Christopher A. Ferrara – Einführung
Obwohl uns eine eigene Auseinandersetzung mit Amoris laetitia nicht erspart bleiben wird, so wollen wir dieses Ziel in kleinen Schritten angehen und vorerst den langen Aufsatz von Christopher A. Ferrara Amoris Laetitia: Anatomy of a Pontifical Debacle aus dem US-traditionalistischen The Remnnant hier wiedergeben. Der Aufsatz ist recht lang, denn er zählt 50 Seiten und daher ist anzunehmen, dass wirklich wenige Leser in einem Zug bewältigen werden. Christopher A. Ferrara ist ein Jurist und deswegen darauf hin geschult Unsinn möglichst früh zu entdecken und zu eliminieren. Können das denn die anderen Berufsgruppen nicht? Die Mehrheit der heutigen Theologen, besonders in den deutschsprachigen Länder, der Jedoch-Aber-Wenn-die-pastoralen-Gründet etc. – Schule leider nicht. Warum nicht? Weil sie in keiner zweiwertigen Logik geschult werden, sondern in der hegelianischen oder in gar keiner.
Christopher A. Ferrara ist mit Thomas E. Woods, Jr. der Verfasser des wirklich herausragenden Buches: The Great Façade. The Regime of Novelty in the Catholic Church from Vatican II to the Francis Revolution, welchem wir uns noch in Buchempfehlungen ausführlich widmen werden. Interessanterweise ist es nicht mehr in Deutschland bei amazon.de erhältlich, wo wir es selbst vor ein paar Monaten erstanden haben. Man muss also auf Großbritanien, will man bei dieser Firma bestellen, ausweichen. Darin wird wirklich die gesamte nachkonziliare Entwicklung analytisch und katholisch auseinander gepflückt wird. Es ist ein Genuss es zu lesen und vielleicht hat die DBK ihre Verbindungen spielen lassen, um es in Deutschland schwerer zugänglich zu machen. Möglich wäre es. Ein guter Mann eben, dieser Ferrara, vom katholischen Geist beseelt und mit einigem polemischen Temperament ausgestattet. Diejenigen unserer Leser, die kein Englisch können, mögen es uns nachsehen und unsere eigene Analyse kommt ja auch und wird sicherlich viel theologischer als die von Ferrara ausfallen. Aber das eine soll man tun, das andere nicht lassen, zumal man keine 24 Stunden am Tag hat, um sich diesem Blog zu widmen.
Amoris Laetitia: Anatomy of a Pontifical Debacle
Written by Christopher A. Ferrara
Editor’s Note: This is the REVISED AND EXPANDED WEB VERSION of Mr. Ferrara’s article by the same name which appears in the current print-edition of The Remnant. We’ve decided to post it here in its entirety due to the gravity of its subject matter and to the fact that it may well be our most definitive exposé of Pope Francis and his agenda to permanently change the Church. It gives us no joy to publish this devastating critique of the ‘Joy of Love’. In fact, we regard it as nothing less than the heartbreaking duty of loyal sons of the Church who can see no alternative but to resist. Please pray for Pope Francis and for our beloved Catholic Church under obvious siege. MJM
No difficulty can arise that justifies the putting aside of the law of God which forbids all acts intrinsically evil. There is no possible circumstance in which husband and wife cannot, strengthened by the grace of God, fulfill faithfully their duties and preserve in wedlock their chastity unspotted. –Pius XI, Casti Connubii
Introduction: Spreading Alarm
As Cardinal Burke has observed in an article appearing in the National Catholic Register, upon careful reading AMORIS LÆTITIA reveals itself to be “a personal, that is, non-magisterial” document, “a personal reflection of the Pope” that “is not confused with the binding faith owed to the exercise of the magisterium.” This is true enough, but perhaps not for the reasons the Cardinal expresses, as I show at the conclusion of this essay.
But that hardly eliminates the massive problem with this utterly unprecedented 256-page “apostolic exhortation.” What motivates all the pages to follow here is that Pope Francis has promulgated Amoris Laetitia as if it were an authentic and binding act of the Magisterium and that it will be treated as such by his collaborators and by ecclesial progressives throughout the Catholic world. Amoris Laetitia is, therefore, yet another addition to The Great Façade of pseudo-doctrines in the form of non-binding pastoral and disciplinary novelties and new attitudes and “approaches”—all emerging for the first time during that great epoch of enlightenment known as the Sixties. These include the new liturgy (which the faithful were never actually required to attend), “ecumenism,” “dialogue” and “interreligious dialogue.” Their combined effects have been ruinous.
And now this.A commentary at the Rorate Caeli blog site said what had to be said for the sake of truth: “There’s no other way to put it: The pope’s Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia is a catastrophe.” Voice of the Family likewise recognized what was immediately apparent from a reading of the critical Chapter 8: “Our initial overview provides sufficient cause to regard this document as a threat to the integrity of the Catholic faith and the authentic good of the family.”
Even normally middle-of-the-road commentators have not concealed their alarm over the document’s patent downgrading of Our Lord’s demanding teaching in the realm of sexual morality and Francis’s thematic argument that “mitigating factors” and “concrete situations” somehow convert mortally sinful adultery and fornication into mere “irregularities” falling short of the “ideal” of Christian marriage but nonetheless possessing “constructive elements.” See extended discussion at II.
