Pope: ‘No other interpretation’ of Amoris Laetitia than allowing communion for divorced and remarried

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September 9, 2016 (LifeSiteNews)

Editor’s Note: There have been slight corrections to our original translation of one paragraph of the Pope’s letter. The 10th paragraph below, starting with “Pope Francis adds…”, is now fully accurate.

In a letter reportedly leaked by a priest in Argentina, Pope Francis writes that there is “no other interpretation” of Amoris Laetitia other than one admitting divorced and remarried Catholics to Holy Communion in some cases. The letter, dated September 5, comes in response to a confidential document by the bishops of the Buenos Aires pastoral region to priests instructing them on the application of the Pope’s controversial apostolic exhortation. LifeSite has acquired copies of both original documents and has provided professional side-by-side translation.

The Spanish original of the letter from the Pope is here

The Spanish original of the bishops’ directive is here

LifeSiteNews’ translation of the Pope’s letter is here

LifeSiteNews’ translation of the bishops’ directive is here

The story was first published yesterday by the Spanish-language Catholic news service InfoCatolica and an anonymous Argentinean Catholic blogger whose blog is known as “The Wanderer.” The blogger has published photostatic copies of the original documents, and LifeSite has been informed that the blogger’s source is a priest in Buenos Aires. After consulting with sources, LifeSite believes that the blogger is trustworthy and that the copies of the letters are authentic.

The document by the bishops of the pastoral region of Buenos Aires interprets for priests in the region the 8th chapter of Amoris Laetitia on how to deal with couples who are remarried after divorces but have not been granted annulments. It follows closely the language of the most controversial parts of the papal exhortation including the infamous footnote 351, which opens the door to what Cardinal Raymond Burke and other faithful bishops have called “sacrilege.”

The bishops’ directive called “Basic Criteria for the Application of Chapter Eight of Amoris Laetitia” says that in “complex circumstances” when the remarried couple could not “obtain a declaration of nullity,” the priests can nevertheless move forward to grant them access to Holy Communion. If the priest recognizes that “in a particular case there are limitations that diminish responsibility and culpability (cf. 301-302), particularly when a person judges that he would fall into a subsequent fault by damaging the children of the new union,” says the directive, “Amoris Laetitia opens the possibility of access to the sacraments of Reconciliation and the Eucharist (cf. notes 336 and 351).”

The Pope’s letter affirms this path with effusive praise for the bishops’ work. Writing to the delegate of the Buenos Aires Pastoral Region, Monsignor Sergío Alfredo Fenoy, the Pope says, “I thank you for the work they have done on this: a true example of accompaniment for the priests.”

Pope Francis adds: “The document is very good and completely explains the meaning of chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia. There are no other interpretations. And I am certain that it will do much good. May the Lord reward this effort of pastoral charity.”

The blogger who published the documents writes that the priests of the diocese met Thursday to discuss the matter. At the meeting, some priests were openly critical of both the bishops’ directive and the Pope’s document. The blogger adds that Cardinal Mario Poli was present at the meeting with a canon lawyer and that both contradicted the bishops’ directive, “clarifying that the Eucharist can only be received by those divorced and remarried who live together as brother and sister, maintaining chastity.”

The leaked document is the first time there is explicit confirmation that Pope Francis interprets Amoris Laetitia as allowing communion for divorced and remarried Catholics without the condition that the couple in the irregular situation live as brother and sister without sexual relations, as was always required by the Church.

Neither the Vatican spokesman nor the chancery office of Buenos Aires were available for comment on this story.

LifeSite Paris correspondent Jeanne Smits contributed to this report.

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101 Responses to Pope: ‘No other interpretation’ of Amoris Laetitia than allowing communion for divorced and remarried

  1. Well, at least now, for the first time, Bergoglio has been clear about what he means. Of course it’s heresy, but, at last, he doesn’t try to hide it. And as I’ve mentioned in this blog before, St. Robert Bellarmine, Bishop , Confessor, Doctor of the Church, had this to say about a man who is elected pope and becomes a heretic:

    “(A) Pope who is a manifest heretic, ceases in himself to be Pope and head, just as he ceases in himself to be a Christian and member of the body of the Church: whereby, he can be judged and punished by the Church. This is the opinion of all the ancient Fathers, who teach that manifest heretics soon lose all jurisdiction…. The foundation of this opinion is that a manifest heretic, is in no way a member of the Church; that is, neither in spirit nor in body, or by internal union nor external….”

    –St. Robert Bellarmine, On the Roman Pontiff, Vol. 1, Book II, Chapter 30, trans. Ryan Grant [Mediatrix Press, 2015], pp. 304-310.

  2. JabbaPapa says:

    Of course it’s heresy

    There’s no “of course” about it.

    (A) Pope who is a manifest heretic

    The key to this is in “manifest” — that is to say, that it has become openly and clearly visible to all of the Faithful that such is the case. Examinations involving ifs and buts, and lengthy analyses based on dubious interpretations of how a certain footnote could be interpreted by the heterodox does NOT constitute “manifest heresy”.

    So sorry — you’re talking nonsense.

    Plus, ONLY the Congregation of Cardinals OR a sitting Ecumenical Council have sufficient Authority to declare Heresy against a sitting Pope. Random Lay internet commentators have no such powers.

  3. JabbaPapa says:

    I have commented on this elsewhere …

    ———————

    The document that the Pope refers to, positively, states :

    4) Este camino no acaba necesariamente en los sacramentos, sino que puede orientarse a otras formas de integrarse más en la vida de la Iglesia: una mayor presencia en la comunidad, la participación en grupos de oración o reflexión, el compromiso en diversos servicios eclesiales, etc.

    and

    5) Cuando las circunstancias concretas de una pareja lo hagan factible, especialmente cuando ambos sean cristianos con un camino de fe, se puede proponer el empeño de vivir en continencia. Amoris laetitia no ignora las dificultades de esta opción (cf. nota 329) y deja abierta la posibilidad de acceder al sacramento de la Reconciliación cuando se falle en ese propósito (cf. nota 364, según la enseñanza de san Juan Pablo 11 al Cardenal W. Baum, del 22/03/1996).

    (so divorced and remarried should remain continent, but can go to Confession if they may fail to do so)

    6) En otras circunstancias más complejas, y cuando no se pudo obtener una declaración de nulidad, la opción mencionada puede no ser de hecho factible. No obstante, igualmente es posible un camino de discernimiento. Si se llega a reconocer que, en un caso concreto, hay limitaciones que atenúan la responsabilidad y la culpabilidad (cf. 301-302), particularmente cuando una persona considere que caería en una ulterior falta dañando a los hijos de la nueva unión, Amoris laetítía abre la posibilidad del acceso a los sacramentos de la Reconciliación y la Eucaristía (cf. notas 336 y 351). Estos a su vez disponen a la persona a seguir madurando y creciendo con la fuerza de la gracia.

    These are two fairly strong limiting conditions — “inability to obtain an annulment” is code language for an uncooperative spouse who has left the Church but refuses both to canonically recognise his or her own defect of matrimonial intention, AND refuses to legally recognise the existence of the existing Sacramental marriage (ie hostile spouses who have forced a secular divorce and have remarried and entirely turned their backs on the Church) ; and the second condition, of canonical limitation of responsibility of the person in question, requires actual concrete conditions whereby responsibility is actually and objectively diminished versus the Sin.

    7) Pero hay que evitar entender esta posibilidad como un acceso irrestricto a los sacramentos, o como si cualquier situación lo justificara. Lo que se propone es un discernimiento que distinga adecuadamente cada caso. Por ejemplo, especial cuidado requiere «una nueva unión que viene de un reciente divorcio» o «la situación de alguien que reiteradamente ha fallado a sus compromisos familiares» (298). También cuando hay una suerte de apología o de ostentación de la propia situación «como si fuese parte del ideal cristiano» (297). En estos casos más difíciles, los pastores debemos acompañar con paciencia procurando algún camino de integración (cf. 297, 299).

    So, anyone who thinks that a situation of adultery can be compatible with Christian Faith, or “justified”, can have no access to the Sacraments.

