Mercy is also connected with justice. [St.] Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274), a great teacher and scripture scholar, said that mercy “does not destroy justice, but is a certain kind of fulfillment of justice. ..Mercy without justice is the mother of dissolution; (and) justice without mercy is cruelty.”Pardon without repentance negates justice.
The plot of Gn 2–11 (creation, the flood, renewed creation) has been borrowed from creation-flood stories attested in Mesopotamian literature of the second and early first millennia. – Genesis introduction, USCCB > Bible
CCC 105God is the author of Sacred Scripture. “The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.” [DV 11].
Then one must conclude from USCCB’s Genesis – Introduction that “God, the author of Sacred Scripture borrowed the plot of Gn 2–11 (creation, the flood, renewed creation) from creation-flood stories in Mesopotamian literature.”
Cardinal Burke has recently concluded a 5-part series reflection on DIVINE MERCY & JUSTICE in the wake of the publication of Pope Francis’ book: The Name of God Is Mercy. He notes atthis time when there is a widespread discussion of mercy, he fears there is a risk of making Mercy a slogan which lacks a profound understanding of its meaning in the Church’s constant teaching and that various difficult situations in the Church today are easily dismissed by invoking God’s mercy.
He focuses his reflection on the teaching in Sacred Scripture as it has been interpreted by Saint Thomas Aquinas and Pope Saint John Paul II andhopes that this reflection, offered during the extraordinary year of Divine Mercy will confirm the readers in their faith and in their service to the Church.
He concludes by stating that Mercy does not constitute an easy response to the great challenges of the Christian life in the world, a response which may ignore the demands of justice. It constitutes rather the response which engages all of our intelligence and will, according to the plan of God for us and for our world.
Part 1 Opening
Recently, Pope Francis published a book-length interview which is being distributed in six languages in more than 80 countries with the title: The Name of God Is Mercy. This publication and its wide distribution manifests how divine mercy is a central subject of discussion in the Church today.
The centrality of divine mercy is certainly not new in the Church’s teaching and pastoral practice, even though some today would give the impression that it is so. At the same time, the current widespread discussion of mercy risks making it a slogan lacking a profound understanding of its meaning in the Church’s constant teaching. Sadly, for example, one hears of various difficult situations in the Church today rather easily dismissed by invoking God’s mercy.
It is therefore important that we take up a serious consideration of the nature of God’s mercy as He has revealed it to us and as it has been taught in the Magisterium. To assist such reflection, I will concentrate my attention on the teaching in the Sacred Scripture as it has been interpreted by Saint Thomas Aquinas and Pope Saint John Paul II. Then, I will relate that teaching to the natural moral law.
It is my hope that my reflection, offered during the extraordinary year of Divine Mercy will confirm you in your faith and in your service to the Church.
· Di fronte all’insegnamento dell’esortazione apostolica «Amoris laetitia» ·
Magisterium to accept and implement
· Faced with the teaching of the Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris laetitia” ·
L’Osservatore Romano, 23 agosto 2016
Italian/Google Translate English (THE WAR welcomes a better translation)
In questa fase di recezione ecclesiale dell’Esortazione apostolica Amoris laetitia (19 marzo 2016) di Papa Francesco sono emersi degli interrogativi sul tipo di magistero che questo documento rappresenta.
At this stage of the ecclesial reception of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia (19 March 2016) of Pope Francis emerged questions about the type of teaching that this document represents.
Per poterlo definire in modo teologicamente corretto, può essere utile fare riferimento all’Istruzione — di certo poco conosciuta — «Sulla vocazione ecclesiale del teologo» della Congregazione per la Dottrina della Fede, firmata nel 1990 dall’allora cardinale prefetto Joseph Ratzinger, che commenta le diverse forme del magistero della Chiesa presenti nella nuova formula della “Professione di fede”. Queste forme sono tre: il magistero infallibile, il magistero definitivo e il magistero ordinario ma non definitivo, essendo quest’ultimo quello applicabile ad Amoris laetitia come anche alla maggior parte dei testi magisteriali attuali.
In order to define theologically correct way, it may be useful to refer to Education – certainly little known – “On the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian” of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, signed in 1990 by the then prefect Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who comments the different forms of the Church’s teaching in the new formula of “Profession of faith”. These forms are three: the infallible magisterium, the definitive Magisterium and the ordinary magisterium, but not final, the latter being the one applicable to Amoris laetitia as well as the most current magisterial texts.