EWTN’s show The World Over presented a politely devastating critique by Fr. Gerald Murray, Robert Royal and Raymond Arroyo. The participants described passages to be examined here as “dangerous,” “very disturbing,” “very problematic,” “not the language of the Gospel,” “very odd,” “very strange,” “a big mistake,” “set[ting] up straw men to knock down,” “a direct contradiction of John Paul II in Familiaris consortio and subsequent documents,” “not in accord with what the Church has said until now,” “false mercy” favorable to “‘Father Friendly’ who wants to sell the store,” that would make receiving Communion “a badge of honor that you receive even you though you know what you are doing is contrary to the teaching of the Church,” and an “attempt to paper over what really is a change of doctrine… but denying that you’re changing the doctrine.” As Arroyo observed, according to the general tenor of the document “the exception becomes a very difficult rule, or no rule at all” while the Church, to quote Father Murray, becomes involved in “the excuse-making business, not the Gospel business.” Given the last word, Father Murray, citing the natural right of the faithful to voice their concerns as recognized by the Code of Canon Law, concluded:
Flattery would mean we keep our mouths shut and say nothing. But Gospel frankness… calls upon us to say, Holy Father, either you have been poorly advised or you have an incomplete conception of this issue…
I don’t want to criticize the pope…. but what I will say is when you do something in public that contradicts what your predecessor did, there has to be an accounting for it and a responsibility to upholding the gospel, and I think that’s what many bishops, Cardinals and priests will call for.
In The Catholic Thing, Robert Royal dismissed the claim of the usual whitewashers that Francis has not authorized Holy Communion for public adulterers in “certain cases” (as shown below). That is exactly what he has done, as Francis himself just admitted during his inflight press conference on the return from Greece. See Part II at (6). Royal laments the inevitable consequences:
Amoris Laetitia hopes to resolve the situations of many in the modern world, but is far more likely only to add further fuel to the holocaust. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to predict that once Communion can be taken by the divorced/remarried in some circumstances, it will soon be assumed licit by all. And—why not?—by people in gay relationships, who probably have an equally good claim to mitigating circumstances….
On one side of a border between two countries, Communion for the divorced and remarried would now become a sign of a new outpouring of God’s mercy and forgiveness. On the other side, giving Communion to someone in “irregular” circumstances remains infidelity to Christ’s words and, potentially, a sacrilege. In concrete terms, around the globe, what looms ahead is chaos and conflict, not Catholicity.
Writing for LifeSiteNews, Philip Lawler stated:
Amoris Laetitia— “The Joy of Love”—is not a revolutionary document. It is a subversive one…. Unfortunately, the net effect of the Pope’s approach will very likely be an acceleration of an already powerful trend to dismiss the Church’s perennial teaching, and therefore a decline in respect for the pastoral ministry he hopes to encourage [emphasis added here and throughout].
Catholic World Report, published by Father Joseph Fessio, S.J., presented a symposium of articles on the document, nearly all of them strongly critical in some respect, particularly concerning Chapter 8, the focus of this commentary:
- Father Fessio’s fellow Jesuit, James V. Schall, S.J., agreed that the overall document has a subversive impact respecting the Church’s teaching on sexual immorality and grave sin in general: “But when we add it all up, it often seems that the effect of this approach is to lead us to conclude that no “sin” has ever occurred. Everything has an excusing cause…. One goes away from this approach not being sorry for his sins but relieved in realizing that he has never really sinned at all.”
- Carl E. Olson called Amoris Laetitia “profound and muddled,” noting that “Francis apparently plays a bit fast and loose with some of his arguments and sources.” (Not apparently and not a bit, but actually and quite seriously, as we shall see.)
- The renowned canonist Edward Peters lamented Amoris Laetitia’s “more-than-occasional resort to platitudes, caricatures of competing points of view, and self-quotation…” He noted a “serious misuse of a conciliar teaching [in] Gaudium et spes51” (a veritable fraud to be discussed below) and marvels at Francis’s astonishing opinion that there can be “proven fidelity” and “Christian commitment” in “chronically adulterous relationships” following “the public and permanent abandonment of a previous spouse.”
- Eduardo Echeverria, Professor of Philosophy and Systematic Theology at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit, offered a series of severe criticisms:
“Francis seems almost (not quite, but almost) incapable of acknowledging that an individual is sinfully responsible for rejecting the truth of marriage and family” …
“So, with all due respect to Francis, I think that he does imply support for the “gradualness of the law” and hence by implication opens the door to a “situation ethics.” (That is exactly what he has done, as I show below.)
Francis “does encourage the ‘dimming of the light’ because he downgrades the moral force of this normative [moral] order when he speaks of ‘rules’ here. He wants to create a moral space to regard a person as inculpable, resorting even to calling those who want to apply these norms unconditionally (in his mind, at this point “mere rules”) as sporting a ‘cold bureaucratic morality.’… This conclusion appears to be a far cry from theCatechism of the Catholic Church…”