Pope St. John Paul II and his Exhortation Familiaris Consortio (November 22, 1981) a Stumbling Block to the Viri Probati Argument


Post-Vatican II, the innovators have co-opted the term viri probati, which in Church Teaching and Tradition refers to ‘approved men who are to be successively chosen to continue the ministry of the Holy Orders after those who appointed them have died’, to mean ‘tested married men, potential candidates for priestly ordination, witnesses of a mature and contrasted Christian life’.

If the viri probati are such tested married men, then their married life would be exemplary, and we would expect of them, for example, to have been married only once, and that they manage their children and their households well, and that they are also temperate, gentle, and live the virtue of poverty [cf. 1 Tim 3:1-13 (RSVCE)].

Most likely they are also fathers of large and poor families and spend their lives for their children and who with their effort and constancy — often without complaining of their needs — bring up their family, creating a cheerful home in which everyone learns to love, to serve and to work. [cf. The Virtue of Poverty | St. Josemaría Escrivá].

And finally, a clear sign of the holiness in the marriage of a true vir probatus [innovators’ definition] and his wife is precisely the joy with which they welcome and ask the Lord for vocations among their children. Their family will be open to transcendent values, and serve its brothers and sisters with joy, it will fulfil its duties with generous fidelity, and will be aware of its daily sharing in the mystery of the glorious Cross of Christ, becoming the primary and most excellent seedbed of vocations to a life of consecration to the kingdom of God” (Familiaris consortio, n. 53) [Cf. Apostolic Journey of His Holiness John Paul II to Rio de Janeiro, on the Occasion of the 2nd World Meeting for Families (October 2-6, 1997) | Mass in the Cathedral of St. Sebastian in Rio de Janeiro | Homily of John Paul II, 4 October 1997]. (My emphasis)

(What irony that it is Brazilian bishops – with Pope Francis apparently in agreement – who are pushing for the ordination of viri probati [innovators’ definition] in remote, indigenous communities in the Amazon when the great and saintly pope spoke these words in Brazil).

Conclusion

If there are viri probati [innovators’ definition] in remote, indigenous communities in the Amazon or elsewhere, and if these viri probati are true, vocations to the priesthood and religious life would arise naturally from their holy families. There will be no need for the innovator bishops to presumptuously present such men for ordination.

Once again, the great and saintly Pope St. John Paul II and his Exhortation Familiaris consortio (November 22, 1981) are a stumbling block to the innovators and their wrecking plans.


“I saw a great power rise up against the Church. It plundered, devastated, and threw into confusion and disorder the vine of the Lord, having it trampled underfoot by the people and holding it up to ridicule by all nations. Having vilified celibacy and oppressed the priesthood, it had the effrontery to confiscate the Church’s property and to arrogate to itself the powers of the Holy Father, whose person and whose laws it held in contempt.

– Jeanne le Royer (Sister of the Nativity), born in 1731 and became a nun in 1755. | Catholic Prophecy by Yves Dupont

The Roman Catholic Military Ordinariate of Canada’s Document on Chapter Eight of #AmorisLaetitia is full of #AmorisLaetitia’s Poison

+ Most Reverend Scott C. McCaig, C.C.
Bishop of the Military Ordinariate of Canada

The article, Canadian dioceses clarify Pope’s teaching on marriage by Deborah Gyapong, Monday, 13 March 2017 | The B.C. Catholic reported that:

Two more Canadian dioceses have joined the Alberta and Northwest Territories Bishops in issuing guidelines on Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried.

Like their western Canadian counterparts, the Archdiocese of Ottawa and the Military Ordinariate of Canada have responded to the controversial chapter eight of Pope Francis’ post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia by interpreting it in light of the Church’s constant teaching on the indissolubility of marriage and her discipline on the reception of the sacraments.

This is far from being true. The document itself On the Implementation of Chapter Eight of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia in the Military Ordinariate of Canada is full of Amoris Laetitia‘s poison. Read on:

For Those Unable to Separate: Continence

Those divorced and civilly remarried couples who for serious reasons cannot separate, in order to receive absolution in confession which would open the way to receiving Communion, must take on the duty to live in complete continence:

Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when, 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.”xi

The Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith, Cardinal Müller, recently stated that this requirement, “is not dispensable, because it is not only a positive law of John Paul II, but he expressed an essential element of Christian moral theology and the theology of the sacraments.”xii

The Apostolic Exhortation recognizes the difficulties inherent in couples living together in continence (cf. AL note 329) and insists that human frailty must be taken into account:

Perhaps out of a certain scrupulosity, concealed beneath a zeal for fidelity to the truth, some priests demand of penitents a purpose of amendment so lacking in nuance that it causes mercy to be obscured by the pursuit of a supposedly pure justice. For this reason, it is helpful to recall the teaching of Saint John Paul II, who stated that the possibility of a new fall “should not prejudice the authenticity of the resolution” (AL, Note 364)

Although this practice has been formally recognized as a valid pastoral solution since the time of the publication of the Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio, it is still an example of an extraordinary circumstance which will be examined in greater detail in the next section.

