In an editorial published on April 24, 2017, in La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana, journalist Riccardo Cascioli gives his straightforward thoughts on the work session he organized in Rome on April 22 at the Columbus Hotel on the Via della Conciliazione – a session that drew Catholic scholars from all around the world with the objective of conducting a rigorous theological analysis of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia.
“There is no doubt that the international conference 'Bringing Clarity One Year after Amoris Laetitia' that was held in Rome on April 22, and organized by the Nuova Bussola Quotidiana and Il Timone was an exceptional event. Not only was it the first meeting at which all the controversial points of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia were systematically covered, but – as I was able to observe when the session opened – everything was thought out, willed, and put into play by laymen. The speakers were laymen as well, from all four corners of the earth, and they came thoroughly prepared.
“An exceptional event, indeed, but it is far from a flash in the pan. It is the fruit of several years’ worth of work with our journalists whose love of Christ and the Church is part of who they are, and who wish to judge all of reality in the light of the Magisterium. This event is a result of the disorientation and confusion that reign in the Church today and of which many Catholics are aware. The task certainly cannot stop with this series of conferences.
“This meeting, that was meant to act as a sounding board for the Dubia of the four cardinals – Brandmüller, Burke, Caffarra, and Meisner – to which the pope still has not responded, certainly helped clarify the problems presented by Amoris Laetitia and its common interpretation.
“I think I can say with certainty that, by the end of last Saturday’s meeting, we were all aware of a very serious crisis in the Church, a crisis that resembles other delicate moments in the history of the Church, but that is also unprecedented in some of its aspects.
“Of course, this crisis was not directly caused by Amoris Laetitia or the different Synods on the Family that are its principal sources, but there is no doubt that this apostolic exhortation opened the doors and allowed ideas and practices that are foreign to dogma to circulate freely in the Church. The stakes are enormous: the very foundation of the Catholic Church has been touched.
“The problem is not principally in the text of Amoris Laetitia itself, whose contradictions were clearly pointed out, but above all in the present context. On the one hand there are Pope Francis’s actions and statements that give credit to the more ‘progressive’ interpretations, for example, as regards Communion for the ‘divorced and remarried’; and on the other hand, there is the concrete situation of the Church in which this document was drawn up. We know that in many dioceses the notion of ‘discernment’ has now become a synonym of ‘communion for all’.
“At this point, we are led to believe that the time for debating which interpretation of the exhortation is correct is over.
“If the principle of interpreting an ambiguous proposition in the sense of continuity withthe previous Magisterium remains valid – according to the guidelines given by John Paul II, for example, in several of his teachings on the family – the present situation obliges us to go further.
“If priests are being punished by their bishops because they judge in conscience that they cannot give communion to the ‘divorced and remarried’; if a large number of bishops translate ‘the discernment required for personal situations’ as ‘free access to Communion’ – when it is not the bishops themselves demanding it -; if homosexuality has now been justified and promoted to the rank of a ‘positive value’; and if all of this is happening everywhere in the world, it is clear to us that we have to go further.
“These past months, there has been much talk of a ‘fraternal correction’ from the four cardinals, and this theme was also touched upon at our meeting on April 22; but it is not hard to understand that this is a scenario we naturally seek to avoid. However, the contradictions cannot continue, and in order to keep error from spreading even more, we must ask the pope to intervene strongly and set things clear.”
Sources: La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana / FSSPX.News – 5/3/17