How many times must 'Amoris Laetitia' be clarified?


Scott_E_Alt.jpgI mean, really, dear reader, maybe I am a fool, but didn’t we have a clarification already from Cardinal Schonborn? I reported on this all the way back on May 1, over two hundred days ago. Have people not been reading this blog? Listening to Schonborn?

Back in April, the very month Amoris Laetitia was published, Cardinal Schonborn addressed “the question of this little footnote.”

(That’s footnote 351, if I may refresh your memory, dear reader, the smoking gun, the elephant in the corner, the heresy in the Church, the prevailing of the gates of Hell, which, if we are to believe 1 Vader 5 and the other usual suspects, says that unrepentant couples in an adulterous union may nevertheless receive communion.)

“In certain cases,” says the footnote, couples in such irregular unions can receive “the help of the sacraments.”

Grab me my fainting couch, what does that mean?!

Cardinal Schonborn tells us. Says Schonborn: “There is one point, very clear already. John Paul II has known, in certain cases, explicitly. And this is important for the understanding. You all know the famous exception John Paul has explicitly said.”

And what is this “exception” given by John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio 84? Let us look.

“[W]hen, for serious reasons, such as for example the children’s upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they ‘take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples’.”



Oh. So according to Cardinal Schonborn, pictured, the “certain cases” the pope has in mind in footnote 351 are the ones described by John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio 84. The couple must agree to live in continence, and then they can receive Communion.Cardinal_Schonborn.jpg

And remember, dear reader, according to Life Site News itself, Pope Francis has said that Schonborn’s interpretation on this topic is “the final word.”

So where’s the confusion? Why aren’t we listening to Cardinal Schonborn?

Or why aren’t we listening to Cardinal Muller, the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith? According to Muller, Amoris Laetitia is in perfect accord with Church teaching on communion in such cases, which would mean Familiaris Consortio 84. Right? Teach me, if I be wrong.

According to Muller: “Without going into details, it is enough to point out that this footnote [351] refers to objective situations of sin in general, not to the specific case of civilly remarried divorcees. The situation of the latter has peculiar features which distinguishes it from other situations … [it] does not apply to the previous discipline. . . . The standard of FC 84 and SC [Sacramentum Caritatis] 29 and their application in all cases is still valid.”

[Note: SC, Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic exhortation of 2007, reiterates in paragraph 29 the conditions of FC 84.]

Why, dear me, what Schonborn and Muller say about Amoris is exactly what I said about it all through the month of April!

Don’t doubt me, dear reader. More importantly, don’t doubt the princes of the Church who have already given this same clarification multiple times. I fail to understand why Amoris Laetitia must be clarified over and over and over again. How many times is enough? Seven? Seventy? Seventy times seven? 35 quintillion?

Every time Amoris is clarified, we are told, Hey, guys, gals, kittens and puppies, and everything that God hath made, Amoris is to be read completely and fully in line with the tradition of the Church, it is consistent with Familiaris, it is consistent with Sacramentum, don’t worry, don’t pitch yourself over a cliff, don’t listen to 1 Vader 5.

And yet now, God help us all, there is a request for one more clarification, as if we don’t have other things to talk about, with dire warning of cardinals making a “formal correction” of Pope Francis, with desperate talk of there being confusion and division, and only Raymond Burke and three others (Caffara, Brandmuller, and Meisner) are needed to ride in on white horses and save the Church from the pope.

Why? Because Schonborn and Muller are not to be believed? Who are they, anyway? Schonborn and Muller? Pshaw! Schonborn and Muller are asses who don’t know which way is up, which way is down, or perhaps they are lying, covering for a heretic, spreading the smoke of Satan. Who knows?

I just fail to understand what still needs to be clarified.


(Scott Eric Alt is a freelance writer and lay Catholic apologist living in Cincinnati, US. In 2011, he was received into full communion with the Catholic Church, converting from lifelong Protestantism. He is a Benedictine oblate of St Meinrad Archabbey.)