    8) Siempre es importante orientar a las personas a ponerse con su conciencia ante Dios, y para ello es útil el «examen de conciencia» que propone Amoris /aetitia 300, especialmente en lo que se refiere a «cómo se han comportado con sus hijos» o con el cónyuge abandonado. Cuando hubo injusticias no resueltas, el acceso a los sacramentos es particularmente escandaloso.

    And in certain cases where no manner of having sinned is understood by the penitent, access to the Sacraments is described as being particularly scandalous.

    It’s not the Kasperite “solution”.

  4. Roger says:

    “..
    ONLY the Congregation of Cardinals OR a sitting Ecumenical Council have sufficient Authority to declare Heresy against a sitting Pope. Random Lay internet commentators have no such powers.
    ..”

    Actually as with membership of Freemasonry the excommunication is automatic. The Authority already exists because Peter binds Peter and Judges Peter.

    Feed my Lambs?

    The Age of Reason is what 8 years old? The question is very simply what would a child of eight understand?

    I doubt whether the small print will be read even looked at just implemented. You will recall the request was for clarity and the lambs do not read legalise and double speak. Also are not the Brotherhood required to look after a each other?

  5. John says:

    Why are some people so upset about allowing Communion for the divorced and remarried ? Is it that, being superior moral people themselves, they feel uncomfortable about allowing morally inferior people the same privilege ?

  6. kathleen says:

    Roger says:

    “I doubt whether the small print will be read even looked at”

    That’s my problem with this whole debate over Amoris Laetitia, Cardinal Muller’s brave attempt to turn its content into an orthodox reading, and now this latest letter from the Pope… No one reads “the small print”!
    In other words, when things are not spoken roundly and clearly – in the way former Popes taught – misinterpretations will be the outcome.

    We are left with an overall impression that those “in some cases” referred to in the text will be manipulated (either innocently or intentionally) to open the door to allowing most of those living in irregular situations being permitted to receive Holy Communion!

    It may not be “the Kasperite solution” exactly (as Jabba called it) – that’s true – but we could instead call it “the Francisite solution”. The result is the same.

    Confusion will continue.

  7. kathleen says:

    Jabba,

    Your analysis of the Pope’s Letter is excellent, but the solutions he proposes for those exceptional cases are just not practical ones in reality. For instance, as you state in no.5:

    (so divorced and remarried should remain continent, but can go to Confession if they may fail to do so)

    Yes, that’s what he says. But for a couple who have enjoyed an intimate relationship to suddenly “remain continent” whilst still living together under the same roof (often for the good of their children) is, understandably, just not humanly possible in the majority of cases.
    One could wonder what impediment could exist from their getting married and bringing God’s blessing to their union! But that question apart, to suggest something that might bring tension and frustration to the couple, and therefore disunity, besides being almost impossible to follow, does not sound like a very good idea!

    inability to obtain an annulment” is code language for an uncooperative spouse

    This is probably the group of “irregular situations” one can feel most sympathy with. Obtaining an annulment when one of the spouses refuses to cooperate with the ecclesiastic authorities looking into the marriage to determine whether or not it was valid in the first place, can make the process go on for years and years. It can cause great suffering to the innocent spouse who wishes to remarry and to receive Holy Communion, but cannot. The only hope would be that the necessary witnesses, other than the “uncooperative spouse” could be found to gain the annulment. In the meantime, patience and long-suffering together with continence, will have to be the cross offered up with much prayer for courage in maintaining virtue.

    Your no.8:

    And in certain cases where no manner of having sinned is understood by the penitent, access to the Sacraments is described as being particularly scandalous

    Yes, credit where credit is due: it is a relief to hear that Pope Francis does al least remind us of that ^.
    Of course he is referring to the situations of Marriage and the Family, but famous pro-abortion figures in the limelight give particular scandal when they go up to receive Holy Communion whilst holding to such evil beliefs.

    —–

    Edit: But for the Pope to claim that there is “”no other interpretation” of Amoris Laetitia other than one admitting divorced and remarried Catholics to Holy Communion in some cases” is really, REALLY disconcerting!

  8. Crow says:

    To John, people are not saying they are morally superior. The issue is that, if a person lives in a state of sin, then taking of communion is not helpful to their soul, but rather, the reverse (according to St Paul). Our Lord stated that a person who divorces and remarries commits adultery – therefore, according to the express words of Our Lord, the divorced person is not in a state of grace, if they are remarried or living with another partner in a sexual relationship. As the Catholic Church is the church founded by Jesus Christ, the Church is compelled to be true to His word. This is reflected in the Gospels and the traditions of the Church, including the findings of the Magesterium. The Church, and the Pope, do not have the power to go back on the word of God. This is in contrast to man-made religions, which may change their doctrines or teachings to adapt to the times. It is also relevant to bear in mind in the case of such religions that they do not have, and do not claim to have, the capacity to effect transubstantiation, the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. The eucharist, in Protestant services, is a symbol. It is not transformed during the Consecration into the body and blood of Jesus Christ. It therefore does not become something detrimental to the soul if a person partakes of the Eucharist while not in a state of grace.

  9. kathleen says:

    For those who may think themselves “morally superior” to the Holy Spirit’s Commandments entrusted to the Church, St Paul gives the answer:

    For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.” (1 Corinthians 11:26-29)

  10. Roger says:

    John @ September 12, 2016 at 10:27

    I draw you to Christs words below where He was Tempted over Marriage and Divorce.

    Your words are pure Temptation aren’t they?
    “..
    Why are some people so upset about allowing Communion for the divorced and remarried ? Is it that, being superior moral people themselves, they feel uncomfortable about allowing morally inferior people the same privilege ?
    ..”

    Our Lord (True God and True Man) says “..
    Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.
    ..”
    MAN OBEY’S GOD AND NOT GOD MAN! AND THATS THE END OF THE MATTER

    Why this is such an emotive matter is of King Henry VIII Schism and the loss of Faith of England over Divorce and Remarriage.
    Oh so many martyrs who died because of that King’s Schism THIS IS NOT A TRIVIAL MATTER

    Matthew 19
    [3] And there came to him the Pharisees tempting him, and saying: Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
    [4] Who answering, said to them: Have ye not read, that he who made man from the beginning, Made them male and female? And he said:
    [5] For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they two shall be in one flesh.
    [6] Therefore now they are not two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let no man put asunder.
    [7] They say to him: Why then did Moses command to give a bill of divorce, and to put away?
    [8] He saith to them: Because Moses by reason of the hardness of your heart permitted you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.
    [9] And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.
    [10] His disciples say unto him: If the case of a man with his wife be so, it is not expedient to marry.

  11. John says:

    To Crow,
    I do not dispute anything you say. But would we not be better off,and more charitable, in minding our own spiritual business ?
    To Kathleen..
    Nobody can ignore the Commandments. I never said they could.. However, It is your fondness for questioning the state of grace,or lack of it, in others that is the problem. Only God alone can make that judgment as Pope Francis remarked on a famous occasion..
    To Roger.
    I do not question any of the theological points or scriptural quotations that you make.

    The essential question, however, in all cases is whether any of us can constitute ourselves as moral scrutineers to examine the worthiness of any particular individual communicant, invoking the well known justification of the Pharisee ‘I thank God I am not like the rest of men…..’

    When standing in the Communion queue I prefer to say ‘ Domine non sum dignus’ rather than informing the Lord ‘ Domine non sunt dignus’

  12. Toad says:

    [9] And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication,
    Never heard that before. What? Welcome news to many, if I read it correctly, and a massive get-out in 99 cases out of 100, I suggest.

    [The Moderator – Half this comment has been deleted for its mockery of Holy Church.]

  13. Roger says:

    John
    This Blog is not directed to any particular person it is instead about upholding God’s Rights and the Indissolubility of the Marriage Sacrament.

    True Charity requires placing God first in Our Lives then Our Neighbour before Ourselves.

    Scandals sadly come (nothing new here) and what could be worse than sacrilegious Communion.

    Matthew 16:23 Who turning, said to Peter: Go behind me, Satan, thou art a scandal unto me: because thou savourest not the things that are of God, but the things that are of men.

    Matthew 18:7 Woe to the world because of scandals. For it must needs be that scandals come: but nevertheless woe to that man by whom the scandal cometh.

