The great and saintly Supreme Pontiff Pope St. John Paul II of august and happy memory reaffirmed and taught perennial Church practice and doctrine[i] deriving from and belonging to respectively to the Divinely revealed unchanging Sacred Deposit of the Faith [=Sacred Scripture + Holy Tradition] and is therefore, irreformable[ii], that:
However, the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.
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.”[iii]
By excising this section out from wherever they reference No. 84 in Familiaris Consortio (November 22, 1981) of the great and saintly Supreme Pontiff Pope St. John Paul II of august and happy memory, Pope Francis & The Synod on the Family 2015 STAND CONDEMNED! by that act alone and because in addition :
1. Pope Francis & The Synod on the Family 2015 failed to reaffirm and teach perennial Church practice and teaching deriving from and belonging to respectively to the Divinely revealed unchanging Sacred Deposit of the Faith [=Sacred Scripture + Holy Tradition] and is therefore, irreformable.
2. Pope Francis & The Synod on the Family 2015 failed to imitate the great and saintly Supreme Pontiff Pope St. John Paul II of august and happy memory who reaffirmed and taught the perennial Church practice and teaching deriving from and belonging to respectively to the Divinely revealed unchanging Sacred Deposit of the Faith [=Sacred Scripture + Holy Tradition] and therefore is irreformable.
3. The Synod on the Family 2015 failed in their function and duty to provide effective assistance to Pope Francis by failing to reaffirm and teach perennial Church practice and teaching deriving from and belonging to respectively to the Divinely revealed unchanging Sacred Deposit of the Faith [=Sacred Scripture + Holy Tradition] and is therefore, irreformable. [Cf. OCT. 12, 2015 | Cardinal Burke: Synods Originally Meant to Preserve and Strengthen Doctrine and Discipline by Edward Pentin | National Catholic Register]
4. Pope Francis failed to condemn, admonish, and correct the Synod on the Family 2015 which had failed in their function and duty to provide effective assistance to him as pope by failing to reaffirm and teach perennial Church practice and teaching deriving from and belonging to respectively to the Divinely revealed unchanging Sacred Deposit of the Faith [=Sacred Scripture + Holy Tradition] and is therefore irreformable.
5. Pope Francis failed to condemn and reject the Final Report of the Synod of Bishops to the Holy Father, Pope Francis, which failed to reaffirm and teach perennial Church practice and teaching deriving from and belonging to respectively to the Divinely revealed unchanging Sacred Deposit of the Faith [=Sacred Scripture + Holy Tradition] and is therefore irreformable. [Cf. RORATE EXCLUSIVE: Bishop Athanasius Schneider reaction to Synod Door to communion for divorced & remarried officially kicked open]
6. Pope Francis alone stands condemned in issuing his Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia which fails to reaffirm and teach perennial Church practice and teaching deriving from and belonging to respectively to the Divinely revealed unchanging Sacred Deposit of the Faith [=Sacred Scripture + Holy Tradition] and is therefore, irreformable.
7. Pope Francis alone stands condemned for the following footnotes that are in the place of, stand in contrast to , distort, misuse and contradict the teaching of the great and saintly Supreme Pontiff Pope St. John Paul II and the aforementioned excised section in No. 84 in Familiaris Consortio (November 22, 1981):
In certain cases, this can include the help of the sacraments. Hence, “I want to remind priests that the confessional must not be a torture chamber, but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy” (Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium [24 November 2013], 44: AAS 105 , 1038). I would also point out that the Eucharist “is not a prize for the perfect, but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak” (ibid., 47: 1039). – Cf. Footnote 351 [paragraph 305],Amoris Laetitia (March 19, 2016).
John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris
Consortio (22 November 1981), 84: AAS 74 (1982), 186. In such situations, many people, knowing and accepting the possibility of living “as brothers and sisters” which the Church offers them, point out that if certain expressions of intimacy are lacking, “it often happens that faithfulness is endangered and the good of the children suffers” (Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World Gaudium et Spes, 51) – Cf. Footnote 329 [paragraph 298], Amoris Laetitia (March 19, 2016).
8. Pope Francis alone stands condemned in distorting and misusing Gaudium et Spes, 51 in footnote 329 [paragraph 298], Amoris Laetitia (March 19, 2016).
