capable of providing solutions that can ensure “security, respect for the rights and dignity of all; a policy concerned for the good of one’s own country, while taking into account that of others in an ever more interconnected world.”

Francis also said that even though God promises freedom to all the oppressed, “he needs us to fulfil his promise.”

“He needs our eyes to see the needs of our brothers and sisters. He needs our hands to offer them help. He needs our voice to protest the injustices committed thanks to the silence, often complicit, of so many,” he said, before listing several “silences,” including the silence of common sense and that silence which justifies injustice because “it’s always been done this way.”

Commenting on a passage from the Gospel of Matthew read during the Mass, Francis said that in it Jesus rebukes the Pharisees, pointing his finger at the “sterile hypocrisy of those who do not want to ‘dirty the hands’, like the priest or the Levite in the parable of the Good Samaritan.”

“This is a temptation powerfully present in our own day,” he added. “It takes the form of closing our hearts to those who have the right, just as we do, to security and dignified living conditions. It builds walls, real or virtual, rather than bridges.”

The Mass was celebrated to mark the fifth anniversary of the pope’s first outing outside of Rome, which took place July 8, 2013. On that occasion, he visited the southern Italian city of Lampedusa, considered one of the entrance doors for the thousands of migrants and refugees fleeing Africa and the Middle East towards Europe.

[…]
"In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph." - Our Lady of Fatima

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Mon Jul 16, 2018 10:06 pm

+JMJ+

The Reckoning: Lisbon’s faithfulness to Amoris Laetitia
Image

On Feb 6th this year, Manuel Clemente, the Cardinal-Patriarch of Lisbon, issued guidelines on how to interpret and implement Amoris Laetitia‘s (AL) polemic Chapter 8 in his diocese. I wrote an article about it on this blog, titled “The Patriarchate of Lisbon’s faithfulness to Amoris Laetitia“.

One of the things I appreciated more in these guidelines was how they didn’t try to artificially fit AL into a preconceived idea, be it the Kasperite liberalization of Communion to most divorced and remarried couples, or the immobilist position that tried to maintain the previous status quo, by sweeping any difference in praxis between AL and Familiaris Consortio under the rug.

[…]

Cardinal Manuel Clemente minimizes as much as possible his own personal interpretation and lets AL speak for itself. By doing so, he arrives at the only rationally possible interpretation on the true meaning of AL’s Chapter 8: “To bear in mind exceptional circumstances and the possibility of the sacraments”.

Until now, those who, contradicting the Pope’s manifest will, used “confusion” as a justification to dissent from AL, could just say that the Lisbon guidelines were just one interpretation among many, ranging from the Polish guidelines to the German ones. They would then (like the atheist who uses the excuse of the existence of multiple gods to eschew belief in any of them, including the Christian God), postulate that this diversity meant that the Lisbon guidelines would not have value in themselves, but would just add to the growing “confusion”.

However, this is not the case anymore. The Pope has just issued a letter to the Cardinal-Patriarch of Lisbon, which the good cardinal has made public …

[…]

This is an important development. Apart from the Buenos Aires interpretation, I have no knowledge of any other set of guidelines from any other diocese or bishop conference receiving so much praise and support from Pope Francis. I do believe that this papal letter elevates the Lisbon guidelines to the level of “authentic interpretation”, just like the Buenos Aires ones (being Buenos Aires, in fact, among the foundations where Lisbon builds upon and expands on.) It seems obvious that Cardinal Clemente “got it right” on what the Pope’s manifest will for the document would be.

People who are genuinely confused (either because of AL itself, or because of the misinformation being spread around by dissenters) have one more resource where they can lean on to know what the apostolic exhortation really means.

[…]