  14. John says:

    Roger,
    I was married over forty years ago in the Catholic Church and neither my wife nor I have been divorced nor have remarried.. I do know about, and accept, the indissolubility of Christian marriage. That does not give me the right or duty to talk down to others.

    I do, however, find it troubling at how eager some on this blog are to identify grave sin in others.
    A sacrilegious communion can only arise if the communicant knowingly receives Communion while in the state of mortal sin. That state is one which is known to the communicant and to God alone and is not one for the intrusive curiosity and preachy interventions of the morally perfect on this blog.

  15. Toad says:

    ” I do, however, find it troubling at how eager some on this blog are to identify grave sin in others.”
    I suspect you’ve stumbled onto the wrong blog, then, John. That’s what we do here. Keeps us off the streets, (mainly.) I’d try a more liberal/modernist one. [Moderator – four words deleted.]

  16. johnhenrycn says:

    John, your tu quoque-type slurs are simply a case of running away and putting your hands over your ears. People should be “eager” to identify grave sin – after all, that’s an important part of escaping Hell, right? – and taking Communion unworthily is exactly that – grave sin. Your religious *education* was an epic failure if you skipped that lesson. As for pointing out grave sin in others, that’s what the Bible enjoins us to do. Duh? But still, no one here has ever spoken unfairly and cruelly about specific individuals aside from you, you and you. And you do it all the time – imputing bad motives and bad faith to just about everyone whilst wrapping your desiccated husk in that bespoke mantle of smooth cuddly righteousness you’re always fingering and stroking like some sort of religious runway model.

  17. JabbaPapa says:

    Actually as with membership of Freemasonry the excommunication is automatic

    You have failed to comprehend what was written.

  18. JabbaPapa says:

    and now this latest letter from the Pope… No one reads “the small print”!

    Actually, I have done exactly that — the description as “particularly scandalous” certain clear violations has not of course been trumpeted by the Papefigues.

  19. JabbaPapa says:

    “[9] And I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, “
    Never heard that before. What? Welcome news to many, if I read it correctly, and a massive get-out in 99 cases out of 100, I suggest.

    It’s frequently misinterpreted Toad — basically, it refers to situations where after marriage, it is discovered that one of the spouses was before marriage and continues to be afterwards a fornicator/”sex worker” contrary to all requirements.

    In modern language, “causes for an annulment of marriage”.

  20. John says:

    johnhenrycn
    You say people should be eager to identify grave sin. Indeed they should but if present in themselves.
    I am quite aware, and have acknowledged in my last post, that a sacrilegious communion is a grave sin but it is not up to you or to me to say that any particular person is committing such a sin. I think we must leave that to God. I think that is standard Catholic teaching.
    btw I was educated by Catholic priests. They never taught us to judge anyone.

    You say ‘As for pointing out grave sin in others, that’s what the Bible enjoins us to do’ I thought rather that the Bible instructed us in Matthew 7.1 ‘Do not judge or you will be judged ‘ and Matthew 7.3 advises us to take the plank out of our own eye before removing the speck in our brother’s.

    I do not aim slurs at anybody. Simply lament the alacrity with which some on this blog preach at others. If expressing that sentiment is a slur it is a new use of language.

  21. kathleen says:

    JH, your comment @ 16:35 in response to Mr John Kehoe’s pompous strutting of these pages once more, putting us all to rights (his way), is well deserving of one of those stars Father Z dishes out to great comments!😉

    Mr Kehoe – you MUST tell me who those “morally perfect” people are that you mention at 15:30. I really want them to be my friends! Perhaps their holy perfection will rub off on me and help me to become a good girl.
    But hold on….. You wouldn’t be thinking of your good self would you, by any chance? “I do not aim slurs at anybody”, you say. Now that’s a bit of a ‘porky’, as Toad was wont to say, can’t you see?
    But who am I to judge?
    And who are you?

  22. Toad says:

    “It’s frequently misinterpreted Toad — basically, it refers to situations where after marriage, it is discovered that one of the spouses was before marriage and continues to be afterwards a fornicator/”sex worker” contrary to all requirements.”
    More and more curiouser and wonderfuller, Jabba. By “fornicator” I suppose you mean not a virgin? Or is there some sort of negative stature of limitations? i.e. – nine fornications, OK – ten fornications, no good?
    And what in heaven’s name does, “contrary to all requirements,” mean in this context? People don’t uddually “require” to fornicate. They just do it for fun.
    And when people tell me a statement is “misinterpreted,” what they invariably mean is that there are several perfectly reasonable interpretations on offer, but their one is the only correct one

  23. JabbaPapa says:

    By “fornicator” I suppose you mean not a virgin?

    No — it really is code language for “whore”, as in “if you marry someone and then only after discover their whoredom, this is grounds for separation” — ie “cause for annulment” in the present Canon Law.

    It refers not to lack of virginity, but to actual sexual immorality.

    Or is there some sort of negative stature of limitations? i.e. – nine fornications, OK – ten fornications, no good?

    Don’t be silly toad, you know very well that you cannot construct judgments on generals on the basis of minute particulars of individual situations …

    And what in heaven’s name does, “contrary to all requirements,” mean in this context?

    It means “Thou shalt not commit adultery” — any who enters into marriage as a fornicator and with the desire to commit adulteries thereafter cannot provide the Sacrament to his or her spouse, and that marriage can and should be annulled.

    Also 1 Corinthians {6:18} Flee from fornication. Every sin whatsoever that a man commits is outside of the body, but whoever fornicates, sins against his own body.
    {6:19} Or do you not know that your bodies are the Temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?

    And when people tell me a statement is “misinterpreted,” what they invariably mean is that there are several perfectly reasonable interpretations on offer, but their one is the only correct one

    oh deary me toad, there are not “several perfectly reasonable interpretations on offer” in the understanding of basic elements of Catholic moral theology and its related Canon Laws.

  24. Toad says:

    Well, cleared that one up nicely. No more fornicating for Toad. (He’s failed the medical, anyway.)

  25. John says:

    Kathleen @ 21.58

    No, I was thinking of you as the morally perfect one with your special charism for identifying .’mortal sin’ in others and your obsessive interest in, and monopoly of, the ‘deposit of faith’ you keep banging on about.

  26. kathleen says:

    Ah, so sorry to disappoint you Mr John Kehoe! I am a very naughty girl, with many a mile between me and moral perfection. Perhaps you could kindly give me a few lessons? Seeing as how you know all about it.

    Though one lesson you never seemed to have learnt in your Catholic education is that our entire Catholic Faith comes from that Sacred Deposit of Faith handed down to us since the times of the Apostles. We could never overdo “banging on about” this cornerstone on which the whole Church was built.

  27. johnhenrycn says:

    That’s rather droll, John – charging Kathleen with an “obsessive interest in…the ‘deposit of faith’ “. How does that compare – in terms of worthiness – with your fleeting interest in that subject? And why did you place scare quotes (or in your case, sneer quotes) around your lowercase reference to ‘deposit of faith’?

  28. John says:

    Whether I write Deposit of Faith in upper case or lower case letters does not change the essence of this theological concept nor do I make any sneer about it. The Deposit of Faith is not as you know one gigantic tome unaltered and immutable from the time of Christ but is based on tradition and scripture as interpreted through the Magisterium of the Church. It is not the sole preserve of casual bloggers on the internet.
    The Deposit of Faith yields to reflection and study with new insights and development as taught by the Church. That is my understanding of it. Yours may be different. If so, then so be it. For my part I would prefer to look to the Church for any necessary guidance and not to Kathleen who seems to feel that she has a personal responsibility to keep a tight grip on it lest the Pope should fall into error.