IV. Extraordinary Circumstances

Special Consideration

Required Having established the ordinary discipline of the Church, it is now possible to examine extraordinary pastoral situations with much greater precision. These require special consideration precisely because, for one reason or another, the pastoral situation differs in important respects from those envisioned by the ordinary discipline of the Church. As Pope Francis stated, “While upholding a general rule, it is necessary to recognize that responsibility with respect to certain actions and decisions is not the same in all cases” (AL 302).

The Help of the Sacraments

In very specific situations the Church’s help for those in irregular situations can include the help of the sacraments (AL, note 351). The conditions indicated in Amoris Laetitia for such a pastoral exception to the ordinary discipline of the Church (as declared in Can. 915, CCEO, Can. 855) are as follows: 8

The Law of Gradualness

1. First, the “law of gradualness” must be applied. With this moral principle we have the recognition that the fullness of God’s life-giving law must always be our aim, but also that moral conversion is often a slow and gradual process:

“…the law is itself a gift of God which points out the way, a gift for everyone without exception; it can be followed with the help of grace, even though each human being “advances gradually with the progressive integration of the gifts of God and the demands of God’s definitive and absolute love in his or her entire personal and social life” (AL 295).

From a ministerial point of view this moral principle requires that when facing difficult and irregular situations we must be “merciful and helpful”, patiently guiding and assisting people to advance, at whatever pace they require, toward the fullness of God’s law and loving design:

“… all these situations require a constructive response seeking to transform them into opportunities that can lead to the full reality of marriage and family in conformity with the Gospel. These couples need to be welcomed and guided patiently and discreetly”. That is how Jesus treated the Samaritan woman (cf. Jn. 4:1-26): he addressed her desire for true love, in order to free her from the darkness in her life and to bring her to the full joy of the Gospel” (AL 294).

What is critical to note is that “this is not a gradualness of the law” (AL 295). We are not speaking of accepting an irregular situation as normative:

Naturally, if someone flaunts an objective sin as if it were part of the Christian ideal, or wants to impose something other than what the Church teaches, he or she can in no way presume to teach or preach to others; this is a case of something which separates from the community (cf. Mt 18:17). Such a person needs to listen once more to the Gospel message and its call to conversion (AL 297).

Practically this means that there must be a firm purpose of amendment; the intention on the part of the recipient of Penance or Holy Communion to bring their lives into full conformity with the Gospel, even though there may be grave circumstances that presently prevent this.

Absence of Mortal Sin

2. Secondly, the person in this objectively irregular situation must not be in the state of mortal sin. Amoris Laetitia, quoting the Catechism of the Catholic Church (articles 1735 & 2352), insists that “a negative judgment about an objective situation does not imply a judgment about the imputability or culpability of the person involved” (AL 302). Due to serious mitigating factors it is possible that someone be in an objectively sinful situation and yet not be in the subjective state of mortal sin:

The Church possesses a solid body of reflection concerning mitigating factors and situations. Hence it can no longer simply be said that all those in any “irregular” situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace (AL 301).

Once again it is incumbent upon the minister to accompany the person in question to gain a true picture of the full pastoral situation:

Consequently, there is a need “to avoid judgements which do not take into account the complexity of various situations” and “to be attentive, by necessity, to how people experience distress because of their condition” (AL 296).

Danger of Further Harm

3. Finally, there must be a grave pastoral reason why embracing the ordinary discipline of the Church would only cause further harm. Several examples of such grave situations are specifically mentioned in the exhortation:

One thing is a second union consolidated over time, with new children, proven fidelity, generous self-giving, Christian commitment, a consciousness of its irregularity and of the great difficulty of going back without feeling in conscience that one would fall into new sins. The Church acknowledges situations “where, for serious reasons, such as the children’s upbringing, a man and woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate.” There are also the cases of those who made every effort to save their first marriage and were unjustly abandoned, or of “those who have entered into a second union for the sake of the children’s upbringing, and are sometimes subjectively certain in conscience that their previous and irreparably broken marriage had never been valid”. Another thing is a new union arising from a recent divorce, with all the suffering and confusion which this entails for children and entire families, or the case of someone who has consistently failed in his obligations to the family (AL 298).

When Continence is not Feasible

Ordinarily, receiving the sacraments for those in an irregular situation requires continence, but there are extreme situations wherein abstaining from conjugal relations is not feasible. Below is a succinct explanation of just such a situation and the underlying moral principles involved:

The situation foreseen here is apparently that of one party desiring such abstinence [as required by the Church for those divorced and civilly remarried without a decree of nullity] but the other refusing and threatening dire consequences in the absence of conjugal life. The first party then agrees to sexual relations against his or her will, for example, to preserve the welfare of the children. In such cases, the practicing Catholic party may not be guilty of serious sin and could therefore, in some cases, be admitted to the sacraments of reconciliation and the Eucharist. This case, it should be noted, could be treated in such a manner even before Amoris Laetitia, according to application of 10 the standard principles of moral theology and confessional practice, analogous to the determination of the moral culpability of contraception when the spouses do not agree.xiii

As noted, these were already accepted foundational principles of moral theology and confessional practice. The application of these principles explicitly to the divorced and civilly remarried in a magisterial document is seen by some as an example of the authentic development of doctrine.

