Amoris Laetitia Must Be Withdrawn

Amoris Laetitia Must Be Withdrawn

Christopher Ferrara

Below, an Open Letter to Bishop Athanasius Schneider, written by The Remnant columnist Christopher Ferrara  He concludes: “Is it enough to call, as you do, for “an authentic interpretation of AL by the Apostolic See” that would reaffirm Familiaris consortio 84 and the bi-millennial sacramental discipline it defends? Is it not perfectly clear that such an authentic interpretation is precisely what AL was devised to preclude, and that therefore it will never be forthcoming during this pontificate (barring a miraculous turn of events)? And, finally, is it not also perfectly clear that the problems with AL go far beyond the ecclesial status of the divorced and “remarried” to an attack on the very foundations of the objective moral order, rhetorically reduced to a set of rules from which an actor may be excused in “certain cases”?  End of extract.

Amen to that Christopher. It seems to me that it is not enough for Pope Francis to provide some sort of “clarification” of Amoris Laetitia. It should be scrapped. Withdrawn. Immediately if not sooner.  Note, too, Mr Ferrara’s criticism of the rest of the hierarchy who have largely remained silent in the wake of the post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation.  Is he right – should more bishops follow the example of Bishop Schneider in be speaking out? Remember, we know that our very own Archbishop Philip Tartaglia expressed disquiet after the Synod “Part One” when he indicated that he may not BE archbishop if the 2015 synod continued in the same vein. Yet, he has remained silent following the publication of the post-synodal Exhortation, which, by any Catholic measure, is deeply flawed, to say the least.  Anyway, read the Open Letter below and then share your thoughts… 

Open Letter to Bishop Athanasius Schneider…

Your Excellency:

To your everlasting credit, but to the Church’s everlasting shame, you alone among the entire Catholic episcopacy have protested publicly and forthrightly against the many statements in Amoris Laetitia (AL), particularly in Chapter 8, which appear to derogate from the negative precepts of the natural law, including those against divorce, adultery and fornication. By the divine will, these precepts, as Your Excellency writes, “are universally valid… oblige each and every individual, always and in every circumstance” and “forbid a given action semper et pro semper, without exception” because they concern “kinds of behaviour which can never, in any situation, be a proper response.”

 Yet there is no question that AL was written ambiguously, but with relentless consistency, precisely to create the impression of “exceptions” to absolute moral precepts which the document tendentiously describes throughout its text as merely “general rules (2, 300, 304)”, a “general principle,” “rules (3, 35, 288)”, “a set of rules” (49, 201, 305)”, “a rule (300, 301, 304)”, “the rule (301 & note 348)”, “a general rule (301)” and “a general law or rule (301).”

Bishop Schneider
Bishop Schneider

As Your Excellency has doubtless discerned, AL’s reduction of the moral law to a “general rule” is the rhetorical device by which “exceptions” to the rule are introduced in “certain cases” involving what AL euphemistically describes as an “irregular union” or “irregular situations” (78, 298, 301, 305 & note 351)—meaning, of course, those who “are divorced and remarried, or simply living together (297)” in a state of continuing public adultery or simple fornication.

At the same time it reduces the moral law to a “set of rules” to which there can be practical exceptions—as with any mere rule—AL also demotes the indissolubility of marriage from its divinely ordained status as the universally binding, exceptionless moral foundation for conjugal relations to merely an “ideal (36), “a demanding ideal (38),” “the ideal (298, 303)”, “this ideal (292)”, “the ideal of growing old together (39),” “the Christian ideal (119, 297)”, “a struggle to achieve an ideal (148)”, “the ideal of marriage (157)”, “the high ideal (200)”, “the beautiful ideal (230)”, “the full ideal (307)”, “the fuller ideal (307)”, and “the evangelical ideal (308).”

Having reduced marriage to a mere ideal, AL dares to suggest that certain sexually immoral unions can “realize it in at least a partial and analogous way” and that they possess “constructive elements (298).” AL even goes so far as to declare that a “second union”—meaning a relationship Our Lord Himself condemned as adultery—can exhibit “proven fidelity, generous self giving, [and] Christian commitment… (298).” AL thus obscures, indeed seeks to eliminate, the sense of divine moral reprobation of the adulterous character of nonexistent “second marriages.”

Even the teaching of the very Pope that Francis canonized is subjected to a devious reductionism. In line with all of Tradition, John Paul II affirmed in Familiaris consortio that the divorced and “remarried” cannot be admitted to the sacraments without a commitment to abstain from further adulterous relations: “Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance, which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples” (Familiaris Consortio, 84). 

Yet, as Your Excellency rightly objects, AL systematically omits any reference to John Paul’s affirmation of the Church’s constant teaching in this regard. Rather, AL relegates it to a footnote wherein an absolute moral imperative is falsely presented as the mere “possibility of living ‘as brothers and sisters’ which the Church offers.” In the same footnote even this gross misrepresentation of the authentic Magisterium is undermined by the suggestion (based in turn on a flagrantly misleading quotation of Gaudium et spes) that “In such situations, many people… point out that if certain expressions of intimacy are lacking, ‘it often happens that faithfulness is endangered and the good of the children suffers.’” As if “intimacy” were morally required to ensure “faithfulness” to a partner in adultery!