  29. Crow says:

    I understand your position, John. I think the Church is in a difficult situation regarding this issue, where there are people who are sincere and who wish to take communion. I would be very surprised if any of us were uncharitable personally to any individual (we wouldn’t even know, I imagine). But that is definitely not a right for any of us. The fact that there is, at first glance, a semblance of truth and reasonableness is why the German bishops adopted their tactics. But I am reminded of the observation by St Thomas Aquinas, where he said that all evil has some truth in it – it is this that makes it attractive to us. The fact is, the Church does not have the power to disregard the words of Our Lord. True resolution of this issue would require a pastoral compassion on the part of the Church and the community and an acceptance of the underlying tenets of the Catholic views of marriage and family. When we have practising Catholics who do not fully accept or understand the complete interaction of the Catholic sacrament of marriage with family, as a vocation, then there will be conflict and hurt as a result of what they see as a rejection or disapproval of them (much as you have seen the comments here). It is not a disapproval – we are all sinners (& my sins are as bad as any of yours). However, if there is a lifestyle and ongoing repetition of sin and a refusal to adopt the (difficult), path set out by the Church, then it is not to the person’s benefit to their soul to take communion. In this case, it can’t be addressed by confession. I understand the fury at the footnote. The Pope is fudging on something that is vitally important.
    I do not think the Pope gets it wrong – in some ways he has made some positive steps, but I understand the frustration of the Catholics when faced with a leader who seems to adopt the popular view, rather than really lead. But Pius XII was a true leader, and look at what the secular press say about him!
    By the way, the stuff about ‘fornicator’ was all new to me

  30. kathleen says:

    John @ 15:48

    For my part I would prefer to look to the Church for any necessary guidance and not to Kathleen who….blah, blah, blah

    For goodness sake you silly man, of course you should look to the Church and not to any individual – even those like us on here (and unlike you) – who wish to defend Her precepts and teachings. The Church would never have survived if it had looked to see what each individual was opining!! Really – you do say some extraordinarily childish things.

    And that’s the whole point! The revelation that the Pope himself is going against WHAT THE CHURCH HAS ALWAYS TAUGHT is causing an uproar all over the Church, both among the traditionally Catholic hierarchy and the traditionally Catholic laity!!

    Mr Kehoe, I doubt you also troll other places on the Catholic blogosphere, keeping instead your spouting of uncharitable, liberal (and often unorthodox) views solely to ours, but if you did you would have noticed that there are thousands of deeply concerned Catholics about this latest hoo-ha. Many voices are calling Francis an anti-Pope and saying that he should step down.

    Finally, I have noticed that the Moderator did you a big favour yesterday! Sitting in ‘trash’ is one of the nastiest tirades against another blogger (me), we have ever seen here. It would have put you in a pretty bad light. You probably realised how libellous it was and knew it wouldn’t pass the moderation system, which is why you resorted to just your usual sneering tactics.

  31. John says:

    Kathleen,
    When you fail in your argument you resort to insulting low-class language i.e. ‘ blah, blah, blah’;
    ‘you silly man’ and to your habit of placing what you want to emphasize in capital letters i.e. ;WHAT THE CHURCH HAS ALWAYS TAUGHT’. Has nobody ever told you that this is not good English usage ? It is the literal equivalent of shouting at your opponent.

    I do not find anywhere the ‘revelation’ which you claim that ‘the Pope is going against what the Church has always taught’. A revelation no less ?

    I do not sneer at anybody.

  32. kathleen says:

    Er, no! “Blah, blah, blah” is just another way of saying “more of the same”. Didn’t you know that?

    If you don’t want to be called “silly”, then don’t say silly things. (Hardly an “insult”; we often call each other “silly” in our bun fights on CP&S. Ah, but to understand that you would need a sense of humour!)

    WHAT THE CHURCH HAS ALWAYS TAUGHT

    I put those words into capitals to make them stand out, as you have an amazing talent for missing the point. Yes, I know that could be seen as “shouting”, but I wasn’t meaning to.

    I’m too busy to do your homework for you about what some are saying about the Pope’s shocking letter and the newest crisis in the Church. The claims are there on some other traditional sites.

    I do not sneer at anybody.

    No comment!!

  33. John says:

    Crow @ 04.59.
    Thank you for your kind observations. The problem is that all cases of divorced and remarried persons are not the same which is what I believe Pope Francis is trying to address. Hence, as one measure, the revised rules on annulments which up to now were endlessly protracted, even in genuine cases, where an annulment was eventually after years granted.
    I venture to say that there are those on this blog who would say that Pope Francis had no right to inaugurate revised rules and that they know better. How can a Church exist if each man or woman has his own spin on what Church teaching actually is and cites in support what Father X, Y, or Z may have to say on the matter. Christ gave supreme authority to St Peter ‘ Tu es Petrus…’ an authority now present in the Vicar of Christ on earth, not in any cleric we may find whose views happen to coincide with our own.

    This continual sniping at Pope Francis and his teaching is unwarranted and in a real sense scandalous.
    Best wishes.

    [The Moderator – John, I have redacted out an ill-mannered response you wrote to Kathleen. It is evident however that you are feeling very peeved with the views expressed here, with the articles likewise not being to your taste. This leads us to suggest you might feel happier reading and commenting on a less traditional type of Catholic blog.
    Meanwhile, chew over the information given in the link below.]

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/why-all-the-fuss-over-allowing-communion-for-the-remarried-in-just-the-hard?utm_source=LifePetitions+petition+signers&utm_campaign=c003dff6c9-Update_Catholic_9_139_13_2016&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_c5c75ce940-c003dff6c9-397762997

  34. toadspittle says:

    Several different “new” versions of “Catholic” Church* will solve this unseemly bickering.
    Catholic Trad
    Catholic Mod
    Catholic Lib’
    Catholic Ag (nostic)
    Cerholic Ath (iest)
    I suggest we select who stays in the Vatican shed by holding a raffle.

  35. Roger says:

    John
    Lets under stand just exactly where your criticism starts and with a TEST CASE

    Lets say we have a Catholic couple who want to get married and approach their Priest(s). Lets call them Henry and Katherine. Both well heeled with Money and titles. Henry requires a Papal dispensation to marry Katherine because she was the widow of Henry’s deceased brother Arthur. They are cradle Catholics and Communicant’s.
    There’s is a sumptous Catholic marriage. Katherine bears Henry a Daughter but is seems is unable to have a Son. Henry is a serial adulterer and infatuated with a seductive Catherine then seeks an annulment from Katherine, who doesn’t want a Divorce. Progressive Catholic (Modernists) support Henry whilst the few Traditional Catholics oppose Henry.

    Now where do these stand under “Amoris Laetitia”

  36. Roger says:

    My apologises Henry’s lover was of course named Anne.

  37. John says:

    Roger,
    You are of course reciting the facts in the case of King Henry VIII. Having previously received permission to marry his deceased brother’s wife, Katherine, the Pope refused an annulment of that marriage to accommodate Henry’s further desire to marry Anne. If you are asking me do I agree with the Pope’s decision, then of course I do. That was the Pope’s prerogative.

    As for my criticism, for what it is worth, raised in the first sentence of your post it is simply that persons, not having any right or competence to do so, are not called upon, nor should they not make judgments on the state of conscience of other persons or on their worthiness to receive Communion. That is a matter for them and for God alone.

    Staying with the King Henry VII controversy, when St Thomas More, the layman, was being pestered by others at Court including Cardinal Wolsey, and even by members of his own family, to go along with Henry’s wishes, his reply was that ‘It is not meet that I should meddle in this matter’. He was not going to get into a debate about the Pope’s decision on Henry’s divorce request.

    It was only More’s refusal to take the Oath of Supremacy and at his trial his public defence of the Pope as head of the Church on earth which led to his execution. He is not recorded as having taken a position on Henry’s marriage controversies.

    The difference on this blog is that some laypersons are prepared, unlike More, ‘to meddle in this matter.’and to challenge the Pope. I am not.

    I

  38. Roger says:

    John

    You lack Charity when you fail to prevent a Mortal Sin where this is known or suspected.

    Amoris Laetitia can only be interpreted according to the teaching of the Church (of all time).

    1 Corinthians 11
    [26] For as often as you shall eat this bread, and drink the chalice, you shall shew the death of the Lord, until he come.
    [27] Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.
    [28] But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice.
    [29] For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord

    Council of Trent (De Euch., v.i) declares: “As of all the sacred mysteries… none can compare with the … Eucharist, so likewise for no crime is there heavier punishment to be feared from God than for the unholy or irreligious use by the faithful of that which … contains the very Author and Source of holiness.”

    St. Cyril wrote “They who make a sacrilegious Communion receive Satan and Jesus Christ into their hearts – Satan, that they may let him rule, and Jesus Christ, that they may offer Him in sacrifice as a Victim to Satan.”

