Roberto de Mattei at Rorate Caeli predicts grim results from the forthcoming exhortation:
Roberto de Mattei
March 23, 2016
In this Holy Week of 2016, the sentiments and pain of Christ’s Passion being renewed is mingled with deep apprehension about the distressing situation the Church is in. The greatest worries regard the impending Apostolic Post-Synod Exhortation Pope Francis signed on March 19th and which will be published just after Easter. According to the Vatican journalist Luigi Accattoli “rumors foresee a text of no striking doctrinal or juridical affirmations, but rather will include many innovative practical choices regarding marriage preparation and couples in irregular situations: not only for the divorced and remarried but also for cohabiters, marriages with a believer and non-believer and for those only civilly-married.” (Corriere della Sera, March 20th 2016)
What will these “innovative practices” be? The document’s key word is “integration”. Those who are in an irregular situation will be “integrated” into the community: they could become catechists, liturgical animators, godparents for Baptism and Confirmation, best men/bridesmaids at weddings and so on; all activities the traditional praxis of the Church to this day has forbidden them owing to their state of public sin. Yet, Alberto Melloni writes in “La Repubblica”, March 19th “on Communion for the divorced and remarried no novelties are expected. Seeing as the problem is to legitimize a praxis (…), not establish it theologically”. The document does not anticipate a “general rule” of access to the Eucharist, but would allow confessors and individual bishops to permit admission to the Sacraments “case by case”. The novelty, Melloni explains, is based on facts not on words, “by giving responsibility and restoring effective powers to bishops, marking, as Cardinal Kasper said, a real “revolution”.
Let’s imagine someone said: morality exists, but let’s act as if it didn’t. Morality being the norm of human conduct, this would be an invitation to a society without rules: a veritable Far-West morality, in which everything is allowed, as long as it not theorized. Jesus said, “Whoever loves me keeps my commandments” (John 14,21). In a case like this, in the name of a false, merciful love, God’s commandments would be violated and we would make a mockery of Him. And yet this is exactly the “legitimatizing of praxis” scenario that Melloni hopes for.
If the rumours are true, those who are in a situation of public and permanent sin, could rise to the role of witnesses, guides and educators in the Christian community. This would evidently mean not only for the divorced and remarried but for public cohabiters of every kind, heterosexual or homosexual, indiscriminately. Will it be possible to apply “the hermeneutic of continuity” to a document of this type, meant as an attempt to retain every act or word from the ecclesiastic hierarchy conformable with Tradition, whatever they are? For there to be continuity with the past it is not enough to reaffirm the indissolubility of matrimony. The continuity of doctrine is demonstrated through facts not words. Confronted with these novelties in praxis, how can it be said nothing will change? And how can the hermeneutic of continuity be proposed when it has already failed as far as the Vatican II documents are concerned?
to read the rest. When it comes to sin the Church requires repentance and amendment of life. If we are neither sorry for the sin or desire to amend our lives to avoid the sin in future, there can be no forgiveness of this sin. It is not mercy, but rather the height of cruelty, to seek to obscure this simple teaching.