Finally, in a summary statement that should alone suffice to cover this tragic document with opprobrium until the end of time, AL declares that even those who know full well “the rule” and “the ideal” can nonetheless be justified in their deliberate decision not to conform their actions to the moral law, and that God Himself would approve of this disobedience to His Commandments in “the concrete complexity” of one’s situation:

Yet conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response that can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal. (303)

This statement, reflecting the entire tenor of the document, is obviously nothing less than a license for the “pastoral” exoneration of habitual public adultery or cohabitation based on the subjective self-assessment of objective mortal sinners. These people would then be admitted to the sacraments, without a prior amendment of life, in “certain cases,” following a local priest’s “pastoral discernment filled with merciful love, which is ever ready to understand, forgive, accompany, hope, and above all integrate (312)” people living in immoral sexual unions. (Cf. 305 & note 351).

Your Excellency notes with due alarm that in the wake of AL’s promulgation “There are bishops and priests who publicly and openly declare that AL represents a very clear opening-up to communion for the divorced and remarried, without requiring them to practice continence.” And, as you rightly observe: “It must be admitted that certain statements in AL could be used to justify an abusive practice that has already been going on for some time in various places and circumstances in the life of the Church.”

Indeed, Your Excellency’s conclusion is inescapable. Also inescapable are the consequences, which you yourself enumerate and we summarize here:

– the Sixth Commandment would no longer be universally binding; 

– the very words of Christ would not apply to everyone in every situation; 

– one could be allowed to receive Holy Communion with every intention of continuing to violate the Commandments; 

– observance of the Commandments would become merely theoretical, with people piously professing belief in the “theory” as they violate God’s law in practice; 

– all other forms of permanent and public disobedience to the Commandments could likewise be justified on account of “mitigating circumstances”; 

– the infallible moral teaching of the Magisterium would no longer be universally valid; 

– observance of the Sixth Commandment in Christian marriage would become a mere ideal attainable only by “a kind of elite”; 

– the very words of Christ enjoining an uncompromising obedience to the commandments of God—that is, the carrying of the Cross in this life— “would no longer be valid as absolute truth.”

Yet your fellow prelates now observe an all but universal silence in the face of this “catastrophe.” Only Your Excellency courageously declares before the world that “Admitting couples living in ‘irregular unions’ to Holy Communion and allowing them to practice acts that are reserved for spouses in a valid marriage would be tantamount to the usurpation of a power that does not belong to any human authority, because to do so would be a pretension to correct the Word of God himself.”

Among more than 5,000 bishops and more than 200 cardinals, Your Excellency stands alone in protesting publicly the unthinkable abuses to which this disgraceful document—utterly without precedent in the bi-millennial history of the papacy—undeniably lends itself. Even the few among your fellow prelates who have addressed the crisis AL has provoked have tried to deny its clear intendment, so evident in Chapter 8. They propose emasculating “interpretations” in “continuity with the Magisterium” amounting to virtually the opposite of what AL’s most problematic passages assert repeatedly in different ways.

But as the eminent French theologian Father Claude Barthe observedimmediately after AL’s publication: “I honestly do not see how one could interpret Chapter 8 of the Exhortation in the sense of traditional doctrine. It would do violence to the text and wouldn’t respect the intention of the compilers…” Likewise, the renowned Catholic philosopher Robert Spaemann, an advisor to John Paul II and a friend of Benedict XVI, replied thuswhen asked if AL represents a breach with prior teaching: “That it is an issue of a breach emerges doubtlessly for every thinking person, who knows the respective texts.”

Others among your brethren, unwilling to deny the obvious, have seriously proposed that Francis has promulgated nothing more than inconsequential “personal reflections” he does not expect anyone to heed. But even this objection focuses on formalities such as tone and style, rather than admitting openly that AL cannot belong to the Magisterium for the simple reason that its assertions, given the meaning of words according to their ordinary signification, cannot be reconciled with the Church’s authentic teaching on marriage and sexual morality.

None of these timid objectors among the hierarchy seem willing to recognize the almost apocalyptic aspect of a papal document wherein the moral law is depicted as a “general rule,” Holy Matrimony is reduced to “an ideal,” and the sacred pastors of the Church are told that “a pastor cannot feel that it is enough simply to apply moral laws to those living in ‘irregular’ situations, as if they were stones to throw at people’s lives (305).” This is not the language of Our Lord and His Gospel, but rather a kind of demagogic incantation that seems to fulfill Saint Paul’s prophecy of a time when the people “will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables (2 Tim 4: 3-5).”

Aside from Your Excellency and a few courageous priests, only the laity have exhibited anything approaching the vigorous opposition which this scandalous “apostolic exhortation” demands from every member of the Church. In this regard, Your Excellency remarks on the parallel between our situation and the Arian crisis of the 4th century, when “almost the entire episcopate had become Arian or Semi-Arian.” Pope Liberius excommunicated your namesake St. Athanasius, and the Pope himself “signed one of the ambiguous formulations of Sirmium, in which the term ‘homoousios’ [of one substance] was eliminated.” You also note that “St. Hilary of Poitiers was the only bishop who dared to rebuke Pope Liberius severely for these ambiguous acts.”