The Need for Pastoral Discernment

Considering the nature of these criteria it is unlikely to encounter a large number of these cases. It is possible, however, to imagine other circumstances in which they could apply. This only emphasizes the need for careful attention to, and discernment of, each individual situation.

To illustrate, the section “When Continence is not Feasible” ought to stand out. How is it that a divorced and civilly remarried couple [with one or both parties having valid prior marriage] can be said to engage in conjugal relations?

One also ought to see Kasper’s Pope Francis’ Proposal.

It is evident that Bishop McCaig is engaging in the now tried and tested modernists’ M.O. which is, state Catholic Doctrine/Teaching saying it is not changing, yet place a contrary doctrine or teaching alongside it.


[UPDATE: March 1, 2017]
LifeSiteNews article Canada’s military bishop reaffirms Catholic teaching on marriage in Amoris Laetitia guidelines by Lianne Laurence fails to uncover the insidious nature of Bp McCaig’s guidelines.

Who exactly are viri probati? – That they are “tested MARRIED men” is a pure invention by the innovators.

Where does the term viri probati appear in Church documents?

The term viri probati appears in Caput III, 20, in Constitutio Dogmatica de Ecclesia Lumen Gentium, a Vatican II document.

  1. […]

Constituerunt itaque huius modi viros ac deinceps ordinationem dederunt, ut cum decessissent, ministerium eorum alii viri probati exciperent.(42) Cf. S. CLEMENS ROM., Ad Cor. 44, 2: ed. FUNK, 1, p. 154s.)  […]

The English translation being [cf. Lumen Gentium – EN]

  1. […]

They therefore appointed such men, and gave them the order that, when they should have died, other approved men would take up their ministry.(6*) S. Clem. Rom., ad Cor. 44, 2; ed. Funk, I, p. 154 s. […]

The footnote references the only genuine writing of Pope St. Clement I, the fourth pope, which is a letter to the Church of Corinth.

Pope St. Clement I

In Chapter 44. The Ordinances of the Apostles, that There Might Be No Contention Respecting the Priestly Office, the saintly pope writes:

Our apostles also knew, through our Lord Jesus Christ, that there would be strife on account of the office of the episcopate. For this reason, therefore, inasmuch as they had obtained a perfect fore-knowledge of this, they appointed those [ministers] already mentioned, and afterwards gave instructions, that when these should fall asleep, other approved men should succeed them in their ministry. We are of opinion, therefore, that those appointed by them, or afterwards by other eminent men, with the consent of the whole church, and who have blamelessly served the flock of Christ, in a humble, peaceable, and disinterested spirit, and have for a long time possessed the good opinion of all, cannot be justly dismissed from the ministry. For our sin will not be small, if we eject from the episcopate those who have blamelessly and holily fulfilled its duties. Blessed are those presbyters who, having finished their course before now, have obtained a fruitful and perfect departure [from this world]; for they have no fear lest any one deprive them of the place now appointed them. But we see that you have removed some men of excellent behaviour from the ministry, which they fulfilled blamelessly and with honour. –  Fathers of the Church > Letter to the Corinthians (Clement) – http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1010.htm [cf. also http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/anf01.ii.ii.xliv.html | Christian Classics Ethereal Library (CCEL)]

From these two Church documents, nowhere does it appear that viri probati [= approved men] means “tested MARRIED men”

So when and how did viri probati come to mean “tested MARRIED men”?

From these web articles What is viri probati? A proposal for extreme situations, which did not advance | ROME REPORTS and VIRI PROBATI DicEc, it is appears the idea was floated as such within the Second Vatican Council and got nowhere and it was post-Vatican II that viri probati became a “technical” expression for married men, potential candidates for priestly ordination, witnesses of a mature and contrasted Christian life [Google translated].

Conclusion

Clearly then what Church Teaching and Tradition means by viri probati, that is, approved men who are to be successively chosen to continue the ministry of the Holy Orders after those who appointed them have died, is not what the innovators have co-opted to mean “tested MARRIED men”.

This has nothing to do with “salus animarum” criteria or solving a shortage of priest in certain areas, but everything to do with the attempted destruction of the Holy Orders and of the Church.

This seems to be a to-do on Pope Francis’ very disturbing and destructive agenda and he has floated the idea before, as he is wont to do, via an interview in 2014 [cf. Pope says married men could be ordained – if world’s bishops agree by Christa Pongratz-Lippitt, 10 April 2014 | The Tablet], only in the latest interview, he doesn’t mention the bishops being in agreement, perhaps having learned from the Synods on the Family in 2014 & 2015.

(All emphases mine)




“I saw a great power rise up against the Church. It plundered, devastated, and threw into confusion and disorder the vine of the Lord, having it trampled underfoot by the people and holding it up to ridicule by all nations. Having vilified celibacy and oppressed the priesthood, it had the effrontery to confiscate the Church’s property and to arrogate to itself the powers of the Holy Father, whose person and whose laws it held in contempt.

– Jeanne le Royer (Sister of the Nativity), born in 1731 and became a nun in 1755. | Catholic Prophecy by Yves Dupont