Stinging criticism of papal annulment “reform” circulating among Curia? September 15, 2015Posted by Tantumblogo in abdication of duty, Basics, disaster, episcopate, foolishness, General Catholic, paganism, Papa, Sacraments, scandals, secularism, self-serving, sexual depravity, Society, SOD, the struggle for the Church.
That’s what the well-connected and heretofore (well, for the past year+, anyway) quite accurate Vatican reporter Edward Pentin claims in a new article at the National Catholic Register. The post is packed with explosive claims and, especially given the source (mainstream Catholic news publication) deserves careful consideration (I add emphasis and comments):
Reports have emerged that a seven-page dossier, obtained by the German newspaper Die Zeit, is circulating around the curia in which senior Vatican officials have voiced discontent with the recent change in Church law on annulments, and an absence of consultation over the matter. [Well, in this, they are hardly alone. Even very mainstream individuals like Ed Peters, always deferential to the Holy See, have pointed out grave problems and easily foreseeable but disastrous consequences flowing from the Motu Proprio “reforming” the annulment process as written. The language is very vague and the timeframe called for will make careful review by bishops all but impossible. This kind of “reform” was already tried in the US from 1971-1983 and the result was the “normalization” of Catholic divorce is regular Church practice, if not Dogma. The annulment rate exploded to unprecedented proportions as a result. I have seen Peters and others, however, try to cast a clear line of division between formal Doctrine and how it is applied in practice. In reality, no such division exists, and we know from sources as close to this pontificate as Fr. Tom Rosica that the end game is to change Doctrine gradually by changing practice suddenly. Thus, by changing practice to permit mass granting of annulments a la US practice for 45 years, what amounts to Catholic divorce will eventually be enshrined as “solemn practice,” something agreed to by the vast majority of faithful and clergy, and thus, a new and “evolved doctrine.”]
On Tuesday, the Pope made sweeping reforms to make the process of obtaining a declaration of nullity simpler, quicker and cheaper.
According to Die Zeit, the officials juridically “picked apart” the Pope’s motu proprio (papal decree) on annulment reform, accuse the Holy Father of giving up an important dogma, and assert that he has introduced de facto “Catholic divorce”. [So now the usual endless arguments regarding translation and meaning have cropped up. Can we just stop that for now? Along that line, I recommend you not read the comments at the link. They are a singular example of willful denial.]
Further concerns mentioned in the document are that, despite the gravity of the issue, no dicasteries, including apparently the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as well as bishops conferences, were consulted about the decision — a claim the Register has had confirmed by numerous sources. The dossier says usual legislative channels have been “undermined” as “none of the planned steps of a legislative procedure have been followed.” [Rather like the granting of faculties to the SSPX for the year of mercy! This papacy that was supposed to usher in empowerment and a blooming of collegiality has been the most authoritarian seen since Pius XII, and probably further back than that]
Critics say this goes against the Pope’s calls for synodality and collegiality, and resembles an ecclesialized “Führerprinzip”, ruling from the top down, by decree and without any consultation or any checks. [Ouch. Godwin’s Law is constantly violated in the German press!]
Instead, the papal commission that drafted the motu proprio had been ordered to keep silent throughout the drafting process, probably to avoid the reforms being thwarted by the CDF and others in the curia. But the report also alleges that even the commission did not see the final draft, and that an Italian cardinal along with two others “fiercely” tried to prevent the motu proprio being published before the synod but without success.
The Register has learned via other sources that this decision and others are effectively isolating the CDF and that the Pope is steadily making their work superfluous. [Now that I very much agree with, and numerous examples along this line could be pointed out. Now the question one must ask is, why would that be so? Is it because CDF and especially Cardinal Muller are seen as standing in the way of the implementation of the desired agenda of “mercy?”]
The report also voices concern that the motu proprio will lead to a flood of annulments and that from now on, couples would be able to simply exit their Catholic marriage without a problem. [Which is already much the case in the United States, where even the mild “restrictions” applied by the 1983 Code of Canon Law have done little to prevent the granting of annulments at a rate orders of magnitude greater than any other nation. And this “reform” in general applies the liberal US policy with regard to annulments to the entire world. It must be noted that the vast, vast majority of US annulments appealed to the Roman Rota have been overturned, with no decree of nullity granted. Thus the US practice has widely been seen as abusive and problematic.]
“A number of monsignors who are officially in charge of directing the affairs of the Church at large, are beside themselves” and feel obligated to “speak up”, according to Die Zeit. They are also concerned about the “extremely vague” language used in the motu proprio, especially the reasons for a speedy trial, such as “lack of faith” or other motives that are not clearly defined.
……..Yesterday, it emerged that 50 concerned theologians have appealed to Pope Francis to uphold the teachings of Humanae Vitae (Bl. Paul VI’s encyclical banning contraception) and Veritatis Splendor (Pope St. John Paul II’s 1993 encyclical underlining the Church’s moral teaching).
The signatories, who include Jesuit Father Kevin Flannery, professor of moral philosophy professor at the Pontifical Gregorian University, and philosophy Professor Robert Spaemann, a close ally of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, argue that a specific paragraph in the Instrumentum Laboris (working document) for the synod is gravely flawed, effectively emptying Humanae Vitae of its central teaching.
Appeal to numbers is a logical fallacy, but when one has a huge number of the faithful, and especially the best formed, most involved faithful, rising up begging the Holy Father to reiterate clearly the solemn Dogmas of belief, when one sees books from over a dozen Cardinals, again including many of the best, arguing against the direction that is so clearly desired for the Synod at papal behest, when one sees symposiums being held and various appeals being sent from some of the best, most devout Catholic minds around, it is correct to suspect that something is seriously awry in the highest leadership of the Church. It seems many, many souls are greatly disturbed at the obvious, apparent direction of this pontificate and the novel, one might even say revolutionary, agenda that they see taking shape. Given how this agenda was largely suppressed (at the highest level) in recent pontificates, it is little wonder many souls look on the Pope as the ultimate driving force behind this sudden resurgence of progressive fervor. Personally, I do not see how there can be any other logical explanation.
If you haven’t made your voice heard by signing a petition, sending a letter, or by some other means, I implore you to do so now. Time is very short. Yes, it certainly does appear that this agenda, from wherever it comes, is most resistant to any appeals, but that does not mean we should not continue the effort. As has been noted many times, the faithful have not only the right but the duty to help insure the integrity of the Doctrine of the Faith. This duty has been abrogated by far too many at all levels of the Church for decades. It’s past time for the faithful to do more in its defense.
We certainly live in interesting (re: terrifying) times. Prayer and penance are our ultimate recourse.