The parallel with your own courageous witness against the “ambiguous formulations” of AL is lost on no one who has any sense of Catholic history. As you write: “Arguably, in our time, confusion is already spreading with regard to the sacramental discipline for divorced and remarried couples.” Hence, you conclude, the teaching of John Paul II in Familiaris consortio 84—totally suppressed in AL’s 256 pages, as it was throughout the years-long “synodal journey”— “may be seen, to some extent, as the ‘homoousios’ of our days’.”

In light of these considerations, however, we must in candor raise these questions for Your Excellency’s consideration: Is it enough to call, as you do, for “an authentic interpretation of AL by the Apostolic See” that would reaffirm Familiaris consortio 84 and the bi-millennial sacramental discipline it defends? Is it not perfectly clear that such an authentic interpretation is precisely what AL was devised to preclude, and that therefore it will never be forthcoming during this pontificate (barring a miraculous turn of events)? And, finally, is it not also perfectly clear that the problems with AL go far beyond the ecclesial status of the divorced and “remarried” to an attack on the very foundations of the objective moral order, rhetorically reduced to a set of rules from which an actor may be excused in “certain cases”?

For all these reasons, we implore Your Excellency to do everything in his power to persuade his brethren in the episcopacy—above all the cardinals, who are bound by oath to lay down their lives for defense of the Faith—to mount concerted and decisive public opposition to the destructive novelties of Amoris laetitia, explicitly identifying them as such, warning the faithful against them, and respectfully petitioning the Pope for their immediate correction or the total withdrawal of the catastrophic text.

As Prof. Spaemann has said: “Every cardinal, but also every bishop and priest, is called to defend, in their own field of expertise, the Catholic sacramental system and to profess it publicly. If the Pope is not willing to introduce corrections, it will be up to the next pontificate to put things back in place officially.” Meanwhile, however, we humbly submit to Your Excellency that this shameful silence of the hierarchs must end for the good of the Church and the welfare of souls. For as Sister Lucia of Fatima warned Cardinal Caffarra, one of the few staunch opponents of the progressive faction (and thus Francis himself) during the Synod: “the final battle between the Lord and the reign of Satan will be about marriage and the family.”

The final battle is surely underway. And woe to the shepherds who leave the sheep to defend themselves in its midst.
In Christo Rege,

Christopher A. Ferrara  Source – The Remnant Newspaper 

NOT a Catholic Truth discussion - no way!
NOT a Catholic Truth discussion – no way!

Comments (88)

  • John Kearney

    Thank you all for your replies and there was much truth in what many of you say. I did however start my contribution by deliberately saying that I would not get into the controversy about Communion or Doctrine for I thought there was something here we should all be concerned about and which was being forgotten. The Editors right, the attack on purity and the contraceptive mentality in the Church among priests was the main cause of the position of these children. It is even taught now and I have heard it after the Gospel of Mark 10 that good marriages are an ideal. You will never know just how furious this rejection of Christ makes me. How can we tackle this? Well visiting homes in the parish seems to be a thing of the past. Yes, perhaps to the members of the Parish or to prayer groups, or cells ad the latest Novelty tells us. but visiting families like the Legion of Mary used to do is almost gone althoughI know there are still parishes with such an organisation. At a time of divorce or separation the Parish could have visited the family and befriended the children and showed them in some way that the Church cared. I was watching a report on my local TV about some Church group not Catholic who had started visiting children in care. In Basingstoke I know a young lady with 6 children who was divorced and a secular organisation visited her and since they were part of a club which offered all sorts of activities to adults and children they got the family involved. I believe there are still a few parishes left, though very few, who do have facilities and maybe the odd one attracts young people – it is here that the answer lies somewhere. IN the Pre-vatican Church there were plenty of things going on in a parish but in this new ‘progressive’ Church we only have empty halls or no thought to even building family facilities. I suppose all I want to do is to remind people that these children are there and the Church because of many reasons has failed them.

    May 18, 2016 at 12:39 pm
  • RCA Victor

    John Kearney,

    I have to admit I admire your chutzpah in expressing your admiration for AL on this forum of hard-hearted neo-Pelagians (or whatever Francis’ anti-faithful Catholic insult du jour may be), but I confess I’m mystified by your logic in doing so. So permit me a couple of questions:

    1. If you are, as you say, “100% behind the teachings of Christ and his Church on Divorce,” then how can you approve of a document which completely destroys Church doctrine, with sheer skulduggery, using phony “exceptions” and on a “case-by-case” basis? (Please recall, if you will, that in the Conciliar Church, “case-by-case” basis is modernist code for “soon becomes universal practice”).

    2. Please explain how permitting Holy Communion for public adulterers will ameliorate the plight of the children you so rightly deplore, and console them in their emotional pain?

    May 18, 2016 at 4:32 pm
  • John Kearney

    If indeed this document is attacking the doctrines of the Church then I stand with you. ButI I am not sure, which is why I do not want to argue about the substance of doctrines in the document. Where I come in is to point out the terrible examples of not following the teachings of the Church. In the 1970′ the rebels started talking about conscience and I was very much and still am against. What was forgotten is that sin has consequences to either the person or to society. So these children are there as a result of the sins of those who were ‘following their conscience’ and supposedly doing no harm to anyone else. Let me give you an example. There was a mother advising her divorced daughter not to remarry outside of the Church. She pointed out that she would not be able to receive Holy Communion. “I am sure that is not right, Mum, my friends mother goes to Communion and she is divorced and remarried, and so does Mrs Brown go to Communion”. I guess what I am trying to say there is that quoting doctrine is not enough, we now have enough evidence to attack the modernists for ignoring Jesus and creating this situation. Believe me there is no one more faithful to Church teaching than myself since I have looked at the consequences and it is not just about young people being absent from the Church but the many evils they are exposed to. I am actually beginning to detest the modernist Church for its smug complacent attitude to young people. They have the schools, they bring them to Mass, they talk about love, yet they do not have a clue as to how many of these children need real help.

