It will soon be one year. Not, mind, one year from the infamous publication of the infamous Fornicationis Laetitia. No. One year from an extremely belated request of “clarification” in the form of “Dubia”. An instrument which, weak as it was, would have been sufficient to unleash hell around Pope Francis' pontificate, if the barking had been followed by the biting. As it turned out, and as I write this, the marbles for it were and are just not there.
The faint meowing of the Dubia was followed by… nothing.
And more nothing.
At some point, some more meowing was made public, with the Cardinals (at that point all of them alive) asking a heretical Pope why oh why he does not receive them to allow them to respectfully discuss his heresy. Truly, these people make the first, pre-Gandalf Theoden look like a fearless warrior.
At this point, it is anyone's guess whether something resembling a censure of the Pope will be ever published at all by the two surviving kitten (two of them have gone to their judgment without acting; may the Lord have mercy on their souls).
My take is that at some point we will get – when the two surviving Cardinals have gathered the necessary courage – nothing more than an explanation of what the Church teaches, without any censure of or warning to the Pope, and without any demand that he puts an end to this confusion.
This would be a very little improvement on the total catastrophe of total silence; but would still fall well short of what is required: the denunciation of the paper as heretic, and the warning that the Pope will be declared such unless he recants.
If I want to know what the Church teaches concerning marriage I do not need Cardinal Burke or Brandmüller. The teaching is universally known. What is necessary is the open condemnation of a document going frontally against it, and – if the man does not backpedal – of the man who answers for the document.
Everything else would be very faint meowing, only able to satisfy the most childish Pollyannas.
Count me out, please.
After months of cowardly, unjustifiable silence (I write this in case some Pollyanna begins to write we Catholic bloggers were too hasty in the condemnation of our prelates’ silence after Amoris Laetitia), finally, some timid reaction begins to appear from a handful of Cardinals.
I had read some months ago a hint of Cardinal Burke at a letter received by the Pope, to which (he said in his naivete) the Pope would have to answer. This is, mind, the same Cardinal who accused us of being the sowers of discord when Amoris Laetitia was first published, and who (thank God) must have seen with his own eyes how wrong his position was.
The facts are here. Several Cardinals write to the Evil Clown in September (this is, if memory serves, five long months after the publication of AL; in the age of Twitter, this is still worse than inexcusable), and pose him five dubia. The Evil Clown has it known he does not intend to answer. Four of the Cardinals publish the letter, together with the information that the Pope has refused to answer and that the original signatories were more than the published four.
The good of all this: something, at last, is moving, and it is thinkable that these cardinals will, if no answer is forthcoming, draw the consequences and denounce the documents as heretical. In my eyes, the decision of the four to go public could mean (but you never know) that they are going to escalate this. Many months after all of us, of course; but they, nowadays you can’t expect a Prince of the Church to guide anyone; you are happy enough if they follow the laity one step or two, after months of uninterrupted outrage.
The bad of all this: the method of officially asking the Pope could be, in fact, a first step towards declaring the document a heretical one. However, it could also be an attempt to save face with the (real) Catholics all over the world in the face of continuing opposition, asking the Pope to give some vague “clarification” which allows said Cardinals to bend over backwards and reassure us that hey, everything is fine, whilst the real message of Amoris Laetitia is confidently pushed on the (fake) Catholics all over the world.
Think this: Francis never had a problem with contradicting himself. Even if he were to officially declare that actually, in a way, in general, adulterers are not allowed to receive communion, this would be worth very little as long as the document stays as it is. The document itself is formulated in such a way that one can always hide behind a finger. Cardinal Burke was the very first to do it himself! Nor is it reasonable to assume that willingly vaguely formulated texts will now be clarified in an extremely explicit, black and white, clear cut way. You just can’t ask a heretical Pope to clarify heresy, and think you will receive a Catholic answer.
Which leads us to the crux of the matter: whilst the method of the dubia may be a first necessary step in an escalation to come, in the end and after all letters have been written and (not) answered Amoris Laetitia cannot be fought with clarifications.
The text must be, at the very least, amended; but as the parts to be amended are so many, and the document is so perverted, the document must be retracted in its entirety, and substituted for a Catholic one.
Everything else will be way short of the mark. Nor can the pathological optimists now lull themselves in the illusion that as a handful of Cardinals have spoken, things will end well in the end. Remember that hundreds of Bishops reacted to the attempt to water down doctrine at the first Synod, and all of them but one shut up when Amoris Laetitia was released.
The harsh reality is this: the document is clearly heretical, and it must go. Nothing less will suffice. The dubia and the ping-pong with the Vatican only have value if they lead to the end result of the complete obliteration of Amoris Laetitia. Already the choice to raise dubia raises eyebrows. The text is openly heretical. No Catholic can have any doubt about it.
And by the way: there will no word of praise for the Cardinals here. They are merely doing their own duty, after many months of culpable silence, after leaving Catholics all over the world confused and disoriented; and one of them, after accusing the voices of reason to be the ones who throw oil on the fire.
But again: in this disgraceful time of ours, one is glad for every meowing.
Father Z has a blog post with a comment from Ross Douthat to the new Apostolic Excrementation. I have kept the emphases.
A slippage that follows from this lack of confidence is one of the most striking aspects of the pope’s letter. What the church considers serious sin becomes mere “irregularity.” What the church considers a commandment becomes a mere “ideal.” What the church once stated authoritatively it now proffers tentatively, in tones laced with self-effacement, self-critique.
What this means is very simple: this man has no faith. To him, the rules are an embarrassment, and the commandments obstacles. All the rest flows from there.
We must start saying it out loud: if one speaks faithless words, it is because he has no faith within. This man does not believe in God, full stop.
Amoris Laetitia (subtitle: “on the graces of those living in public adultery”) has been released, and it is worse than the worse expectations of your truly. I have obviously not read the entire pile of rubbish (nor will I ever do it), but I have followed the hints appeared in the press, and you don't need more than 3 minutes to understand the scale of the attack to Truth.
I was expecting fluffy and ambiguous statements, which can (and must) be read in an orthodox sense, in the style of the closing Relatio of the synod. But this is much worse. This Apostolic Excrementation seeks to demolish the very concept of objective situation of sin excluding one from communion. It seeks to impose on Catholics the idea that one can publicly live in sin, and be aware of his situation of publicly living in sin, and not be in mortal sin because he just doesn't want to get it.
There is a complete disregard of the (obvious) considerations JP II made about the objective scandal given by those who, objectively, live in scandal. And it is, without having to mention JP II, a complete disregard of the most elementary common sense.
I have no way to copy and paste right now. Read the paragraphs starting from 301 to 306. It is purest heretical poison.
Once again: this encyclical pretends to base on what is already Catholic teaching (of course there can be circumstances which diminish culpability; we all knew that), and extends its meaning to encompass any publicly sinful, publicly adulterous, uninterruptedly sinful behaviour and lifestyle.
I am at lunchtime now, and will write more as time and adrenaline allow. Please allow me some time to get into the details in a controlled emotional manner.
But don't believe those who tell you “it could have been worse”. It could not have been worse, when we consider that open heresy would never be proclaimed from an official document. This is as heretical and subversive as a Pope can get.
This is not only on Francis' head, but on the head of all those who do not condem the obvious attacks to the Sacraments (both communion and confession) and the family. From Cardinal Mueller to the last bishop, may the Lord in His Justice punish all those prelates who make themselves accomplices, and be it that with their silence, of such an abomination.
The time to stand up and speak up is now. One day we will all die, and we will be asked what we have done as a godless Communist ravaged the Church.
And no, no one will be able to say that he just did not get it.