Meaning, its seriousness on several levels cannot be overstated, and there is no turning back. The Great Apostasy has now arrived, 8 April 2016, with the publication of Amoris Latitia.
Let’s get one thing out of the way right from the start. I don’t care who the ghostwriters were. I don’t care how much of it is directly from Pope Francis (but it’s obvious that much of it is). It’s his name at the top – he owns all of it.
It is a 260 page (in English) disaster, a cobbled mess of quotations from homilies, audiences, statements from episcopal conferences, VII documents, relatios from the two synods, and finally, and devious misquotations from pre-Franciscan popes, most notably and unsurprisingly from Familiaris Consortio. It doesn’t matter that the majority of it is harmless if it is read with the mind of traditional Church teaching. I read the whole wretched thing, although I had to skim some of the middle fluff to fight off drowsiness.
The poison is there, and it can’t be covered up. The first hint comes 61 pages in:
78. The light of Christ enlightens every person (cf. Jn 1:9; Gaudium et Spes, 22). Seeing things with the eyes of Christ inspires the Church’s pastoral care for the faithful who are living together, or are only married civilly, or are divorced and remarried. Following this divine pedagogy, the Church turns with love to those who participate in her life in an imperfect manner: she seeks the grace of conversion for them; she encourages them to do good, to take loving care of each other and to serve the community in which they live and work… When a couple in an irregular union attains a noteworthy stability through a public bond – and is characterized by deep affection, responsibility towards the children and the ability to overcome trials – this can be seen as an opportunity, where possible, to lead them to celebrate the sacrament of Matrimony.
79. When faced with difficult situations and wounded families, it is always necessary to recall this general principle: ‘Pastors must know that, for the sake of truth, they are obliged to exercise careful discernment of situations’ (Familiaris Consortio, 84). The degree of responsibility is not equal in all cases and factors may exist which limit the ability to make a decision. Therefore, while clearly stating the Church’s teaching, pastors are to avoid judgements that do not take into account the complexity of various situations, and they are to be attentive, by necessity, to how people experience and endure distress because of their condition.
None of this heretical, if understood in accordance with Church teaching. But it is part of the set up for what’s coming. Remember, most of those VII documents are also harmless if their ambiguous parts are read in the light of Tradition.
After 80 more pages of fluff, meandering well past our desire to please get to the point, out of nowhere comes this huge shot across the bow:
185. Along these same lines, we do well to take seriously a biblical text usually interpreted outside of its context or in a generic sense, with the risk of overlooking its immediate and direct meaning, which is markedly social. I am speaking of 1 Cor 11:17-34, where Saint Paul faces a shameful situation in the community. The wealthier members tended to discriminate against the poorer ones, and this carried over even to the agape meal that accompanied the celebration of the Eucharist. While the rich enjoyed their food, the poor looked on and went hungry: “One is hungry and another is drunk. Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the Church of God and humiliate those who have nothing?” (vv. 21-22).
186. The Eucharist demands that we be members of the one body of the Church. Those who approach the Body and Blood of Christ may not wound that same Body by creating scandalous distinctions and divisions among its members. This is what it means to “discern” the body of the Lord, to acknowledge it with faith and charity both in the sacramental signs and in the community; those who fail to do so eat and drink judgement against themselves (cf. v. 29). The celebration of the Eucharist thus becomes a constant summons for everyone “to examine himself or herself ” (v. 28), to open the doors of the family to greater fellowship with the underprivileged, and in this way to receive the sacrament of that eucharistic love which makes us one body. We must not forget that “the ‘mysticism’ of the sacrament has a social character”.207 When those who receive it turn a blind eye to the poor and suffering, or consent to various forms of division, contempt and inequality, the Eucharist is received unworthily. On the other hand, families who are properly disposed and receive the Eucharist regularly, reinforce their desire for fraternity, their social consciousness and their commitment to those in need.
Oh yes, you had to read that several times, didn’t you. Maybe not the first time we’ve seen calumny in a papal document, but it’s the first time it has been directed at me. Alas, he’s been doing it verbally for three years.
It seems like we’re about to go nuclear at this point but, annoyingly, nearly 80 more pages of fluff follows this. And just when it goes on so long that you start thinking we are going to escape the ordeal with nothing serious, the final chapter arrives. Chapter Eight: “ACCOMPANYING, DISCERNING AND INTEGRATING WEAKNESS”.
The situation cannot be hyperbolized. It is so, so, bad. It affirms, for the most stubborn Pollyana, that +Francis was the driving force behind the absolute worst of what went down in the synods. That +Francis intends to institutionalize sacrilege, destroy three sacraments, and renounce Divine Immutability. It’s kinda serious.
I’m not pasting the entire chapter. There will be several posts to come regarding Chapter Eight. Go read it, and start praying. Contemplate how, if we really believe what we say we believe, we can let this stand.