Forståelig at folk blir forvirret når de leser hva paven sier om ekteskapet

I dokumentet «Amoris lætitia» har pave Frans bevisst valgt å uttale seg uklart, ser det ut til – så da kan man letter forstå oppslag som det jeg kritiserte i går. Hos Sandro Magister kan man bl.a. lese:

The deliberately vague, polyvalent form of many passages of “Amoris Lætitia” finds confirmation in the incredible diversification of comments. It should suffice to cite three conflicting ones from among the thousand that the post-synodal exhortation has prompted.

On one side is an enthusiastic Alberto Melloni – the Church historian who is also the current leader of the progressive “school of Bologna” – who hails the exhortation as the “epochal” act that has definitively liberated marriage from the “juridical-philosophical cage” of the Council of Trent with its “cold and lifeless doctrine”:

On the other side is Juan José Pérez-Soba, a professor at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family at the Pontifical Lateran University, according to whom instead, just as in the “Relatio finalis” of the synod, neither in “Amoris Lætitia” is there any explicit admission of the divorced and remarried to communion, contrary to all the expectations:

In the middle is Robert Royal, founder and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, who applauds the exhortation for its “vigorous defense of Church teaching on contraception, abortion, homosexuality, reproductive technologies, the education of children,” but at the same time criticizes chapter 8, which “hesitantly and ambivalently would like to depart from the Church’s constant teaching since the beginning, on communion for the divorced and remarried”. …

I denne artikkelen presenterer Magister også synet til P. Antonio Spadaro, S.J., som har en svært progressiv forståelse av dokumentet – og som på mange måter står pave Frans nær.

Og John Allen skriver her om hvor viktige noen av fotnotene i pavens dokument er:

Numbers 336 and 351 in Amoris Laetitia may go down as among the most famous footnotes in papal history, since that’s where the key language occurs about how discernment in cases of divorced and civilly remarried Catholics could lead to a change in their ability to receive the sacraments.

If the devil is always in the details, in the case of Amoris Laetitia, one might say, the fireworks are in the footnotes.

Fr Longenecker skriver også om dokumentet, bl.a.:

… let us consider chapter eight which people at both extremes of the American Catholic church have jumped on. In chapter eight the pope discusses appropriate pastoral approaches to those whose marital situations are “less than the Catholic ideal.” The progressives have claimed that the document allows communion for divorced and remarried people and are delighted. Conservatives agree but are dismayed. …

… In saying that some conservatives have over reacted, it must be said that some progressives have too. I had an email from one person who assumed there would be a new procedure to grant divorced and remarried Catholics a dispensation to receive communion. They wondered how a priest would go about “making exceptions” to the rule for couples in his care.

I don’t think chapter eight says any of that at all. Here, in a few points, is what the Pope is trying very hard to communicate to us:

1. Modern Marriage is a Mess – for many complicated reasons marriage in the modern world is in crisis. As a result there are many of our people who are the walking wounded.

2. The Church is Global – the Marriage Mess is different in different parts of the world for a complex series of reasons. … Cultures are different. Socio economic conditions are different. Many things are different.

3. One Pastoral Method Does Not Fit All – While we uphold the simple definition of Christian marriage as between one man and one woman for life, the situation of a polygamous culture in Africa and a no fault divorce culture in America and a machismo culture in Argentina and a cohabiting culture in Europe means that while we uphold the ideal, matching our lives to that ideal is increasingly complex and it is impossible to set out one pastoral methodology which will apply to everyone.

4. The Church is Welcoming Not Excluding – Pope Francis wants us to open the doors to those who are caught up in the Marriage Mess. This does not mean we sacrifice or compromise the ideal, but it does mean that we listen to the real life situations of real people. …

5. Priests and people should Work With the Wounded – Some people who are divorced and re-married have simply flaunted the church’s rules and could care less about the faith. Pope Francis recognizes this and condemns them. On the other hand, many are genuinely wounded, genuinely repentant and genuinely want to belong to the church and follow Jesus Christ despite their “irregular relationships.” In other words, they want to find peace, they’ve messed up and they know it and they want to find reconciliation and the way forward.

6. Those Who Fall Short of the Ideal Should be Integrated – Pope Francis want us to welcome and integrate those whose relationships are “less than ideal”. We should remember that those whose relationship are “less than ideal” are not just the divorced and remarried. There are numerous complex relationships that fall short of the Catholic ideal. These people should be welcomed into the church and asked to participate in prayer, Bible study, charitable activity, fellowship and full life in the parish except for the reception of communion

7. Integration Does Not Demand Reception of Communion – there is a very interesting observation over at Church Militant in which the author specifically quotes Pope Francis in his press conference on the way back from Mexico and the Pope specifically says “No Communion for the Divorced and Remarried.” Check out the article.

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