So, genuinely confused Catholics may look upon Clemente for clarity and guidance. He has shown, through extensive quoting, how AL may be read in continuity with Familiaris Consortio and Sacramentum Caritatis, pastoral differences aside. He has, in fact, concluded his guidelines with a hierarchy of procedures that shows the necessary steps before considering the novelty of AL’s pastoral paradigm. He doesn’t shun (in fact, he highlights) the necessity of the divorced and remarried person to try to regularize his/her situation (namely through an annulment) and to see if the “brother-sister” approach is possible. Also, he brings into attention the necessary steps after the opening up of the sacraments, so that the person may strive for the eventual fulfilment of the Christian ideal for that marriage in its entirety.
“Bearing all this in mind, I present herein some operative guidelines: a) To accompany and integrate people into the life of the community, in line with the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortations Familiaris Consortio, 84, Sacramentum Caritatis, 29 and Amoris Laetitia, 299 (see appendix). b) Carefully examine the specificity of each case. c) Not to exclude recourse to the diocesan tribunal, whenever there is doubt concerning the validity of the marriage. d) In cases in which validity is ascertained, not to neglect the proposal of a life in continence in the new situation. e) To bear in mind exceptional circumstances and the possibility of the sacraments, in line with the aforementioned apostolic exhortation and documents. f) To continue the process of discernment, bringing the practice ever closer to the ideal of Christian marriage and sacramental consistency.”
I suggest its full reading (which my good friend Filipe d’Avillez has translated to english) here.

Of course, this also means that people who, though not really confused, use “confusion” has a pretext to dissent from a magisterial document they disagree with, have now been dealt another severe blow.

[…]
"In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph." - Our Lady of Fatima

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:35 am

+JMJ+

Pope Francis changes teaching on death penalty, it’s ‘inadmissible’
Image
In this Wednesday, April 25, 2018 file photo, Pope Francis delivers his speech during his weekly general audience, in St.Peter's Square at the Vatican. The Vatican said Thursday Aug. 2, 2018 that Pope Francis had changed the Catechism of the Catholic Church about the death penalty, saying it can never be sanctioned because it "attacks" the inherent dignity of all humans. (Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, file.)

ROME — According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the death penalty now is no longer admissible under any circumstances.

The Vatican announced on Thursday Pope Francis approved changes to the compendium of Catholic teaching published under Pope John Paul II.

“The death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,” reads the Catechism of the Catholic Church now on the death penalty, with the addition that the Church “works with determination for its abolition worldwide.”

[…]

The statement released by the Vatican’s press office on Thursday says that Francis approved the new changes to point number 2267 of the Catechism on May 11, 2018, during a meeting with the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Spanish Cardinal Luis Ladaria.

As it’s been re-written, the Catechism now also says that “Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.”

Yet today, “there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state.”

“Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption,” reads the Catechism now, as it was approved by Francis.

It’s for this reason, and “in light of the Gospel,” that the Church teaches that the practice is now inadmissible.

[…]

According to Ladaria, the new formulation of the Catechism expresses “an authentic development of doctrine that is not in contradiction with the prior teachings of the Magisterium.”

He then explains that previous Church teaching with regards to the death penalty can be explained in a social context in which the penal sanctions were understood differently, and “had developed in an environment in which it was more difficult to guarantee that the criminal could not repeat his crime.”

Marking down the development, Ladaria quotes from Francis’s two immediate predecessors, first saying that John Paul II’s document Evangelium vitae is key in this development of the doctrine. …

[…]
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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by tuttle » Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:06 am

wosbald wrote:
Thu Aug 02, 2018 11:35 am
+JMJ+

Pope Francis changes teaching on death penalty, it’s ‘inadmissible’
Image
In this Wednesday, April 25, 2018 file photo, Pope Francis delivers his speech during his weekly general audience, in St.Peter's Square at the Vatican. The Vatican said Thursday Aug. 2, 2018 that Pope Francis had changed the Catechism of the Catholic Church about the death penalty, saying it can never be sanctioned because it "attacks" the inherent dignity of all humans. (Credit: AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, file.)

ROME — According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the death penalty now is no longer admissible under any circumstances.

The Vatican announced on Thursday Pope Francis approved changes to the compendium of Catholic teaching published under Pope John Paul II.

“The death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person,” reads the Catechism of the Catholic Church now on the death penalty, with the addition that the Church “works with determination for its abolition worldwide.”

[…]

The statement released by the Vatican’s press office on Thursday says that Francis approved the new changes to point number 2267 of the Catechism on May 11, 2018, during a meeting with the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Spanish Cardinal Luis Ladaria.

As it’s been re-written, the Catechism now also says that “Recourse to the death penalty on the part of legitimate authority, following a fair trial, was long considered an appropriate response to the gravity of certain crimes and an acceptable, albeit extreme, means of safeguarding the common good.”

Yet today, “there is an increasing awareness that the dignity of the person is not lost even after the commission of very serious crimes. In addition, a new understanding has emerged of the significance of penal sanctions imposed by the state.”