    On the question of Holy Communion for the Divorced and Remarried aI have already mentioned briefly. I would stress though that it is the scandal such behaviour causes as I have shown that is so very very wrong. I feel Victor that on the question of whether anyone is in Mortal Sin I cannot judge but the sad thing is that the document will have change nothing. Most already go with the attitude “The Church is not going to tell me what to do, I follow my conscience”

    May 18, 2016 at 5:32 pm
    • editor


      I’m struggling to know what you mean by “real help”. What is the “real help” that, in your opinion, these children from single-mother homes need from the Church. Clearly, you do not think teaching the Faith will work (” quoting doctrine is not enough”) so what else do you envisage as “real help”? .

      Is it the kind of help a Charity could give them? Money, material goods? A spiritual meeting or prayer group? If the latter, I don’t think they’d be interested. Hardly, if they dismiss Christ’s doctrine so easily.

      So please spell it out. what do you mean by “real help”?

      May 18, 2016 at 7:17 pm
      • Nicky

        I was wondering the same thing myself. What does “real help” mean.

        John Kearney should read this article from Catholic Family News showing the way Pope Francis has called into question the teaching of Jesus himself, in Amoris Laetitia. I don’t think any of us can take a middle road on this document, not if we wish to be faithful Catholics.

        May 18, 2016 at 9:40 pm
  • John Kearney

    OK. Editor

    Let us go back to the time of St Augustine. He became attracted to the Church because it contradicted the values of Pagan Rome. Young people were chaste and became faithful in marriage. The Church indeed was the light that shone in the darkness and gave the truth of Christ to the world. That was the Kingdom we pray for in the Our Father, Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Think of that Kingdom. Had the Church continued to follow Christ and been faithful to Christ people could today have looked at the Church as seen that faithfulness and marriage work Then we cold go to the children not representing a Church of hypocrites but as a Church that because of its teachings the children could trust and say Yes, a true Christian marriage is possible. Why can I say to the Children today? They would merely turn round and say “What hypocrites you are, you talk about being against divorce yet when a son or daughter does so you start talking about annulmentsj, showing that you are no different from the Protestant Churches. Nobody in your Church is ready to sacrifice anything for Christ and although you honour him with your lips your hearts are far from him. You see it is not the doctrine we teach but the message we give injury lives. Of course I am not attacking Catholic Truth here becauseI I know you will be the first to agree with me about the present condition in the Church but what I am saying is that we should have some way in the parish like the old Legion of Mary that could visit a family when it is in crisis, that could show love and sympathy for the children which would be genuine because of our belief system that Divorce is an evil that has befallen the children. We are not there to tell the parent who to do, or as I known in one case parishioners telling the woman it was her duty to return to the father. At these times a listening ear is what is needed. If, as in most cases the children fall behind at school this group of people could help in some way with the school work and support the parent.

    The sad thing is that we are just tipping the top of the iceberg here. 75% of Prostitutes have once been children in care. Sexual assaults on children usually take place in the home, yes, but the majority to stepfathers. There are increasing teenage suicide rates, and the child line started by Esther Ransen is almost overwhelmed at times. I could go on to abortion,, sex exploitation, pornography and when we trace the source it comes back to a society which has been denied the teachings of Christ because even His teachings have been reduced by many inside the Church to ‘rules and abstract thinking’

    May I thank Catholic Truth for challenging me on this and thinking through the matter with me. We must pray for guidance on it to Mary our Mother, But then there is another problem.

    May 19, 2016 at 8:47 pm
  • Therese


    My dear, we know. We have known this for decades; it is the “guardians” of the Faith who have let down the children you mention, but from your previous post and your writings you seem to be unaware of this. We have had a series of very dodgy Popes, and the very worst of them – the present incumbent – when he not spouting downright heresy – is blathering on about pink and fluffy “feelings” and “empathy” with victims, whilst deliberately ignoring – if not denigrating – the very solution to their problems. Why? The “smoke of Satan” has truly entered the Church. The remnant of the Catholic laiety are practically the only ones who are protesting.

    I was in the Legion of Mary for years; I loved it, but I had to leave because I no longer had a place there; my continuing presence at the Mass of the Ages, for which countless martyrs willingly died, was unacceptable. I was considered disobedient for doing what millions of my fellow Catholics had done for centuries. It was a relief, actually, to leave. I no longer felt “at one” with my fellow legionnaires; they embraced the new order. You have seen where that has led us. There would be little point in re-establishing the Legion in the present crisis; it has no spiritual teaching and support to offer, because that wouldn’t be allowed.

    May 19, 2016 at 10:31 pm
    • editor


      I, too, was a member of the LOM for years and I have a friend who still belongs to the Legion. They’re off the wall now and are too busy being Extraordinary Ministers of Communion and taking on all the other liturgical “roles” available, to be visiting the lost sheep. Sad, a great pity, but true.