Questa forma di magistero ordinario non definitivo secondo la citata Istruzione ha come obiettivo specifico quello di proporre «un insegnamento, che conduce ad una migliore comprensione della Rivelazione in materia di fede e di costumi, e direttive morali derivanti da questo insegnamento» che, «anche se non sono garantite dal carisma dell’infallibilità, non sono sprovviste dell’assistenza divina, e richiedono l’adesione dei fedeli» (n. 17), adesione definita come «un religioso ossequio della volontà e dell’intelligenza» (n. 23). Per questo si afferma che «la volontà di ossequio leale a questo insegnamento del Magistero in materia per sé non irreformabile deve essere la regola». Per questa ragione tale forma di magistero viene descritta dall’Istruzione come «di ordine prudenziale», giacché comporta «giudizi prudenziali», anche se viene attentamente precisato che tale qualifica non significa che «non goda dell’assistenza divina nell’esercizio integrale della sua missione» (n. 24).
This form of non-definitive ordinary magisterium according to Education has cited as a specific objective to propose “a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals, and moral directives resulting from this teaching” that ‘even if they are not guaranteed by the charism of infallibility, are not devoid of divine assistance and call for the adherence of the faithful “(n. 17), adhesion defined as” a religious submission of will and intellect “(n. 23 ). For this it is stated that “the will to submit loyally to the teaching of the Magisterium on matters per se not irreformable must be the rule.” For this reason this form of teaching is described in the Instruction as “prudential policy” since it contains “prudential judgments”, although is carefully specified that this status does not mean that “not enjoy divine assistance in the integral exercise of its mission “(n. 24).
“Amoris Laetitia” falls into the third category, Father Pie-Ninot said, adding the 1990 instruction’s statement that examples of ordinary magisterium can occur when the pope intervenes “in questions under discussion which involve, in addition to solid principles, certain contingent and conjectural elements.”
The instruction notes that “it often only becomes possible with the passage of time to distinguish between what is necessary and what is contingent,” although, as the Spanish priest said, the instruction insists that even then one must assume that “divine assistance” was given to the pope.
Accepting “Amoris Laetitia” as authoritative church teaching, Father Pie-Ninot said, applies also to the document’s “most significant words” about the possibility of people divorced and remarried without an annulment receiving Communion in limited circumstances. (My emphasis)
A member of the newly established commission set up by Pope Francis to study the question of the diaconate for women spoke of her delight over this move on Tuesday. Dr. Phyllis Zagano, who teaches at Hofstra University in Hampstead, New York, is one of the six female members of the Commission whose formation was announced by the Vatican on Tuesday. She is the author of some 20 books on religious studies including several on the issue of the Diaconate for women. Dr. Zagano spoke to me earlier about her reaction to her appointment and explained why she feels it is such an important and positive move on the part of the Pope.
Dr. Zagano: Well you know I am honored that the Holy Father has included me among scholars who will be studying anew the question of restoring women to the diaconate in the Catholic Churches. I am very honored. That’s the best news I have ever gotten really.
Susy: Why do you feel that this could be a positive move for the Church and for women of course?
Dr. Zagano: My work is on the fact that women were ordained to the diaconate, that women have served as deacons and in more recent work I say quite simply that women should be included in the diaconate as it has been restored post-Vatican II.
Susy: And how optimistic are you that this commission will eventually in due course lead possibly to that decision to have female deacons within the Catholic Church?
Dr. Zagano: I wouldn’t use the term female deacons. I think the most recent study document on the question of restoring women to the diaconate, to the office of deacon, states that the decision is up to the “ministry of discernment that the LORD has left his Church”. Now my hope is that the results of the study will include women in the office of deacon and that this would be a decision that would enable the Church to speak more forcefully to the world about the dignity and place of women, not only in the Church but also in society.
Susy: But could it be also quite a divisive move that there could be people who are very much opposed to this within the Church? Could it open up splits?
Dr. Zagano: Well anything could open up splits. I think that the way Church works is the Holy Father decides to restore women to the ordained diaconate. It would be up to each Episcopal conference to decide whether it felt that it should include women in the office of deacon and in its provincial territories; and then within those territories, it would be up to each individual bishop to decide whether he would wish to ordain women as deacons. So I can’t see any kind of a split since it is a collaborative decision that goes down the line really to the individual diocese.
Susy: Coming back to the present day, do you think nonetheless it’s, I know it is very early, but do think this is likely to be a popular move?
Dr. Zagano: I think it is extremely, from what I have heard recently, it is an extremely popular idea to restore women to the ordained office of deacon because historically women ministered to other women and it would be a statement by the Church that women deserve the ordained ministry of women. That was the specific reason for ordaining women in the past and it quite clearly I think is the reason to restore women to the ordained diaconate today.
Susy: I was speaking there to Dr. Phyllis Zagano, member of the commission set up by Pope Francis to study the question of the diaconate for women.