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  If Amoris Laetitia is “objectively unclear,” whither Vatican II?    May 31, 2016

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, catachesis, disaster, episcopate, error, foolishness, Francis, General Catholic, Revolution, scandals, secularism, self-serving, Society, the struggle for the Church.

Cardinal Caffara of Bologna made minor waves recently by declaring that, owing to the contradictory interpretations already being made of the document, Francis’ post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia is “objectively unclear.”  He further states that whenever one happens upon a novel pronouncement of the Magisterium that is unclear in nature, a faithful soul has the duty to accept the Doctrine and practice as lived by the preceding Magisterium:

“Chapter 8 is, objectively, unclear,” said Cardinal Carlo Caffarra when speaking about Amoris Laetitia, since it causes “‘conflict of interpretations’ ignited even among bishops.” The comments were made last week in an interview the cardinal gave in Italian to the website La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana.

Ambiguity in Chapter 8 of the Pope’s exhortation has been used by left-leaning priests, bishops, and theologians to provide arguments for the administration of Holy Communion to civilly divorced and remarried Catholics. Some cite as evidence of a change paragraph 305 with footnote 351, which, when read together, suggest that the Church can help those living in an “objective situation of sin” to “grow in the life of grace” through the “Church’s help,” which “can include the help of the sacraments.”

But Caffarra, who is the Archbishop Emeritus of Bologna, said that where confusion arises in interpreting the text, one has to refer to the continuity of the Magisterium of the past as the principle guiding light.

“In matters of doctrine of faith and morals, the Magisterium cannot contradict itself,” he said.

Makes eminent sense to me.   But given that we already have not just “mere” bishops, but high ranking cardinals, arguing passionately over not just the interpretation of Vatican II, but whether or not certain decrees of Vatican II are even binding on conscience, does the same line of reasoning put forth by Cardinal Caffara not apply?

And, of course, by declaring that the Magisterium cannot contradict itself, and assuming the notion of non-contradiction still applies in Church affairs, does this not also provide at least a tacit, if likely unintentional,  support for the argument of many traditionally-minded Catholics that those portions of Vatican II that do certainly appear to contradict the prior Magisterium not only can be, but should be ignored?  Cardinal Caffara may well say no, but doesn’t his argument here, with regard to Amoris Laetitia, also have implications for Vatican II?  And if not, why not?

Is this not what many bewildered Catholics have not wondered for decades?   I guess to make my point perfectly clear, if one can say that a papal exhortation can be “unclear” and give rise to destructive, heterodox interpretations, why can the same not be said about other recent acts of the Church hierarchy that are manifestly unclear and appear to contradict the prior Magisterium?  At the very least, how on earth are lowly lay people to determine what is the authentic interpretation of each, when the very hierarchy that is supposed to tell us these things has lost its mind?

No wonder the Vatican II apologists have taken the Doctrine of the Faith, which used to be described as simple enough for anyone with even a basic education to observe, and turned it into this incredibly complex, nuanced, subtle, and seemingly self-contradictory ball of meaningless that it takes extensive post-licentiate work to even begin to understand?

Or perhaps total doctrinal confusion was the point all along?  It makes a great environment to make the “doctrine” say whatever you want it to from one moment to the next, depending on what the vagaries of the world demand.  Bug, feature, etc.


1. Joseph D'Hippolito - May 31, 2016

Of course it’s unclear! It’s supposed to be! How else can you devise your own doctrine and still be “faithful” to the “concept” that the Church cannot change doctrine???

AE’s approach toward marital love is nothing but a more complex version of Evangelium Vitae’s approach toward capital punishment for murder. We shouldn’t be surprised.

Jesus would have had a lot to say about these whited sepulchers.

I’ve maintained for a long time, now, that the Church long ago sacrificed its Petrine patrimony on the altar of power, wealth, political influence, secular prestige, intellectual fashion (which certainly describes AE) and institutional arrogance (ditto). When will Catholics wake up and smell the espresso? It’s been brewing for centuries!

Tantumblogo - May 31, 2016

I know. I appreciate the patience of long time readers like you when I play a bit coy like this. Of course all this has been a set up, but I just ran into a person over the weekend who is just beginning to “get it.” I hope they read this post. I have to keep in mind there are millions of souls of good will who haven’t quite figured out the nature of the crisis embroiling the Church. This post is for them.

Ann Malley - May 31, 2016

…those who are just beginning to get it are getting it precisely because the doctrines in question now effect their marriages and the integrity thereof. Ambiguity strikes closer to home.

So good luck in getting your new acquaintance up to speed.

The logic engaged by +Caffarra is eminently – logical. About time someone with some authority put that out there.

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