Almost at the very end of the press conference to 'present' Amoris laetitia, a young woman, who, I think, was sitting next to Professor Roberto de Mattei ... once or twice he appeared to whisper to her ... was allowed to ask a question. Unlike most of the hacks and hackettes, she asked a question ... an appeal for "clarification" ... "everybody wants to know" ... which was very short and totally to the point. She just wanted to know, simple lass that she was, whether there was anything in this new document which contradicted paragraph 84 of Familiaris consortio. The question went for answer to some Austrian called von Schoenborn. He repudiated strongly the idea that there could possibly be a contradiction. But he proceeded to explain that Doctrine develops.
The Austrian gentleman referred us instead to Blessed John Henry Newman's Essay on Development. I think anybody who wants to be up-to-the-minute should reread that brilliant tour de force. Remember, incidentally, that the Blessed did not write it as a guide to how future curial spokespersons, by a neat conjuring trick, could present Change as Non-change; but as an analysis of how in fact Catholic Doctrine had in the past developed while remaining true to type. Newman shared with S Paul the advantage of not being an Austrian aristocrat.
When Pope Francis was later asked about the coherence of Amoris laetitia, he replied by referring us all to this 'Introduction' by von Schoenborn, whom he described as a great theologian and a former secretary of the CDF. (It is a mercy that Vatican I, in defining the Primacy and Infallibility of Roman Pontiffs, did not claim that they had good memories with regard to the Curricula Vitae of their associates.)
I propose, over the next few days, to repeat some previous posts making clear what the Church has formally taught about DEVELOPMENT, in a Magisterium which begins with a phrase of S Paul's which was then taken up by writer after writer, pope after pope, until our own time. The phrase is
EODEM SENSU EADEMQUE SENTENTIA.
These pieces will be updated and slightly modified but will be printed with their original threads. I apologise to those who wrote comments which may not now relate precisely to the texts as now reprinted.