Pope Francis has strongly endorsed a document in which the Catholic bishops of Argentina say that Amoris Laetitia allows for Catholics who are divorced and remarried to receive Communion under some circumstances.
The bishops’ guide recognizes the possibility that Catholics who are divorced and remarried may choose to live as brother and sister: the only circumstance under which Catholics in such irregular unions have traditionally been allowed to receive the Eucharist. However, the Argentine bishops say that there may be “other more complex circumstances” when that option “may not be viable.” In such cases “a path of discernment is still possible,” the bishops write. The document suggests that this further “discernment” could be appropriate if refraining from sexual intercourse would imperil a second union, “particularly when a person believes they would commit another mistake that could harm any children born into the new union.”
Seems to me that this allows for some real dialog in these situations.
God forbid that the Pope and the church should be criticized as Christ was with, "This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them."
Eating with a sinner does not equate approving of his sin(s), lifestyle. I think the Church needs to be consistent with herself: someone who has sexual relations outside the holy bonds of marriage commits a sin, namely fornication. One who commits fornication is a fornicator. Fornicators will not inherit eternal life but some of them could possibly receive communion, the real presence? You think that makes sense?
I’ve been looking into this today and, frankly, it’s something that I find probably the most troubling of all that has surrounded Pope Francis since his election. If anyone has a good way to explain this to someone who’s being scandalized by it, like me, I’m sure it would be appreciated.
It’s a pastoral application of what we already know is required for mortal sin and factors that can reduce culpability. That said, I do worry that ambiguity and a nuanced approach can ultimately be undermining in practice, and leaving too much room for discernment can lead to poor lapses in judgment.
This is not a new definition on our doctrine of sin and morals, but an attempt to better apply that unchanging truth in a more nuanced and merciful way. Still, it leaves me wary.
And a private letter is not an exercise of the extraordinary magisterium.
Saint Michael the archangel, defend us in battle . . . :gopray2:
Also, the Pope has not declared divorce or second marriages valid or good. There is no change in teaching on that. This is a judgment call, for this Pope believes if we can find the smallest window to extend mercy through, we can draw people closer to Christ and getting back towards the right path. There may be a change in approach in how to address situations, with more mercy, but teaching on what is a moral marriage and chaste relations has not changed.
Yeah, but there’s a lot more than just a letter here. There’s everything from the Synods to the Apostolic Exhortation to various bits of scandal surrounding the Exhortation. It’s very troubling, even if infallibility or changing doctrine are not remotely on a person’s mind.
This is how I am looking at it. Peter denied the Lord three times and Judas betrayed the Lord for thirty pieces of silver. Thomas insisted upon putting his fingers in the Lord side and in the wounds from the nails. Peter repented and was restored to ministry and to fellowship, Judas committed suicide and Thomas saw and believed.
If I were alive then and if I believed Jesus was the Messiah, would I allow the words and actions of these three fallible men to determine whether I became and continued as a disciple of Christ? If I recall correctly wasn’t Peter the very first Pope? Of course he was. If Peter is any example, even Popes don’t always get things right.
And yet, the good Lord worked all things out to his plan and purposes.
I’d be lying if I said this does not grip me with a certain terror, but I guess it’s incumbent for us to remain faithful and trust in the direction of the Holy Spirit. That said, what possible circumstance could there be as outlined by the statement wherein living as brother and sister is not possible?
Tim Staples cleared up my confusion about this with this video:
This. Exactly this.
That was my take from the Apostolic Exhortation as well.
Francis isn’t trying to change doctrine because he doesn’t care about doctrine. He only cares about pastoral concerns.
What this boils down to is the concept of vincible vs invincible ignorance. Francis sees the role of the pastor as helping these couple realize that their ignorance is vincible, which is insane. I mean, how can you be intentionally vincibly ignorant?! So yeah, no pastoral correction of error, instead a pastoral pat on the back and a “it’s okay, you didn’t know”.
But yeah, no doctrine has changed.
I can’t really think of one either. though perhaps there might be one. I really don’t know.
I know he’s not making this a free for all but it does open the door for abuses.
although, that being said, if a pastor was really going to be lax about this sort of thing, there is technically nothing stopping him from doing so, papal document or no papal document. he could tell all sort of people that it’s not big deal to receive communion, who would really know? besides God of course
Our pastor, who is a faithful priest, gave us an example he knew happened after the Korean war. Roughly speaking, a brother and sister were orphaned very young and sent different places. After growing up they went back, met married,and had children , not realizing they were related. Someone much older came to realize what happened and asked the priest there what to do. He sent it to Rome and the answer came back that the marriage was invalid, but to do nothing. There was no way to sort out what happened and everybody had acted in good faith and there were children involved.