    Holy Communion must be received only while one is in the grace of God. Therefore, when one has committed a mortal sin, even if one has repented of it and has a great desire to receive Holy Communion, it is necessary and indispensable to confess oneself first before receiving Holy Communion, otherwise one commits a most grave sin of sacrilege, for which Jesus said to St. Bridget, “there does not exist on earth a punishment which is great enough to punish it sufficiently!”

  39. JabbaPapa says:

    Now where do these stand under “Amoris Laetitia”

    If you look at the interpretation thereof that Pope Francis has praised, and that I quoted above :

    So, anyone who thinks that a situation of adultery can be compatible with Christian Faith, or “justified”, can have no access to the Sacraments.

    And in certain cases where no manner of having sinned is understood by the penitent, access to the Sacraments is described as being particularly scandalous.”

    Henry VIII stands quite clearly condemned by Amoris Laetitia, let alone his overt Acts of Heresy and Apostasy from the Faith …

  40. Peter Windome says:

    I am what I would consider a devout Catholic and this my first visit to this site.

    Although somewhat surprised by the news of the Pope’s seemingly wholehearted approval of Communion for a very limited number of divorced Catholics (is there such a thing?), I am actually appalled at the vehemence and lack of charity exhibited on this forum.

    The moderator (and those who come across as his sycophants) seem to believe they have a monopoly on the Truth and the workings of The Holy Spirit.

    John 3:8 (NAS) “The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

    If Pope Francis is not being guided by The Holy Spirit in this matter, it will be made clear by God in His Way and Time. Until then I would rather stand with John in not judging others’ state of Grace and mind my own side of the street.

    We do not live in Apostolic times when a simple admonition (or two) might bring an intransigent sinner to repentance. Even great Saints disagreed on very important matters, so it is not inconceivable that there would be differing opinions on how to deal with sincere believers in complicated situations.

    St. Paul said those who receive in an unworthy state bring condemnation on themselves…not that he would bring it.

    I sense a great deal of “why should anyone get away with what others haven’t” in these comments as opposed to true concern for the ultimate salvation of an erring Catholic.

    And as for Francis being an anti-pope…
    Even Rodrigo Borgia has not declared an anti-pope and he basically bought the papacy and turned the Vatican into a brothel!

    Just my two cents…wonder if my comment will make it through?

  41. Toad says:

    Moderator – you are no longer “moderating ” that is to say – hectoring, whining, bickering and censoring – which is bad enough – but entering bodily into the argument, as with John above. It left John’s comment an unreadable mess, shattered and marginalised between great gobs of Bodoni Black Italic Bold – , bur perhaps that was your intention.
    If it wasn’t, why not simply write a self-contained reply – like any other commentator has to?

    [The Moderator – This is a fair point, Toad. John’s comment has been restored to its original state]

  42. The Raven says:

    Welcome, Peter.

    Speaking as the wicked moderator, who was responsible for defacing John’s comment, my irritation was with his repeated insistence that people opposed to Amoris Laetitiae were ‘judging others’.

    The plain fact is that all of us are keen on mercy and would like individuals to encounter God through the sacraments. What we object to is the dilution of the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage, because we fear that this will lead people to the very self-condemnation that you allude to.

    Other than John, no-one here has actually commented on individuals; the focus has been on principle.

  43. The Raven says:

    You’re not very good at answering questions, John. I think Roger was asking you where Henry and Anne stood under Amoris Laetitiae, not whether you agreed with agreed with the original decision not to grant an annulment.

    You’re also grossly misusing More’s comment (if it was indeed something that More said, which I rather doubt). More refused to acknowledge Anne, which was, ultimately, why he got the chop; the oath of supremacy was only the pretext for his death.

  44. Toad says:

    Another demonstration of the excellence and reasonableness of CP&S (and no irony from Toad in this case. just this once)

    A slightly off-topic thought which struck me during enforced, boca abajo, (face down) post surgical idleness:
    How could any compassionate person ever hope to be “happy” in Heaven, while being aware that just one other person (Henry Vlll, Stalin, or Hitler, say) was suffering the eternal torments of the damned?
    And, in the ( highly-unlikely, to be sure ) circumstance of my wife consigned to Hell and me to Heaven, I’d opt to switch – to be with her. Wouldn’t anyone? ( not necessarily to be with my wife, I understand, but you see what I’m getting at.)
    Or am I just a spineless, half-witted, old bleeding-heart, Liberal/Modernist?
    (“Yes, Toad.”)
    As the arteries harden, the heart grows softer (Mencken)

    Hang in there, Peter Windome. We regularly require fresh blood, and you have a kind face, as we can see.

  45. Roger says:

    Peter
    “..We do not live in Apostolic times when a simple admonition (or two) might bring an intransigent sinner to repentance..”

    The Four Marks of the Church per the CREED. One Holy Catholic and Apostolic . Remove the Apostolic and you will have destroyed the Mystical Body Of Christ.

    The simple admonitions you refer to are The Four Last Things

    Don’t forget Pope Leo XIII “100 years given to Satan to destroy the Church”
    Satan’s Hour of Darkness

    Luke 22:53 When I was daily with you in the temple, you did not stretch forth your hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.

    Acts Of Apostles 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and manifest day of the Lord come.

    The waters have been intentionally muddied to the point of the enactment of Global Laws that promote SIN as a NORM (Anti Christian). This spiritual darkness is why sinners are intransigent.

    John 3:19 And this is the judgment: because the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light: for their works were evil.

    John 1:5 And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

    John 12:35 Jesus therefore said to them: Yet a little while, the light is among you. Walk whilst you have the light, that the darkness overtake you not. And he that walketh in darkness, knoweth not whither he goeth.

  46. GC says:

    Toad: Hang in there, Peter Windome. We regularly require fresh blood

    I don’t know what to make of that remark, Toad, given that confidential data, only available behind the scenes here at CP&S, would indicate that our “fresh” Mr Wyndham Windome is actually transmitting from a grave in a particular Canadian cemetery.

    We are, no doubt, all astonishment. An “extraordinary miracle”, is it?

  47. John says:

    Roger @ 00.08.
    Of course Holy Communion must be received only when one is in the state of grace. I agree. Your quotations from Scripture,Trent and St Cyril do not cancel out Christ’s injunction in Matthew 7.1 that we must not judge, nor His command in Matthew 7.3 that we attend to the plank in our own eye before becoming concerned with the speck in our brother’s. It was these considerations which led Thomas More, also a canonized saint, to refrain from meddling in the matrimonial controversies of Henry VIII. I think we would be well advised to do likewise in respect of similar contemporary issues.

    We do not have any competence or function to enter into the consciences of others to determine their worthiness or otherwise to receive Holy Communion. My prayer is ‘Domine non sum dignus’, not ‘Domine non sunt dignus’
    You accuse me of ‘failing to prevent mortal sin’. I am afraid that is a matter for the individual who may commit such a sin where it exists. I do not have any power to stop it.

  48. John says:

    Peter @ 07.42.

    Thank you for your supporting comment on my view on not judging others’ state of grace.

    Your post mirrors my own sentiments of dismay at the appalling vehemence and lack of charity on this forum.

  49. John says:

    The Raven @ 08.58 Thomas More was not asked to acknowledge Anne. He did not get into that debate, choosing not to meddle in that matter.
    His trial and sentence at Westminster Hall proceeded on the basis of his refusal to take the Oath of Supremacy acknowledging Henry VIII as head of the Church which More declared no secular prince could be. This was no mere pretext, but central to Henry’s claim to usurp the Pope’s spiritual as well as temporal power in England.

  50. Roger says:

    John

    So you would permit Henry and Anne to receive Holy Communion.

    Matthew 7
    [1] Judge not, that you may not be judged,
    [2] For with what judgment you judge, you shall be judged: and with what measure you mete, it shall be measured to you again.
    [3] And why seest thou the mote that is in thy brother’ s eye; and seest not the beam that is in thy own eye?
    [4] Or how sayest thou to thy brother: Let me cast the mote out of thy eye; and behold a beam is in thy own eye?

    Notice however if we HAVE cast the beam out of our own eyes! WE can THEN SEE to cast the mote out of our brother’s eye! That’s Love of God (His Laws) and Love of Neighbour

    [5] Thou hypocrite, cast out first the beam in thy own eye, and then shalt thou see to cast out the mote out of thy brother’ s eye.

