11 October 2017


The First Vatican Council defined the dogma that ex cathedra  pronouncements of the Roman Pontiff were infallible ex sese et non ex consensu Ecclesiae; and that they were irreformabiles.

This welcome and necessary clarification of the standing of the highest class of papal statement left the field wide open to the implication that papal pronouncements which are not ex cathedra might require the consensus Ecclesiae before being fully recognised as the unalterable Teaching of the Church of all the Ages. And that such lesser papal statements might be reformabiles.

This, after all, is only common sense. Even if it might be difficult for the most hardline of the hyperultraueberpapalists, with their unCatholic belief that Pope Francis is ipsissima vox Spiritus Sancti, to grasp it.

The differing interpretations of various bishops and Episcopal Conferences make clear that Amoris laetitia, at least in the interpretation put upon it by the Bergoglianists, does not have the consensus Ecclesiae.

And the suggestions of Cardinals Mueller and Parolin, that dialogue should open between the two 'sides' into which Pope Francis has so lamentably divided our Holy Mother the Church, surely open up the possibility that Amoris laetitia may be clarified and freed of its ambiguities ... in other words, treated as reformabilis.

A minute but interesting piece of pedantry: are footnotes an integral part of a Magisterial text? Surely not. Surely, therefore, difficult footnotes could be either expunged or redrafted; new, clarifying, footnotes could be added.

Call me flabby if you like, but I do think that the current regime should be given ways of saving face. However, an essential part of such a dialogue would have to be the publication of the Comments sent to the HF after the CDF had studied the draft of the Apostolic Exhortation.


Unknown said...

...However, an essential part of such a dialogue would have to be the publication of the Comments sent to the HF after the CDF had studied the draft of the Apostolic Exhortation...

Wouldn't it be the greatest fun if these comments were to leak out of the CDF? All in the interests of transparency, of course.

Tony McGough

Rick said...

Have you read Sandro Magister this morning? I think his reportage puts things perfectly into perspective. The openness and brazenness of certain actions speak loudly of unrestrained hostility to Catholicism. Public rebuke is necessary, but our greatest weapon,and, perhaps, our only effective weapon, against this spreading of the errors of communism throughout the world of which Our Lady warned exactly 100 years ago, is her Rosary.

Liam Ronan said...

Very insightful as ever, Father. Distinctions are necessary, but at the end of the day aren't they just academic exercises such as "How many angels can fit on the head of a pin?"

As Pope Francis has just said in respect of the Second Coming of Our Lord:

"Have you thought what the encounter with Jesus will be like when He comes? It will be a hug a great joy." So it's to be a 'give Us all a hug moment' in the end. Goats and sheep alike.



Prayerful said...

I'm come to the opinion that the Holy Father is utterly convinced of his rightness, that this Successor of Peter sees no needs of accepting Correction or explaining himself, even if clarification would in no way be a compromise of the great office he holds. AL is stated not to be dogmatic either, so explanation should be the most natural and expected thing.

Anthony Pagano said...

Since no one (as far as I know) has ever claimed that "Amoris laetitia (AL)" was dogma the discussion of its reformability seems almost irrelevant. If AL contains heresy (and there seems no doubt that it does) shouldn't it be disposed of in its entirety and begun anew?

While AL has not been defined as dogma it certainly looks an awful lot like the Pope was using his teaching authority in its publication to the Bishops and as such seems to have all the appearance of being part of the Pope's Universal and Ordinary Magisterium. The Conciliar Church has, since Vatican II skirted these technical issues by implying that certain teachings are merely "pastoral" and bear no "real" force. Yet like the Vatican II "pastoral" constitutions they appear to be the only real force in the Church.

Tony V said...

The big question that needs to be addressed is whether the First Vatican Council is reformable. Perhaps Francis has done his part by showing just how fallible a pope can be.