These are anxious times for the Church. Doctrinal anarchy and unorthodoxy are reigning in Rome. We had hardly caught our breath after the shocking news of the new heretical appointees to the Pontifical Academy of Life, when we hear about this….
National Catholic Register correspondent, Edward Pentin, had only two days earlier reported on the ‘Doctrinal Anarchy’ as Bishops’ Conflicting Positions on Amoris Laetitia Show: “Since the publication last year of Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on the family Amoris Laetitia, a “doctrinal anarchy” that was feared and predicted at the synods on the family is becoming apparent”, and the urgent necessity for a final Papal clarification on these confusing conflicting interpretations of AL, when news of the latest rebuff towards the four Cardinals who signed the Dubia hit the headlines. Card. Caffara wrote a Letter requesting an audience with Pope Francis to discuss the Pope’s continuing refusal to respond to their questions a year on from when Amoris laetitia was published, but has been met with….. (you guessed it) total SILENCE. Ed Pentin reports:
“The April 25 missive was hand-delivered to the Pope on May 6 but has received no response.
Reasons for Going Public:
The cardinals’ decision to go public with the letter demonstrates increasing frustration on their part at receiving no response to their request, as they have an overriding concern that souls are at stake, that the Church is becoming deeply divided, and that many Church leaders and their flocks are very confused, concerned and wanting clarity.
Also evident in their request is their emphasis on dialogue, seeking to keep channels of dialogue with Francis open to give him the chance to answer, and their unquestionable respect for the Petrine Office whose authority they are keen to preserve.”
We are now informed that Fr Hunwicke’s excellent hard-hitting analysis of the situation has been blocked by Facebook and Twitter. The PC cyber police are out in full force! Therefore we republish it here below.
Cardinals, Collegiality and Amoris Laetitia UPDATE.
By Father John Hunwicke (19th June 2017)
This morning the Settimo cielo blog prints the text of the latest appeal by the Four Cardinals for an audience to discuss the Dubia which they raised earlier with the Sovereign Pontiff. I repeat, below, the piece I published yesterday, Monday.
Collegiality did not wait to be invented by Vatican II. In the 1950s, Papa Pacelli, Pius XII, wrote to each bishop of the Catholic Church to ask (1) whether he believed in the Corporal Assumption of the Mother of God; and (2) whether he considered it opportune for the dogma to be defined. The subsequent Solemn Definition followed upon the overwhelming consensus apparent in the replies of the world-wide episcopate.
More than a year has passed since the emergence of the divisive and poorly drafted document called Amoris laetitia. In this time, many Bishops and episcopal conferences have issued guidelines making clear that nothing has changed since St John Paul II in Familiaris consortio, and Pope Benedict XVI in Sacramentum Caritatis, reemphasised the Church’s immemorial discipline: ‘remarried’ divorcees who will not repent of their adultery and undertake either to separate or at least to try, with the help of God’s grace, to cohabit chastely, exclude themselves from the Sacraments during the time of their impenitence.
A few conferences and Bishops have issued statements understood as meaning that the thusly impenitent may, by virtue of Amoris laetitia, receive the Sacraments. Yet other conferences, such as that in England and Wales, have been manifestly unable to agree among themselves. It is clear that the Universal Episcopate is not united behind a ‘German’ interpretation of Amoris laetitia. Very far from it.
In the context of the Unity of the Una Catholica and of the collegial nature of the Universal Episcopate, cum et sub Petro, the time has surely come for this ‘dialogue’ to be moved to a new stage. Manifestly, if we are to persist with the embarrassing notion that we belong to one Church with one Teaching about the Eucharist and the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, steps must be taken to move in the direction of coherence, harmony, and united witness. The idea that someone who is excluded from the Sacraments by his own impenitent rejection of the Gospel needs only to walk across the border between Poland and Germany, or from one American diocese to another, to be welcomed enthusiastically as a communicant in good standing, is obviously a profoundly unCatholic absurdity which needs speedily to be resolved. Indeed, if one of Bishop Lopes’s Ordinariate parishes in America were geographically within a ‘liberal’, Cupichoid, diocese, the dissonance between the two in doctrine and discipline would be even more ludicrous.
The time has surely come for the Four Cardinals who intervened last year with their Dubia to revisit the question. And the time for Bishops, Successors of the Apostles according to the teaching of Leo XIII and of Vatican II and not mere vicars of the Roman Pontiff, to speak with courage, clarity and unanimity. And for clergy, laity, and academics to do the same. Remember that, at the height of the Arian Crisis, it was not among the Bishops or even in Rome that the Faith was most conspicuously preserved and defended. Remember the careful and lucid teaching of Blessed John Henry Newman, beloved Patron of our English Ordinariate, on the Suspense of the Magisterium.
Parrhesia, boldness in witnessing to the Truth, a virtue which was once (only a couple of years ago … it seems like an eternity, doesn’t it?) so very incessantly on the lips of the current occupant of the Roman See, is surely still an obligation for all faithful Catholics.
The more who speak boldly, the more difficult it will be for individuals to be put under unsympathetic pressure.