    Matthew 7 1:5 Doesn’t excuse the sin of omission such as turning a blind eye to Mortal Sin does it? Glad you agree with Me!

    Matthew 15:14 Let them alone: they are blind, and leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into the pit.

  51. The Raven says:

    John

    That is simply not true – St Thomas refused to attend Anne’s coronation and, crucially refused the Oath of Succession (acknowledging Anne as Henry’s wife and her heirs as legitimate). Failure to take the oath was constituted treason under 26 Hen. 8 c. 2.

    St Thomas was most certainly ‘meddling’ in the question of this particular divorce and remarriage! In fact, the line that you quote him as saying was in response to a request that he should sign a letter in support of the king’s divorce from Queen Katharine – you have reversed his meaning entirely.

    The Oath of Supremacy was, itself, only one of the charges that the party around Anne (led by Cromwell) used to have him executed (he wasn’t even eligible to take the Oath of Supremacy, as he was not a cleric nor, at the time, a public servant).

    He wears his martyr’s crown precisely because he refused to swear an oath upholding Henry’s adulterous pretended marriage; he most emphatically exercised his God-given judgment in this matter.

  52. John says:

    Whether Henry and Anne should receive Holy Communion would be a matter for them, their spiritual adviser, and ultimately God alone. It would not be a matter for officious meddlers.
    The problem for some on this blog is that they do not bother to cast the beam out of their own eye but forge ahead with pointing their accusing finger at others thus constituting themselves as judges. Fools rush in where angels fear to thread.. Notice that Matthew 7.1 is uncompromising: ‘Judge not, that you may not be judged’

  53. John says:

    The Raven,
    I am afraid we must differ on our interpretation of Thomas More’s reticence about the detail of Henry’s application to the Pope to have his marriage to Katherine set aside. The Pope’s refusal was solely his prerogative, not requiring, seeking, or receiving, any submission or comment from St Thomas or the merits or otherwise of Henry’s case. Roma locuta est; causa finita est.
    St Thomas never proclaimed the parties to be in mortal sin an accusation casually hurled at those in similar circumstances to-day by some on this blog. Back to Matthew 7.1

  54. The Raven says:

    What on earth do you mean, John? St Thomas was asked by people around the king to sign a letter, effectively a petition, to the Pope (along with a number of other senior people in the kingdom); St Thomas refused. I am not alleging that his signature would have changed the mind of the Holy Father.

    St Thomas went to the executioner precisely because he refused to acknowledge the legitimacy of Henry’s marriage to Anne.

    And why don’t you keep reading past Matthew 7.1, which is neither as definitive nor as final as you make out:

    “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye”

    7:5 – oddly appropriate, no? And don’t you catch the underlying command that we aren’t to leave our brother walking around with stuff in his eyes?

    And what about the next verses? You are building on a narrow foundation, John, and the rest of the text really doesn’t back up your argument.

  55. John says:

    The Raven @16.59
    I am afraid that we are at polar opposites in regard to historical and Scriptural interpretation and to the implications of some historical fact such as More’s refusal to sign the letter of petition to the Pope. We are simply going around in circles thus reaching an inevitable impasse.
    Either one of us could claim the victory; but the other one would disagree. I thank you for your polite exchange of views on this matter but I must leave it at that.

  56. Toad says:

    “I don’t know what to make of that remark, Toad, given that confidential data, only available behind the scenes here at CP&S, would indicate that our “fresh” Mr Wyndham Windome is actually transmitting from a grave in a particular Canadian cemetery.”
    Well, I hardly know what to make of most of the remarks on here, GC. Other than taking them with a large measure of salt. But I’d have thought transmitting from “the grave” was not so extraordinarily \miraculous – for old-fashioned, Trad, Catholics like us. Fairly commonplace.

    Henry the Fat ( any relation to GKC?) Thomas More, Fisher, Cranmer, Luther, Calvin, and Co, had “relatively ” (Ooh! Heresy!) different ideas than we do, about dealing with people who didn’t see things their way. Kill them, more or less, summed it up.
    …No argument about that.

  57. GC says:

    Well, Toad, I can only say that your particular comments in this instance are anything but “fresh”, but tend seriously to the direct opposite; as do the comments from Mr Wyndham arising from his grave in Ontario. I think we’ve already heard them previously severely several times.

    So much for “fresh”. But it must surely be a miracle – the grave bit, I mean. Now that’s really something.

  58. Toad says:

    Well, GC, I’ve never given much thought to the “freshness”of my comments. I do highly doubt that any single one of them is original, (nothing really is) although some do seem quite original to me. I’m far from as smart as Wittgenstein, for example , who did have seriously original ideas

    The grave does give me considerable pause for thought, as so it should. ( The Unquiet Grave – Connolly)
    I’m beginning to doubt if I’ll see this year out.
    …But I have no reason at all to repine. Life has been amazingly good for three quarters of a century, and still is.
    ..And that’s that.

  59. JabbaPapa says:

    Whether Henry and Anne should receive Holy Communion would be a matter for them, their spiritual adviser, and ultimately God alone.

    In fact it would be — and was — a matter for Canon Law, particularly given that a decree of formal excommunication was issued, forbidding participation in Holy Communion for the very reasons in question. (only after the excommunication did Henry VIII decide to fully apostasise)

  60. Toad says:

    …And, as a belated afterthought – wouldn’t “fresh” comments be anathema to any cold-blooded ,Traditional Catholic?

    Yes! Give us the same old stale, musty stuff from centuries ago, like bonfires of heretics, drowning witches, Limbo, altar rails, and an all-male God-team staff. Where women know their place. Which is somewhere out the back washing up the dishes
    . …And so it should be. Rogbert will explain why this must be so.
    Something to do with Adam and Eve. It would seem.

  61. Peter says:

    @moderator
    Thank you for posting my comments; It was a pleasant surprise.

    @GC
    Seems you’re intimating that John and I are the same person. I’m not him nor am I miraculously “posting from the grave”. I have simply taken some very simple, recommended steps in the past to protect my privacy on the internet. I did not see an option for a “handle” when signing up to post here like there is in the vast majority of forums.

    It’s not this forum that prompted those actions but rather searching my name on the internet when I had a FB account. I got creeped out when I realized just how easily/thoroughly we get tracked these days and permanently closed my FB account and have been more careful since doing so.
    And no, I don’t have anything to hide. I’m simply uneasy with every nut-bar on earth searching my private information. Should the moderator want to contact me, he can.

    A “nom de plume” in the past did not invalidate an opinion or an idea, it simply protected the author from unwanted attention. These days it helps manage unwanted spam and nosy (or even dangerous) people.

  62. Roger says:

    Thank you Jabba

  63. johnhenrycn says:

    Peter Windome (22:20) – Speaking as one who perhaps or perhaps not came across to you as a moderator’s sycophant (07:42), I do appreciate your last comment. And I’m so glad to see that you don’t actually occupy the gravedigger’s cottage at my “local”.

  64. Peter says:

    @Toad

    I am sorry for your illness and ask Our Lord that you receive comfort in your distress.
    You make some good points but IMHO bundle many things together which should be dealt with individually.

    I believe there is an evolution in The Church’s understanding of some of it’s teachings (ie burning witches, kneeling for communion etc.). But some teachings/traditions are more firmly rooted in what we as Catholics believe to be revealed truth.

    Having only male priests is in accordance with the evolution of the Levitical priesthood of the OT, the 12 tribes of Israel, and the TYPE of priesthood inaugurated by Jesus. There is also the somewhat mysterious reference to Jesus’ own priesthood as one of the type or order of Melchizidek (who was obviously male). The differences between the sexes and their respective vocations or callings in the Kingdom of Jesus have nothing to do with inequality, but differences there are, even if that idea is not PC in the West these days.

    These personal ruminations aside, I found this linked article quite accurate in putting forth the reasons for what I accept in Faith, admittedly somewhat intuitively.
    http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/religion-and-philosophy/apologetics/why-can-t-women-be-priests.html

  65. johnhenrycn says:

    The Levites were not of the 12 tribes of Israel; but I see the symbolism.