“Lastly, more effective systems of detention have been developed, which ensure the due protection of citizens but, at the same time, do not definitively deprive the guilty of the possibility of redemption,” reads the Catechism now, as it was approved by Francis.

It’s for this reason, and “in light of the Gospel,” that the Church teaches that the practice is now inadmissible.

[…]

According to Ladaria, the new formulation of the Catechism expresses “an authentic development of doctrine that is not in contradiction with the prior teachings of the Magisterium.”

He then explains that previous Church teaching with regards to the death penalty can be explained in a social context in which the penal sanctions were understood differently, and “had developed in an environment in which it was more difficult to guarantee that the criminal could not repeat his crime.”


Marking down the development, Ladaria quotes from Francis’s two immediate predecessors, first saying that John Paul II’s document Evangelium vitae is key in this development of the doctrine. …

[…]
1) Is this another one of the Pope's opinions that Catholics are free to agree or disagree with, or does this hold the authority to make this the official stance on the death penalty regardless of individual Catholic opinions? It seems the latter to me...but I've been wrong before.

2) That highlighted portion up there, the part about how this decision is not in contradiction with prior teachings (where it was once admissible but is now inadmissible) sounds like classic liberalism. Reinterpreting the old teachings in light of the new understanding.

3) What are the major implications that'll spring out of this? Surely it must have some effect on the interpretation of Scripture. How is a verse like Romans 13:3-4 now interpreted?
For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer
Seems like it's not merely an opinion on what kind of authority the State has, but an opinion on what kind of authority the State has been given. That is, it's not merely an opinion that resides with the State, but it ultimately says something about God Himself and how He has chosen to deal out wrath. The image of the sword isn't there to conjure up the idea of a spanking.
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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:14 pm

+JMJ+
tuttle wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:06 am
[…]

3) What are the major implications that'll spring out of this? …

[…]
We're not allowed to talk politics outside of The Optagon.

Suffice it to say that this is the Church flexing Her muscles in politics. Yay! Watch alliances involving Catholics — whether with the Alt-Right or the Alt-Left, or with the Modernist-Right or Modernist-Left — begin to be stressed. This will have good effects and bad effects (we are set for the rise and fall of many) for those outside of the Church. We are the Stone of Stumbling, after all.

But for the Open-Board, all one needs to know is that
  1. Christians are not allowed to support the Death Penalty. If one doesn't want to be a Christian, then that's their call.
  2. Christian Scriptural interpretation (and theological speculation) must always now take #1 into account.
If one insists upon substituting "Catholic" for "Christian" in the above, then they're free to do that.
"In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph." - Our Lady of Fatima

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by tuttle » Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:21 pm

wosbald wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 12:14 pm
+JMJ+
tuttle wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 11:06 am
[…]

3) What are the major implications that'll spring out of this? …

[…]
We're not allowed to talk politics outside of The Optagon.

Suffice it to say that this is the Church flexing Her muscles in politics. Yay! Watch alliances involving Catholics — whether with the Alt-Right or the Alt-Left, or with the Modernist-Right or Modernist-Left — begin to be stressed. This will have good effects and bad effects (we are set for the rise and fall of many) for those outside of the Church. We are the Stone of Stumbling, after all.

But for the Open-Board, all one needs to know is that
  1. Christians are not allowed to support the Death Penalty. If one doesn't want to be a Christian, then that's their call.
  2. Christian Scriptural interpretation (and theological speculation) must always now take #1 into account.
If one insists upon substituting "Catholic" for "Christian" in the above, then they're free to do that.
Yeah, to be honest I wasn't referring to political fallout (tho I don't mind talking 'bout it) so we can let that lie for now or open it up in the Dark Opts.

As for the spiritual/theological/et al, ramifications it strikes me as rather astounding, both on the level of how liberal the re-interpretation is and how opposed it is to Paul's original instruction/theology of divinely granted authority of the sword to the State. (I say original because it seems to me the new position felt that the original instruction/teaching was that it was okay for that day in age, but now is not).

Now, speaking, not from within, but as an observer without, it seems there's going to be a lot of Catholic's (thanks for the terminological leeway) who are going to be needing to make a very hard choice immediately if they wish to remain Catholic. Catholics who are convinced that the death penalty is justifiable legally and pre-August2018 theologically, people like Scalia, are up for an ousting of they stand firm on that?