      May 20, 2016 at 12:08 am
  • editor

    A priest of the SSPX publishing his thoughts on AL at The Remnant

    May 25, 2016 at 9:57 am
    • Gerontius

      What a superb exposure of AL. The title of the article says it all:

      Amoris Laetitia: Death Warrant of the Human Race

      Here’s an extract:
      Reading, however, some of the growing number of analyses of this document, one author, in conclusion to his own analysis, said the following: “I believe that every Catholic has a solemn obligation to publicly condemn this act by Francis as it is an attack on Catholic doctrine and practice and an affront to the Faith. I am not a theologian,” he wrote, “but I do not see how failure to speak out and resist on such a grave and serious public breach of doctrine cannot be a sin of omission.”

      And since he mentions sins of omission, here is the danger AL fails to address:


      Priests and bishops who don’t teach about Hell will probably wind up there.

      May 25, 2016 at 2:03 pm
      • Theresa Rose


        Thank you for posting the link from the Remnant Newspaper
        Amoris Laetitia: Death Warrant of the Human Race.


        So true, it is indeed a superb exposure of AL. The SSPX priest is so clear in what he has written. Pope Francis is causing confusion. I think he knows it, but does he care? He so badly needs our prayers.

        Perhaps this article about Saint Leonard of Port Maurice on the fewness of those who go to Heaven, should be framed and hung on every house a priest or bishop resides, reminding them how wide the road to hell is.

        May 25, 2016 at 10:57 pm
  • Theresa Rose

    This article titled “Are you using the Special Graces of Marriage?” from, might well be appropriate on this particular thread.

    May 25, 2016 at 11:20 pm
  • RCA Victor

    Rorate Caeli publicizes Sandro Magister’s expose on AL – i.e. that Argentinian Archbishop Fernandez wrote the most controversial passages 10 years ago!!

    May 26, 2016 at 12:14 am
    • editor

      RCA Victor,

      Very interesting indeed. Very revealing. “So The Joy of Love (rather, The Joy of Tucho) is not only subtly, but truly and actually, the Anti-Veritatis Splendor — and it was merely a papalization of the Relativistic words of Tucho, the great “mind” behind Pope Bergoglio.”

      In the proverbial nutshell!

      May 26, 2016 at 9:55 am
      • RCA Victor


        This little nugget (actually, not so little) adds considerable extra weight to John Vennari’s little video – shot in his basement when AL appeared – about what a colossal waste of money those Synods were, and what extraordinary hypocrisy from a Pope who rants about a “poor” Church. Millions of dollars spent to produce heresy!

        No, these people do not fear God at all.

        May 26, 2016 at 3:40 pm
      • editor

        RCA Victor,

        You sure got that right. Or, put another (American) way… Go figure! 😀

        May 26, 2016 at 5:02 pm
      • Christina

        That revelation by Sandro Magister is quite staggering. So what exactly is the status of a document promulgated by a pope who apparently plagiarised on such a scale?

        May 26, 2016 at 10:58 pm
  • editor

    Here’ some news just in from Ireland, where the bishops there are promoting AL with gusto…

    The IX World Meeting of Families will be held, in Dublin, from 22 to 26 August 2018. The official announcement was made by the Archbishop of the Ireland’s capital, H.E. Msgr Diarmuid Martin and the President of the Pontifical Council for the Family, H.E. Msgr Vincenzo Paglia during a press conference at the Vatican, on Tuesday, May 24.

    The theme chosen by Pope Francis is: “The Gospel of the Family: Joy for the World.”
    This title—said Archbishop Paglia—is programmatic: it clearly refers to Amoris Laetitia, indicating that the Apostolic Exhortation, will both guide the preparation for the World Meeting and the logic with which will the different moments of the gathering will articulate, so that it may serve to look at the Synods’ results and re-launch the work after two years that will have passed.
    In his address, Archbishop Martin, said that through the World Meeting this process of receiving and re-launching of the synodal work will involve in a special first of all the Church and the families in Dublin and throughout Ireland, a young nation and marked by a strong economic crisis, but it will also be shared with the churches around the world, so that not only the celebration of the meeting may be truly worldwide but the entire path of its preparation as well.

    Msgr. Martin’s declaration (ITA)
    Msgr. Martin’s declaration (ENG)
    Msgr. Paglia’s declaration
    Title of the IX World Meeting of Families (official translation)

    Click here to read the entire report, plus links to the declarations etc.

    May 26, 2016 at 9:49 am
  • Bemused

    I am not a Catholic but have worked closely among Catholics and, indeed, am married to one! Interesting debate at our meal times! I stumbled upon your website by accident, looking for a reference to a priest actually, and I have spent the last 2/3 hours reading the articles and threads which are on here. I always thought that God and Jesus preached love, forgiveness and acceptance. If Christianity is to survive and flourish in this very disturbing world in which we live do we not need to make God’s word more accessible and understandable to the young? You are all very learned and committed and for that I commend you, but surely acceptance of others and a willingness to compromise are Christian values also – some of the comments/rebukes posted on here are not very Christian to me and smack a bit of elitism. Sure I shall be berated for my views but it is a firm belief of mine that we are all Christians and human beings and therefore all deserve love, respect and understanding. We are all sinners…….