  66. johnhenrycn says:

    n.b: You said the “Levitical priesthood of the OT, the 12 tribes of Israel”, not one of the 12 tribes. The rest of your last comment I leave to others.

  67. Peter says:

    I wasn’t saying that the Levites were one of the twelve tribes.

    A comma separates the two things as in a list of items or topics that I have looked into regarding the Priesthood in Catholicism.

    The twelve tribes are to be represented by The Apostles, all of whom were male. I realize I’ll get the “It was convention at the time” argument but Jesus hardly shied from being unconventional.

    The Levitical priesthood was a prefigurement of the priesthood in the Church.

    Christ established His Church within many of the parameters of the Jewish Faith to which He belonged and was sent ie “Do as they say, for they sit on the chair of Moses…but do not act as they do…”
    One of those parameters appears to be an all male priesthood as required/revealed/dictated by the Father within the OT.

    The OT was fulfilled by Jesus with some teachings/edicts left as they were and others raised to a higher standard. I believe if he had wanted women priests, His Mother would have certainly been one as she literally brought His Body and Blood into the world.

    I also said my understanding and acceptance of the teaching was at least somewhat intuitive. I believe it a happy coincidence that my intuition is in accordance with Church teaching on this one.

  68. Toad says:

    I don’t really mind whether priests are all-male, or not, Peter.
    I think women would make far better ones, them being considerably more sensible in general, but it’s not up to me.
    Some response to my latest musings on Hell and damnation would be welcome.
    But that’s not up to me, either.
    By the way- I’m not fatally ill, ( so far as I know) as I apparently seemed to insinuate, but many hanks for your concern. In fairly good health for such an old crock, in fact. Despite the fact that my lifestyle has never been one calculated to ensure longevity, and it’s finally catching up with me.

  69. JabbaPapa says:

    The Church’s understanding of some of it’s teachings (ie burning witches

    erm, the Church has never “taught” the burning of witches, but only some in hardline factions have ever done so, including when some local churches have been in collusion with certain politicians.

    Multiple Catholic Martyrs and Saints however have suffered that form of capital execution and under such charges, the most obvious being St Joan of Arc — our Lord Himself was crucified for religious reasons.

    Capital punishment has always been an affair generally outside the Church herself, unhappy exceptions notwithstanding, and has instead always been the affair of secular authorities or lynch mobs.

  70. Toad says:

    It’s really not surprising there were no women priests in Christ’s day. Nor, I suspect, were there any women lawyers, doctors, artists, architects, or jockeys. Of course, some folk on here will probably say, “No, and there still shouldn’t be any.. Women should stay home and work on out-breeding the Muslims”

  71. JabbaPapa says:

    It’s really not surprising there were no women priests in Christ’s day

    In fact, the Pagans had priestesses galore.

  72. Toad says:

    Well, there we are, then – precedent.
    Toad had quite forgot the Vestal Virgins.
    Strange, for him.

  73. Peter says:

    @Toad
    You received prayers regardless but ..”I’m beginning to doubt if I’ll see this year out” certainly sounded like (as opposed to “apparently seemed” like) you were concerned.

    I haven’t read your ruminations on hell etc. but suffice to say I think you would be better served reading a real treatise (or two;) on it rather than asking random strangers on a forum their opinions re such a heady topic.

    Again intuitively, I personally believe that when God bestows life, it is a gift that is not ever rescinded. We are invited to follow God’s Will in our lives but are free to reject it to “do our own thing”.
    Our own thing is usually sell-seeking on the material plane and thus completely opposed to the life of God who is Love itself. Hence Christ’s words about the need to die to yourself…

    ie “…25 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. 26What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?…

    By reading your comments, it’s hard to tell if you take any of this seriously but I truly believe that anyone who ends up in hell does so through abuse of their own free will, not by God’s design.

    Just as on the physical plane where actions sometimes have irreversible consequences, so to on the Spiritual. WHY it is this way I believe has to do with our truly radical freedom as human beings.

  74. johnhenrycn says:

    “I truly believe that anyone who ends up in hell does so through abuse of their own free will, not by God’s design.”

    You sound so much like all the other sycophants here, including me. Of course, your “truly believe” exhalation leaves open whether you “truly believe” there is anyone in Hell.

  75. Toad says:

    “I haven’t read your ruminations on hell etc.”
    My latest were a on 15th Sept , 19.35 in this “thread,” Peter . Ignored by all, probably rightly, because I’m thick.
    If anyone goes to Hell, (which I doubt – because I reject the whole idea of it) they do so from ignorance of what it is supposed to entail, rather than choice. Or they are insane, as no sane person would choose Hell over any alternative, if they fully comprehended the situation. Wouldn’t you agree?
    And I have read a considerable amount on this subject. I think Unamuno got it more right than most people. And C.S. Lewis, the notorious and unrepentant Prod, got it more wrong. And can’t God “design” whatever He likes? If us going to Hell makes Him “sad,” why doesn’t He redesign things so we don’t – and thus make Himself “happy”? That’s what I’d do.

  76. JabbaPapa says:

    If anyone goes to Hell, (which I doubt – because I reject the whole idea of it) they do so from ignorance of what it is supposed to entail, rather than choice. Or they are insane, as no sane person would choose Hell over any alternative, if they fully comprehended the situation. Wouldn’t you agree?

    No, because that is a deeply flawed construct, making no sense whatsoever.

    Or possibly just your latest attempt to build a strawman ?

    The existence or not of this or that, meanwhile, is not determined by personal opinions nor individual “rejections”.

  77. JabbaPapa says:

    If us going to Hell makes Him “sad,” why doesn’t He redesign things so we don’t – and thus make Himself “happy”? That’s what I’d do.

    aaaaand you continue to ignore the multiple occasions where the Original Sin, our knowledge of good and evil, has been explained to you.

    Jolly old anthropomorphisation fallacy there BTW !!!

  78. GC says:

    Is Toad a universalist or a semi-universalist? What does everybody think?

    Father Longenecker has blogged often about universalism being very prevalent among Catholic clergy nowadays and that it’s at least one of the reasons (and a really big one at that!) why in the West attendance and vocations are falling horribly. You know the “Church of nice”?

    http://www.catholic.org/news/hf/faith/story.php?id=43802

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/standingonmyhead/universalism-christianitys-killer

  79. johnhenrycn says:

    GC, I don’t know if Toad is either. He’s not even convinced there’s Heaven, let alone Hell. Good and evil, white and black, light and dark, up and down, love and hate, yin and yang…It stands the test of reason to believe in Hell -IF- one believes in Heaven.

    Furthermore, I hope there are people in Hell (I say this polemically, not absolutely). Not that I wish any particular person to go there, not even Godwin’s father-in-law, but for God’s creation to be balanced, for it to have logic and order, I don’t see how evil persons can ever go to Heaven. As for lukewarm people who have no faith but who have lived lives full of love, I don’t know.

  80. Toad says:

    “The existence or not of this or that, meanwhile, is not determined by personal opinions nor individual “rejections”.”
    Agreed, Jabba. Trial and error does it, ( i.e. Science ) – in my opinion. What do you think? Revelation by Our Blessed Lady?

    “Is Toad a universalist or a semi-universalist? What does everybody think?””
    Who cares what people think he is? Toad certainly doesn’t

    ” I hope there are people in Hell ..”
    And do you hope it’s anyone you personally know, JH – in order that you can enjoy their agony even more?
    I’m a little surprised by your comment. Not very much, though.

    “”It stands the test of reason to believe in Hell -IF- one believes in Heaven.”
    Not for me, it doesn’t. I can happily accept the concept of humans being awarded more happiness than they deserve (I personally enjoy treating people (and animals) better than others think they deserve) – but not that they should be given more misery than they deserve. And that is eternal misery – we are told.
    …But you clearly can’t comprehend that.

  81. Toad says:

    “Not that I wish any particular person to go there, not even Godwin’s father-in-law, but for God’s creation to be balanced, for it to have logic and order, “
    What an extraordinary reason, JH.. For balance. You’d allow someone to writhe eternally in agony for something as trivial as that?
    To keep the books straight? What are you – some sort of lawyer?

  82. Toad says:

    Was there a Hell before The Fall? Where was the logic and order and balance then?