Now, again, as one who is outside and not inside, and as one who has some major disagreements in theological/biblical interpretation, I'm not necessarily bothered by the thought of the Roman Catholic Church teaching something that I and my tradition believes to be a biblically justifiable position, but again, the thing that kind of shocked me was the admission of how he came to reverse the Church's stance. It was okay then (presumably even confirmed by the apostles in their day), but today it's not okay. Regardless of the topic, that kind of reasoning seems to me, and I assume to many within the Roman Catholic fold, to be rather shocking.
"Do mo betta." -FredS

"Better to die cheerfully with the aid of a little tobacco, than to live disagreeably and remorseful without." -CS Lewis

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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:21 pm

+JMJ+
tuttle wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 1:21 pm
[…]

…the thing that kind of shocked me was the admission of how he came to reverse the Church's stance. …
I don't concede it to be a reversal.

OTOH, I do agree that there is certainly a paradox involved. Quite uncoincidentally, it's the same crucifying paradox that drove Luther to his "Two Kingdoms" formulation and which governs Reformatio-Modernist thinking to this day. So, the present ruling on the Death Penalty should be seen as quite unsurprising considered in light of Catholicity rejecting "Two Kingdoms". This development really represents the Day of Reckoning for Protestantism and Modernity that has been in transit for 500 years (as well as for the so-called "One Kingdom" impulse that has ever dominated the Pagan/Ancient-World schema).

It seems to me that the real question that will dominate faithful Catholic Theological and Scriptural interpretation in the times to come will be in a wrestling to forge a harmonization between the dual affirmations that:
  1. "The Sword is the right and duty of the State"
    and
  2. "The Death Penalty is Christianly 'inadmissible'"
There will be a variety of attempts from across a wide spectrum of schools which will attempt precisely this synthesis. And none of them will be perfect. None of them will exorcise the paradox such that the result will be determinate "without residue". But this incompleteness — this theological "problematic" — will not be schematically different than the problematic which governs all of the imperfect attempts to square Christ's Divinity with His Humanity. It'll only be the same, basic problematic — the same "wrestling" — transposed to another arena.

If you really want to follow the development — if you really want to see what Catholicity "does" with this development — then pay attention to these attempts over the coming months and years. Watch to see which attempts may be censured/disallowed as being reductive and/or heretical, and which will be left to stand. It'll be interesting. But this continual theological task is the perennial work of the Church in the world. It's quite exciting, actually. To me, at least. :)
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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Sat Aug 04, 2018 9:20 am

+JMJ+

Retired Pope Benedict accused of anti-Semitism after article on Christians and Jews
Image
Then-Pope Benedict XVI receives a gift from Israeli chief Rabbis Shlomo Amar, right, and Yona Metzger, left, at the center for the Jewish Heritage in Jerusalem, on May 12, 2009. The pope told Israel's two chief rabbis that the Catholic Church is "irrevocably committed" to "a genuine and lasting reconciliation between Christians and Jews." (AP Photo/Kobi Gideon, Pool)

PARIS (RNS) — Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, head of the Roman Catholic Church from 2005 to 2013, is being accused of fostering anti-Semitism after publishing a controversial essay in a German-language theological journal.

[…]

The central point of debate is Benedict’s denial the Catholic Church ever adopted “supersessionism,” the theological belief that God’s covenant through Christ replaced the covenant God made with the Jewish people, and his insistence at the same time that the Christian lens for reading the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) is the only valid one.

[…]

Benedict pledged at his surprise 2013 resignation that he would remain “hidden from the world” and not get involved in church debates. He wrote his essay as a private text last fall and passed it on to Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, who read it and convinced him to publish it.

Critics say the recent essay seems to walk back efforts in the past half-century to undo the Catholic Church’s long history of anti-Semitism. After nearly two millennia of hostility, the Catholic Church’s Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) acknowledged Christianity’s close historical ties with Judaism and absolved Jews of the stereotype of being “Christ killers.”

Pope John Paul II further developed this vision, visiting a synagogue, traveling to Israel, calling Jews “our elder brothers in the faith” and declaring that God’s covenant with them was not superseded by the covenant through Christ. Benedict’s essay in Communio, an international theological quarterly he helped found in 1972, seemed to walk some of that back to almost pre-Vatican II views. It has not yet been translated into English.

