The Amoris Laetitia Controversy
I've been following it in a half-hearted sort of way, and this article in the Catholic Herald strikes me as an excellent assessment of the situation.
Personally I do not take a position on the matter, other than that the whole thing is depressing. I haven't read AL and don't plan to, as it doesn't affect me directly and I have no voice in the controversy. I'm resigned to the likelihood that the Church is going to be mired in these post-Vatican-II intramural fights until well after I'm dead.
Insofar as it bears on the integrity of the teaching authority of the Church, I think all Catholics can plausibly have a voice in the controversy.
My reading of the situation is that the Holy Father wants to pursue a certain course, knows that for political or doctrinal reasons he cannot do it overtly, and so is intentionally being officially ambiguous while turning a blind eye to those who use his ambiguity as cover to do what he wants done. I'm not happy to see it that way, but that's how it looks to me.
I'm not at all sure that submitting the dubia was wise, because it backs him into a corner. I'm actually glad he hasn't replied, for fear of what his answers would be. I'm hoping that the whole controversy convinces the Cardinals that next time around we need a Pope less "imprecise".
That said, I do think the Pope's objective -- to bring people back to the Sacraments -- is a praiseworthy one. But the course he has chosen appears imprudent to me.
I'd like more clarity on just what the theological consequences would be were the Pope to come down decisively for "liberalization". If only there were a theologian in our midst...
Posted by: Craig | 12/02/2016 at 10:50 AM
By "no voice " I really mean "no power". Or influence. It will play out as it plays out no matter what I think. I certainly agree that it's important. The bit in this piece describing the pope's dilemma is accurate, I think. Certainly his stated intention is laudable, as you say. Wish I didn't have to add "But..."
Posted by: Mac | 12/02/2016 at 11:16 AM
Oh, I see what you meant. In that sense you're right; we can't influence the outcome, except by prayer.
Posted by: Craig | 12/02/2016 at 11:41 AM
Posted by: Mac | 12/02/2016 at 12:54 PM
I really think it's going to take a miracle. I'm praying every day now for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart. Only God can sort this out.
Of course, He's trustworthy!
Posted by: Louise | 12/02/2016 at 03:10 PM
Craig I just do not know what to think.
Posted by: Grumpy | 12/03/2016 at 10:22 AM
I find myself feeling relieved that I'm not really obliged to come to a definite conclusion.
I think God will sort it out. Eventually. But of course he has a way of letting the Church make some pretty big messes in the process.
Posted by: Mac | 12/03/2016 at 11:36 AM
"Craig I just do not know what to think."
Posted by: Robert Gotcher | 12/03/2016 at 02:22 PM
"I find myself feeling relieved that I'm not really obliged to come to a definite conclusion."
Yes, that's about all I have to say about it. I have been avoiding it as much as possible.
Posted by: Janet | 12/03/2016 at 02:45 PM
Another good piece on this is this one by Ross Douthat -- The End of Catholic Marriage -- written a few days ago. In it, he looks closely at what the bishop of San Diego has been doing in response to “Amoris Laetitia,” and it's disheartening to say the least.
Douthat ends with this:Put me in the fearful camp along with Douthat.
Posted by: Marianne | 12/04/2016 at 10:05 PM
The Buttiglione-McElroy contrast there is illuminating.
Ignoring the theological reasoning and ramifications, and just looking at human nature and the times, it seems likely that this could work out similarly to the contraception question, with millions of Catholics ignoring the "official teaching."
Posted by: Mac | 12/05/2016 at 07:32 AM