    Editor: I will respond to your comment later, but thought I would point out that you need not worry about being “berated” – to correct misconceptions or errors is not to “berate”. With that clarification, I welcome you and hope you will take the responses posted by our bloggers in the charitable spirit in which I know they will be written.

    May 29, 2016 at 5:16 am
    • Elizabeth


      Welcome to the blog! I completely understand when you feel that some of the comments on here seem somewhat harsh and uncharitable. I have followed this site for several years before I finally joined in as a contributor and also used to think that it came over as rather self righteous. However as I have read more closely and in a sense got to know the main contributors, I would say that the comments mostly arise from two things: deep love of the traditional Catholic Church, and deep anguish at the present crisis she is faced with at the moment. Of course we must love the sinner but we cannot accept the sin and cannot compromise on the dogma handed down through the ages, it is our duty to defend that, even robustly at times.
      There are a lot of theologically learned folk on here (I am not one of them!) but you can always challenge what is said. We do the young no favours if we acquiesce and go along with the many liturgical horrors in the Novus Ordo for example, but I agree that gentleness in correction is better.

      May 29, 2016 at 9:48 am
    • Therese


      I always thought that God and Jesus preached love, forgiveness and acceptance.

      Our Lord preached love and forgiveness for those who repent of their sins, whatever they may be; He did not preach acceptance of wrong-doing – in fact much to the contrary. What do you mean by a “willingness to compromise”? Christ did not compromise with the values of the world, and He expects us to follow His teaching. It’s not popular. it’s not comfortable, and it’s not convenient – especially in these dark days, but it’s what we are called to do. I suppose in that sense, it is elitist. I can live with that; it’s preferable to being indifferent to the eternal well-being of ourselves and our brothers and sisters.

      Christ often rebuked sinners; He made it very clear that there can be no “acceptance” of sins. You seem to be making the mistake of confusing accepting the sinner with accepting the sin. As a sinner myself, I well understand other sinners. God in His Mercy rebukes us for our own good, in the hope that we will return to Him, and He expects us to preach His word, and His laws, not our own, even though we may sound elitist, so I make no apology for that. True charity demands that we are honest and don’t sugar coat the often bitter pill. The modern world, when it thinks of Christ at all, seems to see Him as a meek and mild, non-judgemental dreamer. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

      May 29, 2016 at 4:17 pm
    • editor


      Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you but I note that other bloggers have really answered your query. I will simply add a few words.

      You write: “…it is a firm belief of mine that we are all Christians and human beings and therefore all deserve love, respect and understanding. We are all sinners…”

      The kind of sentimentalism that passes for “love” these days is not the kind of love taught by Christ. True love – that is, charity; divine love, the love of God – translates into even making ourselves unpopular with others, if necessary, in order to bring them to the truths required for salvation. That is the kind of love taught by Christ: “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments”. In other words, don’t keep sinning and think that unrepented sins will be excused at your judgment on account of the verbal expressions of “love” you made during your lifetime: Our Lord said clearly that not everyone who says “Lord, Lord” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in Heaven – and it is God’s will that we keep His Commandments and accept the divinely bequeathed authority of His Church.

      Ditto “respect” – the only respect to which any of us is entitled, is the respect arising out of the fact that we are made in the image and likeness of God; not because we claim this “sexuality” or that “sexuality” or some fluid gender identity OR so that we may divorce, remarry, cohabit etc. at will. I may, therefore, (and do) totally DIS-respect the ridiculous notion that I must accept and “respect” homosexuals because they are homosexuals or “transgender” people because they are “transgender”. And/Or accept “remarried” couples without question. Wrong. It’s despite these aberrations that I must respect people – because they are in possession of souls created in the image and likeness of God. For no other reason. Nobody suggests we have to “respect” bank robbers because they are bank robbers, do they?

      And the only “understanding” to which we are obliged, is the understanding that, yes, we ARE all sinners but that brings with it the obligation to seek forgiveness and absolution in the Sacrament of Penance. To say “oh well you’re choosing to live a lifestyle that is very displeasing and even offensive to God; you’re ignoring His natural moral law to do your own thing but I understand human weakness, we all have it, so that’s OK then.” Wrong. We understand human weakness all right but then we must inform our friends (if we wish to be true friends to them) that so did God and that’s why He gave us His Church, with infallible teaching to enable us to properly inform our consciences, and the Sacraments to bring us to holiness.

      Now, I notice that you have not returned after posting your remarks, despite the responses from other bloggers. This is not unusual. From Blogging Immemorial, there are people who, when their questions have been answered NOT to their satisfaction, disappear into cyberspace. So be it. I hope that, at least, you have returned to read our responses and that they give you food for thought.

      You have NOT been “berated” for your views but, hopefully, you have been enlightened somewhat. Perhaps,you now have another perspective on the issues – one lives in hope!

      God bless you.

      May 30, 2016 at 5:40 pm
  • Athanasius


    I, too, thank you for your contribution.

    I suppose to the non-Catholic eye this blog does appear “elitist”. What you have to consider, however, is that the Catholic religion is elitist; rejecting all other religions as false and non-salvific. And it has every right and duty to proclaim this, since Christ Our Lord founded one Church upon the Rock of Peter for the salvation of souls. So yes, when Catholics are true to their faith they cannot help but speak of it in elitist terms. It is not they who feel themselves more worthy than those with whom they correspond, just that the message the convey cannot be watered down to please the hearer. Do you see where I’m coming from?