Image
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI sits in St. Peter’s Basilica as he attends the ceremony marking the start of the Holy Year, at the Vatican, on Dec. 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

In the essay, Benedict notes that the term supersessionism — a sensitive issue for Jews who reject this view as Christian arrogance — was not listed in leading Christian theological lexicons. Building on this point, he argues that Christianity had never seen itself as completely overtaking Judaism, but just as replacing some Jewish rituals such as animal sacrifice with the Eucharist.

Vienna Chief Rabbi Arie Folger called this argument “an ahistoric revisionism that ignores the real suffering inflicted on Jews for centuries because of the doctrine of (the Church as) ‘the true Israel.'”

Telling Jews how to read the Hebrew Bible in a Christian way seemed to suggest that Christians should revive efforts to convert them, Folger wrote in the Jüdische Allgemeine, the weekly newspaper of the Central Council of Jews in Germany.

Benedict interpreted the expulsion of the Jews from Jerusalem in the second century A.D. as part of a divine plan, but stated that the modern state of Israel did not have a religious significance for Judaism. Folger called this view “dishonest and dubious.”

[…]

Some Catholic theologians have come to Benedict’s defense. Bochum University theologian Thomas Söding said the essay was “not an irritation, but an inspiration for Jewish-Christian dialogue.”

Likewise, Vienna University theologian Jan-Heiner Tück said the essay aimed not to roll back some Catholic positions but to further dialogue between the two religious traditions. Tück said that Benedict’s essay left open the difficult question of what role in salvation Catholicism saw for Judaism since it viewed the Jewish covenant with God as unbroken but the Christian covenant as the true bond. A Vatican document in 2015 said both covenants were paths to salvation, but how this worked was “an unfathomable divine mystery.”

“That should have been made clearer,” Tück said. Benedict was not trying to roll back progress in Christian-Jewish dialogue, he said, “but maybe there’s a certain gap in the description of the positive meaning of Judaism for salvation.”

Image
PTheologian Jan-Heiner Tück. Photo courtesy Vienna University

[…]
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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:09 pm

+JMJ+

A little update to the Death Penalty story. Now, this is something which I've always been a bit fuzzy on, since the gradations of doctrine and the various degrees of Magisterial authority which they possess has never been my "specialty". So, the analysis of this update, assuming it's accuracy, should seemingly add a little nuance to the intra-Catholic dialogue in the months and years to come.


Francis changes the Catechism: Death penalty now “inadmissible”
Image

[…]

Is this now a dogma?

No, it is not. Contrary to some popular misconceptions, the inclusion of something in the Catechism does not make it a dogma of the faith. In fact, according to Ratzinger, inclusion in the Catechism confers no additional doctrinal authority on a teaching: “The individual doctrines which the Catechism presents receive no other weight than that which they already possess.”[18] The authority of any given statement has to be evaluated according to what it is based on. In this context, the authority behind the now-superseded CCC #2267 was EV [Evangelium Vitae]. Since that was an encyclical of a pope, it clearly constituted an ordinary teaching of the papal magisterium. “Ordinary” teachings are not dogmatic, irreformable, infallible, or “of faith” (de fide). Nevertheless, it is expected that Catholics accept them.[19] The new CCC #2267 is obviously based on the pope’s address of last year. However, there is no precedent for a pope making an individual change to one paragraph of the Catechism (as opposed to the general revisions of 1997). Furthermore, this announcement has been made with a letter from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith that further spells out the meaning of the teaching. Given this doctrinal letter, it is very clear that it is the pope’s intention to make this a teaching of his ordinary magisterium that will be normative for the Church’s teaching and praxis.

Due to the horrible polarization in Western society at the moment, it is a foregone conclusion that the many conservative Catholics that regard Francis as the worst pope ever will reject this teaching as nothing more than the latest example of his “heresies” (e.g., here, here, here). There is little that can be done about this calamity except pray. I am convinced that Francis’s teachings will outlast the current crisis. And let us also pray and work for the abolition of the DP in the U.S.!

[…]

[18] Joseph Ratzinger and Christoph Schönborn, Introduction to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994), 27.

[19] On this, see this post of mine.
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Re: I'm Starting to Like This Pope

Post by wosbald » Mon Aug 06, 2018 7:42 am

+JMJ+

Pastor Robert Jeffress, author of this …

Image

… has just tweeted this …

Image
"In the end, My Immaculate Heart will triumph." - Our Lady of Fatima

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