  83. GC says:

    Toad: “Is Toad a universalist or a semi-universalist? What does everybody think?””
    Who cares what people think he is? Toad certainly doesn’t

    Nevertheless, I think we should be told.

    JH, in that ‘reasonableness’ mode of which you speak, if God is present to us in our conscious lives and we are truly morally free, then it follows that we are absolutely free to accept Him or reject Him. He doesn’t force us or keep us mostly on a leash or in the yard. Not at all like Toad’s legion pooches vis-à-vis Toad.

  84. johnhenrycn says:

    Toad croaks: “What an extraordinary reason, JH. For balance. You’d allow someone to writhe eternally in agony for something as trivial as that?

    What in God’s name is trivial about balance, logic and order? God is love. He is also Reason, Logic and Order. His eternity is not a topsy-turvy Alice In Wonderland nightmare. Hell is necessary.

    Toad goes on to whimper:“Was there a Hell before The Fall?”
    Hell
    CCC1033: This state of definitive self-exclusion from communion with God and the blessed is called ‘hell’ “ Hell is not a place – it is a state of being (or non-being ?) and since it is not a place, your prelapsarian question is not the correct one. Hell was not created.

    CCC 1035: ” The teaching of the Church affirms the existence of hell and its eternity.” Since this state of being (non-being?) called Hell is eternal, that means it always was, is and shall be. It was not created. Created things are not eternal. If it was created, it is not eternal. If it is a physical place, it is not eternal.

    CCC 1035: “The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God…” which means that Hell is metaphysical, not physical, because God is everywhere eternally.

  85. johnhenrycn says:

    Humans are immortal, not eternal. Eternal means always existing, but never born.

    johnhenrycn, Collected Works Green Ink Publishing, Tunbridge, 2017.

  86. johnhenrycn says:

    Okay, let’s get serious just like Anne Barnhardt and Mundabor: Is the Internet a good place for intelligent people like Toad, Roger, John Kehoe and me to spend our final years? Quoting from a recent letter To The Editor published in this month’s print edition of an orthodox (formerly Anglican) Catholic monthly which I’ve subscribed to for years even before converting, written by a very wise woman in Rome (Maine, that is, wherever that is):

    Media expert Nicholas Carr contends that online reading is tinkering with our brains. [He says] “Now my concentration starts to drift after two or three pages. I get fidgety, lose the thread, begin looking for something else to do. I feel as if I’m always dragging my wayward brain back to the text. The deep reading that used to come naturally has become a struggle.”

    Here’s a link to his book which so resonates with my angst:
    https://www.amazon.com/Shallows-What-Internet-Doing-Brains/dp/0393072223/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=&sr=

  87. JabbaPapa says:

    Was there a Hell before The Fall?

    The Fall of Man, or the Fall of Lucifer ?

  88. Toad says:

    ” Is the Internet a good place for intelligent people like Toad, Roger, John Kehoe and me to spend our final years?

    Probably, not, JH. We all ought to get aproper lives. But it’s better than hanging around bars of ill-fame, trying to pick up naughty women. Roger will agree with this searching analysis, I’m confident.
    Anyway, these are not our final years, I’m told. Human existence is an exam, with lots of trick questions, set by God; with eternity of one variety or the other, as the prize. ( or punishment.) All perfectly reasonable, of course.

    CCC 1035: “The chief punishment of hell is eternal separation from God…” which means that Hell is metaphysical, not physical, “
    Then what’s the point of us getting our bodies back after we are dead?

    “Hell is not a place – it is a state of being (or non-being ?) and since it is not a place, your prelapsarian question is not the correct one.”
    But Little Lucia, CP&S’s perennial pubertal Portugese pin-up – certainly describes it as a physical place.
    Where grinning black devils prod howling sinners with pitchforks among eternal fire. Surely you don’t dispute her account?
    Roger will be shocked, shocked – if you do.

  89. Toad says:

    “He doesn’t force us or keep us mostly on a leash. Not at all like Toad’s legion pooches vis-à-vis Toad.”
    I let the dogs off when and where I judge it’s safe, GC. If you had someone in your care, not very smart, that wanted to stroll about on a busy motorway, would you allow them to exercise their free will and do so? Are we not in God’s care?

  90. Roger says:

    Looking at St Paul words.

    { To be human is soul and spirit and transient body (flesh).
    The Dogma of the Assumption of Our Lady is very important in Our Age. Our Lady is a creature like Us but without Sin. So consider this Our Lady is in Heaven in all three soul, spirit, body and through Grace and Reparation we can aspire to be with Our Heavenly Mother }

    { At the Resurrection and the Last Judgement comes the separation Left and Right hand wherever Man is he will have three. Hell is an existence you cannot call it a life. Heaven is Life and what is more he will be human }

    1 Thessalonians 5
    23 And may the God of peace himself sanctify you in all things; that your whole spirit, and soul, and body, may be preserved blameless in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    { Our Lord is True God and True Man. A Profoundity that as a man will will never be able to completely comprehend. }

    1 Corinthians 15:45 The first man Adam was made into a living soul; the last Adam into a quickening spirit.

    Hell well Hades was known and understood form wherever you find Man. Homer for instance. Hades isn’t Heaven since Heaven was opened until Our Lords Passion.

    Death
    Hebrews 4
    12 For the word of God is living and effectual, and more piercing than any two edged sword; and reaching unto the division of the soul and the spirit, of the joints also and the marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

  91. Toad says:

    “Our Lady is a creature like Us but without Sin.”
    In which case, she is not the least like us. We, who are steeped in sin from the get-go.
    You might as well say a chimpanzee is “like” us (which he is, to some extent ), bur we have less body hair – and/or more “consciousness ” …Which we do.
    “Consciousness,” is why some of you will vote for Trump. But no other species of ape will. Good luck when he’s elected, Mrs Avila, and also Raymond, Cardinal Burke.
    Trump will hate you. And make you pay.

  92. johnhenrycn says:

    Twad (07:48) asks, in reply to my statement that Hell is metaphysical, not physical: “Then what’s the point of us getting our bodies back after we are dead?”

    I’m so glad you remember The Creed, and your retort is a perfectly justifiable, Socratic one to which I don’t have a clever, let alone wise reply. Is “resurrection of the body” the same thing as material embodiment? Might Heaven be a physical place (I very, very much doubt it, but cannot say so because Heaven is beyond my comprehension) as well as a metaphysical one, whereas Hell is only a metaphysical one? Good question. Don’t know.

  93. JabbaPapa says:

    Pope Francis : “The world is tired of lying spellbinders and, allow me to say, ‘trendy’ priests or bishops. The people sniff them out – they have God’s sense of smell – and they walk away when they recognise narcissists, manipulators, defenders of their own causes, auctioneers of vain crusades,”

  94. Toad says:

    “…your retort is a perfectly justifiable, Socratic one to which I don’t have a clever, let alone wise reply.”
    I’m not looking for “clever” answers, JH, and I’d describe “I don’t know,” as a reasonably wise one. Ignorance being the starting point for wisdom, as someone (can’t remember who) once said. We can only consider the implications, of say, bodily resurrection – and act on our findings. No good saying, “Well God knows, and that’s good enough for me.” That would be a sin of omission, a cop-out, we’d all surely agree.

  95. kathleen says:

    Jabba @ 17:16, 20th Sept.

    Do you think Pope Francis had anyone particular in mind when he said this?

  96. JabbaPapa says:

    Kasper & Ko, hopefully …

  97. kathleen says:

    I doubt it! They are his pals. Perhaps someone just a little closer to home?

  98. JabbaPapa says:

    Well, ‘trendy’ priests or bishops that the People of God are walking away from are hardly the Faithfully Orthodox ones !!!

  99. kathleen says:

    Jabba,

    Are there no mirrors in the Vatican? This blogger thinks there should be.

  100. JabbaPapa says:

    Yes well, some Pope-bashers are so in love with this activity that they can’t help having a go even when Francis says something highly sensible …

  101. mmvc says:

    ‘Kasper & Ko, hopefully …’

    Well, he might be considered to be two-faced if he were referring to Kasper, Marx and their ilk:

    https://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=20566
    http://voxcantor.blogspot.co.uk/2016/09/protestant-cardinal-reinhard-marx.html

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