The signs are not looking good that Pope Francis will uphold traditional teaching forbidding Catholics in adulterous marriages from receiving communion. Edward Pentin at National Catholic Register brings us the bad news:
The president of the Pontifical Council for the Family has confirmed that Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation devoted to the family will be published by the end of March.
Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia reportedly disclosed the news today at a conference with priests in Portugal, according to Il Sismografo, a semi-official Vatican news aggregator supervised by the Secretariat of State.
The Italian archbishop said the much-anticipated document, which summarizes the Pope’s conclusions of the two synods dedicated to the family, will be “a hymn to love, a love that wants to take care of the welfare of the young, to be close to wounded families to give them strength, a love that wants to be close to children as well as to all mankind in need. “
Well informed sources have told the Register that the document, which observers believe will probably be released on March 19 — the feast of St. Joseph and the 3rd anniversary of the Pope’s inauguration Mass — is in its third draft. They also say that the chief drafter is Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernández, rector of the the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina in Buenos Aires and one of Pope Francis’ closest advisers.
One reliably informed source, a recognized moral theologian who has seen the draft, said he was “deeply disturbed” by the text as it “calls into question the natural moral law”. A senior Vatican official said he had heard the draft was good, but that was “some time ago”. He said he expects it to be similar to the Ordinary Synod’s final report, almost all of which the synod fathers passed unanimously.
Many are looking to the post-synodal apostolic exhortation on the family to give clarification on where the Pope stands on the issue of Communion for remarried divorcees, and what it will say about other crucial moral and theological issues.
Earlier this week, Vatican analyst Andrea Gagliarducci reported that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has studied the draft and sent a long note with several doctrinal remarks, rumored to be 40 pages in length.
A senior Vatican source told the Register last week that the CDF has offered “all kinds of observations” on other documents as well during this pontificate, “but none of them are ever taken.” The dicastery, like much of the Roman Curia, is largely left out of such processes and is considered to be “isolated”, according to sources.
Go here to read the rest. PopeWatch finds it amusing that defenders of Pope Francis often admonish Catholic critics of the Pope by saying that Pope Francis is the type of Pope that God wants the Church to have at present. If so, apparently God wants the Church to have a Pope who couldn’t care less about Catholic doctrine when it stands in his way.