    You speak of the young and the need to make God’s word more accessible and understandable to the them. I agree. However, the young are sharper and more attuned to truth than many today give them credit for. When they show an interest in religion they want the real thing, not some kind of watered down adult attempt at a religious rock concert to keep them interested. This just insults their intelligence. No, they want the real milk of true doctrine and worship. Modern Christianity in this respect only succeeds in presenting itself as shallow and superficial.

    The Traditional Catholic seminaries and chapels are bursting with young people at a time when mainstream Christianity is struggling to survive. Why is this? It is because in the ancient Latin Mass of the saints and martyrs, as well as in the traditional doctrines, devotions, sermons, etc., they are touched by the supernatural, something entirely different from everything else in their lives, including the common vernacular of their local parishes. That’s why the Catholic relgion through the ages, right up to Vatican II, never experienced a dearth in young members. It was only with the advent of the hippie renewal post-council that this changed drastically and the young turned away from the hypocricy of it. Why go to Fr. bushybeard’s juice and cookie guitar masses when there’s better entertainment to be had at the local community centre. A bit of an exaggerated example, but you’ll catch my drift.

    Those who compromise religious truth discredit religious truth. The young are on to this kind of cheap sell more than many realise. I hope you will come to recognise this by the grace of God. There is no confusion in God, no multiple creeds and many ways to heaven. God is truth, His Church is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic. Why would anyone want to turn that wonderful reality of one God, one Faith, one Baptism (and one universal ecclessiastical language) into a new Tower of Babbel?

    It’s worth pondering!

    May 29, 2016 at 1:58 pm
  • Gerontius

    Our Lady of Quito prophesied that in the 60s there would be spiritual catastrophe in the Church; then, through the faith of the just, a ‘complete restoration’

    But first, there would be a total corruption of morals in society; this would affect the Church too.

    Our Lady of Quito

    “As for the Sacrament of Matrimony, which symbolizes the union of Christ with His Church, it will be attacked and profaned in the fullest sense of the word. Masonry, which will then be in power, will enact iniquitous laws with the objective of doing away with this Sacrament, making it easy for everyone to live in sin, encouraging the procreation of illegitimate children born without the blessing of the Church. The Christian spirit will rapidly decay, extinguishing the precious light of Faith until it reaches the point that there will be an almost total and general corruption of customs. The effects of secular education will increase, which will be one reason for the lack of priestly and religious vocations…”

    It’s crucial to note that Our Lady specifies explicitly, the satanic source of the problem :
    “Masonry, which will then be in power, will enact iniquitous laws with the objective of doing away with this Sacrament, making it easy for everyone to live in sin, encouraging the procreation of illegitimate children born without the blessing of the Church.”

    Roll on the restoration – by the way, does anyone think that Holy Mother Church has reached its nadir yet?

    And here’s a little nugget to brighten up these dark times. (Fully church approved)

    May 30, 2016 at 6:14 pm
  • Liam

    Catholic press this weekend reported that all new religious communities will now need Rome’s permission for establishment not just that of their repetitive bishops-this is seen as targeting traditionalists groups. It also says any group set up without prior consultation with Rome automatically becomes invalid.

    May 30, 2016 at 6:37 pm
    • editor


      Thank you for that information – worrying. Not to say a tad contradictory; I thought Papa Francis wanted more “power” devolved to the local dioceses? Shucks, is this not enough to confuse a gal?

      Moving on…

      I know you are getting to know your way around the blog, so you may have missed the information about “off topic” comments. This thread, for example, is for the purpose of discussing whether Amoris Laetita should be withdrawn or simply clarified. (Withdrawn, if you ask moi!)

      So, if you wish to post anything about any other topic, you need to check first to see if there is a thread devoted to it (for example, we have a thread on Fatima so anything about that, would go on the Fatima thread) and if there is no thread on the topic you wish to tell us about, then you post it on the General Discussion thread, which is always at the top of the page. It helps us not to be discussing the same thing on half a dozen threads and also helps later if someone (usually me!) is searching for a comment; I can usually work out if it’s more likely to be on the General Discussion thread, so it can save time.

      Anyway, leave it this time, just try to keep an eye on the sidebar in future, to check if there is a topic thread that fits your comment, and if not, take it to the GD thread.

      Over and out!

      May 30, 2016 at 7:39 pm
  • Therese

    Bishop Schneider’s reply to The Remnant’s Open letter:

    Dear Mr. Matt: Thank you for your greetings. I wrote an answer to The Remnant‘s Open Letter, which I send to you in the attachment and you can publish. God bless abundantly you and your apostolate for the Catholic faith. With cordial greetings in Jesus and Mary, + Athanasius Schneider May 26, 2016 Dear Mr. Christopher A. Ferrara: On May 9, 2016 you published on “The Remnant” website an open letter to me regarding the question of the Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris laetitia”.
    As a bishop, I am grateful and at the same time encouraged to receive from a Catholic layman such a clear and beautiful manifestation of the “sensus fidei” regarding the Divine truth on marriage and the moral law.

