In his defense of Ch. VIII of Amoris Laetitia [translated in English: Chapter VIII of Amoris Laetitia: What is left after the storm | Victor Manuel Fernández], Abp. Fernández claimed that there have been recent changes [in] discipline regarding the divorced in new unions and went to state that:
1) “[T]he prohibition against funerals and any public funeral service” has changed without all the beliefs that supported that praxis falling away.
2) (Canon 2336[sic]) in the Code of Canon Law (1917): “If, spurning the admonition of the Ordinary, they stay in the illicit relationship, they are to be excommunicated according to the gravity of the deed or struck with personal interdict” is no longer in the current Code (1983).
Can 2356. Bigami, idest qui, obstante coniugali vinculo, aliud matrimonium, etsi tantum civile, ut aiunt, attentaverint, sunt ipso facto infames; et si, spreta Ordinarii monitione, in illicito contubernio persistant, pro diversa reatus gravitate excommunicentur vel personali interdicto plectantur.
In his article Clarifying what we can | In the Light of the Law A Canon Lawyer’s Blog, August 23, 2017, Dr. Edward Peters, JD, JCD, Ref. Sig. Ap. disputes these factual claims by Abp. Fernández and argues that:
1) [D]ivorced and ‘remarried’ Catholics are still recognized as figuring among those to whom ecclesiastical burial may be denied.
2) Catholics were not excommunicated under the 1917 Code for being divorced and remarried.
From the plain reading of the Canon
2336 2356 referenced by the Archbishop, it deals specifically with bigamy and the one twice married, and infamous for that very fact, faced the ecclesiastical sanctions of either excommunication or personal interdict only after disregarding the admonitions of the Ordinary and persisting in their bigamy.
Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez holds a Doctorate Degree in Theology and has been the President of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina [UCA] since 2009. He was previously Dean of the School of Theology of UCA (2008-2009) and Chairman of the Argentine Theological Society (2007-2009). He is also member of the Pontifical Council for Culture since 2014.
Rev. Fernandez’s service to Higher Education and the Catholic Church is extensive and broader. He was in charge of a parish in Rio Cuarto, Cordoba, where he founded the Seminary, the Sacred Science Institute for Teachers, and the Lay Centre for continued faith formation. He also advised local movements and lay institutions, while providing support to catechetical and ecumenical education programs.
He participated in the 5th General Conference of the Episcopate of Latin America (2007) and was member of its Editorial Committee. He has been an expert in several commissions of the Argentine Conference of Catholic Bishops (Comision Espiscopal Argentina-CEA) and, since 2014, is member of the Commission for Faith and Culture. On that same year, for the 3rd Extraordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, Pope Francis appointed Rev. Fernandez as Vice-president for the Message and member of the Editorial Commission in charge of the Report of the Synod entitled Relatio Synodi, on “Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization”. On September 2015, for the 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, he was also member of the Editorial Commission in charge of the Report of the Synod on the topic of “Vocation and mission of families in the Church and the Contemporary World.”
Since July 2016, Rev. Fernandez is advisor of the Congregation for Catholic Education. He has more than 350 publications in books and articles both in international and national journals from Argentina, Latin American and Europe.
Since we are dealing with Canon Law and Archbishop Fernández – Rector of a Catholic University and with such extensive relevant educational background – has made false factual claims on which his defense is based, by invoking the venerable legal principle Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus, one may disregard his entire defense of Ch. 8. of Amoris Laetitia.
For those still wanting to consider the rest of the Archbishop’s defense, be warned that together with the false factual claims, the Archbishop will draw you into his labyrinth by first questioning what the Church has never taught to be exceptions to the 5th and 7th Commandments [cf. CCC 2263 – 2267 and Catholic Encyclopedia > Theft] and proposing that they be considered as exceptions.
Abp. Fernández’s defense of Ch. 8. of Amoris Laetitia and his arguments contained therein are a non-starter.
It is clear that the Archbishop’s defense supports an agenda which is opposed to the Truth.