Pavens brev «Amoris lætitia» er uklart

Dette skriver John Allen i en grundig artikkel kalt No matter what anyone says, clarity on ‘Amoris’ remains elusive. Han åpner artikkelen slik:

For a document that was intended to settle the debate unleashed by two tumultuous Synods of Bishops called to discuss issues related to marriage and family life, Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis’s treatise on the family, instead seems notable for how much it’s left unresolved and still-disputed.

For those who haven’t been following every twist and turn, Amoris Laetitia is a broad treatment by a tremendously pastoral pope, and it can’t be reduced to single contested point. Nevertheless, the most polarizing question during the synods was whether divorced and civilly remarried Catholics could receive the sacrament of Communion under at least some circumstances, and everyone read the text with one eye to what Francis would say on that question.

In the document, Francis addressed the point only in a footnote – footnote 351 – which appeared to leave the door open for a “yes” answer, but not doing so in a way that explicitly changed either Church law or teaching. That cleared the path for bishops to interpret the implications of the pope’s ruling differently, with some taking a restrictive approach and others a more permissive line. …

Allen referer så til jesuitten Fr Antonio Spadaro som «insists that some of the attacks directed at the pope’s document reflect a “bad spirit,” and that anyone who’s sincere doesn’t need any more clarification on the Communion debate than has already been given», og til troskongregasjonens leder Kardinal Müller, som bl.a. sier at han «leaves open the possibility that Francis might commission the doctrinal congregation to create an “ad-hoc commission” to resolve the dispute. That, to be clear, is not the language of someone who believes that Amoris, and the responses to it to date, have resolved every possible doubt.»

John Allen avslutter denne artikkelen med disse to konklusjonene:

First, despite the insistence of papal allies that everything is perfectly clear about what the deal is with regard to access to Communion, there’s an important segment of the Church that just doesn’t believe that’s true. Whether they’re a minority or a majority doesn’t matter for the moment – they can’t simply be dismissed, because they include senior figures in the hierarchy.

By the way, Spadaro’s willingness to engage in an exchange with Ivereigh represents something that hadn’t been done so far, which is to respond directly to the four cardinals. In itself, that’s arguably an acknowledgment there are questions that still need to be answered.

Second, unless and until Pope Francis delivers a binding magisterial response, the forecast is for local control. We’ve already seen various bishops deliver clearly divergent responses about what the implications of Amoris will be in their dioceses, and there’s nothing to suggest that won’t continue in the absence of a clear and indisputable papal declaration.

Depending on one’s point of view, that could either be styled as a long-overdue step towards the “healthy decentralization” in Catholicism to which Francis has often referred, or as doctrinal chaos, but in any event, it clearly seems to be where we are.

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