    I am agreeing with your observations as to those expressions in AL (“Amoris laetitia”), and especially in its VIII’s chapter, which are highly ambiguous and misleading. In using our reason and in respecting the proper sense of the words, one can hardly interpret some expressions in AL according to the holy immutable Tradition of the Church.

    In AL, there are of course expressions which are obviously in conformity with the Tradition. But that is not what is at issue here. What is at stake are the natural and logical consequences of the ambiguous expressions of AL.
    Indeed, they contain a real spiritual danger, which will cause doctrinal confusion, a fast and easy spreading of heterodox doctrines concerning marriage and moral law, and also the adoption and consolidation of the praxis of admitting divorced and remarried to Holy Communion, a praxis which will trivialize and profane, as to say, at one blow three sacraments: the sacrament of Marriage, of Penance, and of the Most Holy Eucharist.

    In these our dark times, in which Our Beloved Lord seems to sleep in the boat of His Holy Church, all Catholics, beginning from the bishops up to the simplest faithful, who still take seriously their baptismal vows, should with one voice (“una voce”) make a profession of fidelity, enunciating concretely and clearly all those Catholic truths, which are in some expressions of AL undermined or ambiguously disfigured. It would be a kind of a “Credo” of the people of God. AL is clearly a pastoral document (i.e., by its nature of temporal character) and has no claims to be definitive. We have to avoid to “make infallible” every word and gesture of a current Pope. This is contrary to the teaching of Jesus and of the whole Tradition of the Church.

    Such a totalitarian understanding and application of Papal infallibility is not Catholic, is ultimately worldly, like in a dictatorship; it is against the spirit of the Gospel and of the Fathers of the Church. Beside the above mentioned possible common profession of fidelity, there should be made to my opinion, by competent scholars of dogmatic and moral theology also a solid analysis of all ambiguous and objectively erroneous expressions in AL. Such a scientific analysis should be made without anger and partiality (“sine ira et studio”) and out of filial deference to the Vicar of Christ.

    I am convinced that in later times the Popes will be grateful that there had been concerning voices of some bishops, theologians and laypeople in times of a great confusion. Let us live for the sake of the truth and of the eternity, “ proveritate et aeternitate”!
    + Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana ■

    May 30, 2016 at 7:27 pm
    • editor


      Thank you for this – a great reply from Bishop Schneider.

      If you don’t mind, would you also post this on the latest AL thread – The Application of Amoris Laetitia, please and thank you, since this thread, being a fair bit older, is liable to fall off the sidebar soon (when I post the next thread, to be precise!) And it’s much too important to disappear into cyberspace…

      May 30, 2016 at 7:42 pm
  • Therese

    Will do.

    May 30, 2016 at 7:57 pm
  • JohnR

    I urge you all to read the latest from Sandro Magister:-

    June 7, 2016 at 10:12 am
    • Michaela


      I’ve started to read your link but it is so long I will have to finish it later on today. It certainly looks good.

      June 7, 2016 at 10:18 am
    • Elizabeth

      This is the best and clearest commentary on AL that I have read. A lot in there to think and pray about.

      June 7, 2016 at 10:49 am
    • Michaela


      I’ve now read it right through and it is a good piece although I wouldn’t say it’s the best I’ve ever read, as I think nobody beats Christopher Ferrara at the Remnant.

      Also, the author of that Chiesa article keeps referring to “St John Paul” – that’s a complete turn-off for me. Sorry. She also quotes the dubious quote from St Augustine: “Lord, make me chaste but not yet” – I’m sure I read somewhere that that is not what he said or is taken out of context, I can’t remember exactly, so maybe someone else can throw light on this.

      I do think she hit a nail on the head when she said this:

      “One balks at the ambiguous language of n. 243 and n. 246, implying that somehow it is the Church’s fault, or something the Church has to be anxiously apologetic about it when her members enter upon an objectively adulterous union, and thereby exclude themselves from Holy Communion. This is a governing idea that pervades the entire document.”

      That is the governing idea of the document – “Bad Church” excluding mortal sinners from Communion!

      June 7, 2016 at 12:05 pm
      • editor


        You have selected one of the key quotes in that article – which had me saying (to myself!) when I read it – “well said!” That IS at the heart of this document – the nonsensical idea that it is the Church – that is, Christ Himself – who is to blame for the “plight” of the divorced and remarried et al. Personal responsibility and the whole concept of accepting the consequences of our actions or inaction, has no place in that dreadful “exhortation” – which is, really, fairly interpreted as an exhortation to sin. Shocking.

        June 7, 2016 at 5:39 pm
    • Christina

      Thank you John. Riveting and brilliant! Do we have a timely new St. Catherine?

      June 7, 2016 at 12:14 pm
      • editor


        She may well be the much needed St Catherine of Siena Mark II. Let’s hope her article reaches the top of the house. It certainly merits the attention of all those with input (and who support) AL. Here’s hoping.

        June 7, 2016 at 5:36 pm
    • editor


      Yes, it’s a very good, clear expose of AL. Thank you for posting the link.

      Like Michaela, I’d have preferred it without the references to “St John Paul II” but that’s what we’re up against now – a divided Catholic community, enough to make the 16th century Protestant Reformers rub their hands in glee.

      The author makes some excellent points, and it’s certainly worth a second read, which I’ll get down to when I’ve finished my Agatha Christie!

      June 7, 2016 at 5:33 pm

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