Yesterday evening I tweeted the following:
And, sure enough, the Vatican is now reporting that, during the inflight interview, the following exchange took place:
(Francis Rocca) ... se mi permette vorrei fare una domanda su un altro evento degli ultimi giorni, che è stata la sua Esortazione Apostolica. Come lei ben sa, c’è stata molta discussione su uno dei molti punti – lo so che vi ci siamo concentrati molti – dopo la pubblicazione: alcuni sostengono che niente sia cambiato rispetto alla disciplina che governa l’accesso ai Sacramenti per i divorziati e i risposati, e che la legge e la prassi pastorale e ovviamente la dottrina rimangono così; altri sostengono invece che molto sia cambiato e che si sono tante nuove aperture e possibilità. La domanda è per una persona, un cattolico che vuole sapere: ci sono nuove possibilità concrete, che non esistevano prima della pubblicazione dell’Esortazione o no?

An environmentaly-friendly smoking gun
(Papa Francesco) Io potrei dire “si”, e punto. Ma sarebbe una risposta troppo piccola. Raccomando a tutti voi di leggere la presentazione che ha fatto il cardinale Schönborn, che è un grande teologo. Lui è membro della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede e conosce bene la dottrina della Chiesa. In quella presentazione la sua domanda avrà la risposta. Grazie!

(Guénard) Avevo la stessa domanda, ma è una domanda complementare, perché non si è capito perché lei ha scritto questa famosa nota nella Amoris laetitia sui problemi dei divorziati e risposati – la nota 351

(Papa Francesco)…Che memoria!

(Guénard) Sì. La domanda: perché una cosa così importante in una piccola nota? Lei ha previsto delle opposizioni o ha voluto dire che questo punto non è così importante?

(Papa Francesco) Senta, uno degli ultimi Papi, parlando sul Concilio, ha detto che c’erano due Concili: quello Vaticano II, che si faceva nella Basilica San Pietro, e l’altro il “Concilio dei media”. Quando io convocai il primo Sinodo, la grande preoccupazione della maggioranza dei media era: Potranno fare la comunione i divorziati risposati?. E siccome io non sono santo, questo mi ha dato un po’ di fastidio, e anche un po’ di tristezza. Perché io penso: Ma quel mezzo che dice questo, questo, questo, non si accorge che quello non è il problema importante? Non si accorge che la famiglia, in tutto il mondo, è in crisi? E la famiglia è la base della società! Non si accorge che i giovani non vogliono sposarsi? Non si accorge che il calo di natalità in Europa fa piangere? Non si accorge che la mancanza di lavoro e che le possibilità di lavoro fanno sì che il papà e la mamma prendano due lavori e i bambini crescano da soli e non imparino a crescere in dialogo con il papà e la mamma? Questi sono i grandi problemi! Io non ricordo quella nota, ma sicuramente se una cosa del genere è in nota è perché è stata detta nell’Evangelii gaudium. Sicuro! Dev’essere una citazione dell’Evangelii Gaudium. Non ricordo il numero, ma è sicuro."

The Pope is a pharisee ...

Let me start by the end. It was the Pope that raised the issue of communion for adulterers. This issue was dead and buried before his comments in the flight back from Brazil. It didn't stop there. The Pope invited Kasper to present to the consistory his heretical proposal. After that came all the phone calls to unrepentant public sinners and the never denied "authorisations" to go to communion. Lastly, in the two synods the Popes appointees were the most vociferous defenders of Eucharistic sacrilege.

Blaming the media for the emphasis on the communion issue is a bit pharisaical of the Pope.

Pope Francis met so many jewish pharisees during is pontificate that it's starting to rub off.

... with a conveniently bad memory ...

Then there's the Pope's memory problem. He didn't remember the CDF condemnation of homosexual civil unions and now he doesn't remember what he wrote in footnote 351. Convenient.

Pope Francis's bad memory. The Church needs an upgrade. Contact the local supplier (a.k.a. Conclave).

... and Cd. Schönborn is his prophet

Last, apparently Cd. Schönborn is the official interpreter of Amoris Laetitia and his presentation is the Rosetta Stone of the new gospel.

The pauper and the prince: the destroyer and his authorized prophet

What does the oracle say? Interestingly, he doesn't spend his time talking about the "distinction between the objective quality of a moral act and the subjective responsibility that the moral agent bears for committing that act", although he mentions the relevant paragraphs.

My "take aways" from the presentation are the following:
  • Absolution and communion can be given to incontrite adulterers (AND OTHER PUBLIC SINNERS) "in certain cases":

    "the Pope affirms, in a humble and simple manner, in a note (351) that the help of the sacraments may also be given “in certain cases”.

  • Confessors will bear the burden of allowing sacrilege and will be pressured to do so at every level starting by the Pope.

    "for this purpose he does not offer us case studies or recipes, but instead simply reminds us of two of his famous phrases: “I want to remind priests that the confessional should not be a torture chamber but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy” (EG 44), and the Eucharist “is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak” (EG 47)."

  • It is all a matter of discernment of the situations.

    "what does this mean in practice?... The definitive answers are found in Amoris Laetitia, paragraph 300. ...The Pope says clearly: “What is possible is simply a renewed encouragement to undertake a responsible personal and pastoral discernment of particular cases”.

    How this personal and pastoral discernment can and should be is the theme of the entire section of Amoris Laetitia constituted of paragraphs 300-312. In the 2015 Synod, in the Appendix to the statements by the Circulus germanicus an Itinerarium of discernment, of the examination of conscience that Pope Francis has made his own.

    “What we are speaking of is a process of accompaniment and discernment which “guides the faithful to an awareness of their situation before God”. But Pope Francis also recalls that “this discernment can never prescind from the Gospel demands of truth and charity, as proposed by the Church

  • But the however badly formed conscience of penitents will take precedence over the confessor's discernment.

    "We have been called to form consciences, not to replace them (AL 37)."

Rosica's (sorry) Rosetta's Stone. If Amoris Laetitia had been written in hieroglyphs it wouldn't have been more difficult to decipher.

    I have dedicated enough time to the consequences of allowing incontrite adulterers to go to communion (see here) and to the issue of Conscience (see here, here and here).

     I would just like to add something about the...

     ... Empty, pharisaical protestations of orthodoxy...

     .... like "this discernment can never prescind from the Gospel demands of truth and charity, as proposed by the Church", "the Church must certainly never “desist from proposing the full ideal of marriage, God’s plan in all its grandeur" or "we can hardly stop advocating marriage simply to avoid countering contemporary sensibilities, or out of a desire to be fashionable or a sense of helplessness in the face of human and moral failings" which were only placed in there to allow "plausible deniability".

    How do I know that this is just hogwash?

    First, because Amoris Laetitia is an attempt to kill mortal sin by making repentance and contrition irrelevant and coercing confessors to grant absolution. We're all saints now, especially if you're an adulterer, fornicator, contraceptor or practincing homosexual.

    And then there's this: the Philippine Bishops have just opened the door to communion for public incontrite public sinners without any "discernment" and the Pope remained silent and will say absolutely nothing about it. (The same happened in an Italian diocese).


    So, why did I titled this post Sede Irrelevante? The Cardinal stresses the following issues:

    • We also need to be humble and realistic, acknowledging that at times the way we present our Christian beliefs and treat other people has helped contribute to today’s problematic situation” (AL 36). “We have also proposed a far too abstract and almost artificial theological ideal of marriage, far removed from the concrete situations and practical possibilities of real families. This excessive idealization, especially when we have failed to inspire trust in God’s grace, has not helped to make marriage more desirable and attractive, but quite the opposite” (AL 36).
    • “We have long thought that simply by stressing doctrinal, bioethical and moral issues, without encouraging openness to grace, we were providing sufficient support to families, strengthening the marriage bond and giving meaning to marital life. We find it difficult to present marriage more as a dynamic path to personal development and fulfilment than as a lifelong burden. We also find it hard to make room for the consciences of the faithful, who very often respond as best they can to the Gospel amid their limitations, and are capable of carrying out their own discernment in complex situations...” (AL 37).

    Apparently, for 1950 years (give or take a few), the Church made huge mistakes in presenting the demands of God's Law concerning the Family, Marriage, sexuality. But, finally, the Holy Spirit woke up and gave us a Pope that will straighten things up and turn a NO into a MAYBE (i.e. yes).

    This can only be true if the Indefectibility of the Church is a much more limited promise that some thought; maybe circumscribed to the extraordinary magisterium only. It’s either this or conclude that Catholicism is a 2.000 years old hoax:

    The Church's foundation resisted for 2.000 years, but Santa Marta's shallow foundations resisted for 985 days.

    There are two other consequences of this:

    The problem is the landing.

    If he can transform the NO of previous Popes into a maybe, whatever he writes can also be reversed by future pontiffs… which means – Oh JOY – that I no longer have to pay attention to what he says because either it is in accord with Tradition (which is much more clear and straightforward than anything that came from the Pope’s mouth or (ghost) pen), or it isn’t and we don’t have to listen to him.


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