9. Pope Francis alone stands condemned in exhorting Bishops, priests,deacons, consecrated persons, Christian married couples and all the lay faithful, an exhortation and teaching that deliberately omits to mention a pertinent perennial Church practice and teaching deriving from and belonging to respectively to the Divinely revealed unchanging Sacred Deposit of the Faith [=Sacred Scripture + Holy Tradition] and is therefore irreformable, and thereby presents an exhortation and teaching that is lacking, distorted, misleading, and that is not faithful to perennial Church practice and teaching which derives from and belongs to respectively to the Divinely revealed unchanging Sacred Deposit of the Faith [=Sacred Scripture + Holy Tradition] and is therefore irreformable, and therefore has performed a magisterial act solely his own and not the Church’s, that is inimical to all orthodox believers who keep the catholic and apostolic faith and which simultaneously is also foreign and inimical to the catholic and apostolic faith.
10. Pope Francis alone stands condemned for endorsing Argentine bishops’ document on Amoris Laetitia | Vatican Radio, 12/09/2016
Expressing his appreciation for the ‘pastoral charity’ contained in the bishops’ document, Pope Francis insists “there are no other interpretations” of the apostolic exhortation which he wrote at the conclusion of the two synods on the family in 2014 and 2015. (My emphasis)
Cf. Francisco > Cartas > 2016 > Carta del Santo Padre Francisco a los Obispos de la Región Pastoral de Buenos Aires en Respuesta al Documento “Criterios Básicos para la Aplicación del Capítulo VIII de la Amoris Laetitia” (5 de Septiembre de 2016)
El escrito es muy bueno y explícita cabalmente el sentido del capitulo VIII de Amoris laetitia. No hay otras interpretaciones. Y estoy seguro de que hará mucho bien. Que el Señor les retribuya este esfuerzo de caridad pastoral. (My emphasis)
11. Pope Francis alone stands condemned in thanking instead of condemning and correcting the Maltese Bishops for their Amoris Laetitia Guidelines. Cf. Pope Francis Thanks Maltese Bishops for ‘Amoris Laetitia’ Guidelines by Edward Pentin | NCRegister, April 6, 2017
Gratitude sent through a letter from Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, secretary general of the Synod of Bishops.
[i] Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith > Letter to Bishops of the Catholic Church Concerning the Reception of Holy Communion by the Divorced and Remarried Members of the Faithful, 5. | Joseph Card. Ratzinger, Prefect, + Alberto Bovone Titular Archbishop of Caesarea in Numidia, Secretary | 14 September 1994, Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. 5. The doctrine and discipline of the Church in this matter, are amply presented in the post-conciliar period in the Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio. […]
[ii] CCC 2035 The supreme degree of participation in the authority of Christ is ensured by the charism of infallibility. This infallibility extends as far as does the deposit of divine Revelation; it also extends to all those elements of doctrine, including morals, without which the saving truths of the faith cannot be preserved, explained, or observed. [Cf. LG 25; CDF, declaration, Mysterium Ecclesiae 3.]
[iii] e) Divorced Persons Who Have Remarried
84. Daily experience unfortunately shows that people who have obtained a divorce usually intend to enter into a new union, obviously not with a Catholic religious ceremony. Since this is an evil that, like the others, is affecting more and more Catholics as well, the problem must be faced with resolution and without delay. The Synod Fathers studied it expressly. The Church, which was set up to lead to salvation all people and especially the baptized, cannot abandon to their own devices those who have been previously bound by sacramental marriage and who have attempted a second marriage. The Church will therefore make untiring efforts to put at their disposal her means of salvation.
Pastors must know that, for the sake of truth, they are obliged to exercise careful discernment of situations. There is in fact a difference between those who have sincerely tried to save their first marriage and have been unjustly abandoned, and those who through their own grave fault have destroyed a canonically valid marriage. Finally, there are those who have entered into a second union for the sake of the children’s upbringing, and who are sometimes subjectively certain in conscience that their previous and irreparably destroyed marriage had never been valid.
Together with the Synod, I earnestly call upon pastors and the whole community of the faithful to help the divorced, and with solicitous care to make sure that they do not consider themselves as separated from the Church, for as baptized persons they can, and indeed must, share in her life. They should be encouraged to listen to the word of God, to attend the Sacrifice of the Mass, to persevere in prayer, to contribute to works of charity and to community efforts in favor of justice, to bring up their children in the Christian faith, to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day by day, God’s grace. Let the Church pray for them, encourage them and show herself a merciful mother, and thus sustain them in faith and hope.
Similarly, the respect due to the sacrament of Matrimony, to the couples themselves and their families, and also to the community of the faithful, forbids any pastor, for whatever reason or pretext even of a pastoral nature, to perform ceremonies of any kind for divorced people who remarry. Such ceremonies would give the impression of the celebration of a new sacramentally valid marriage, and would thus lead people into error concerning the indissolubility of a validly contracted marriage.
By acting in this way, the Church professes her own fidelity to Christ and to His truth. At the same time she shows motherly concern for these children of hers, especially those who, through no fault of their own, have been abandoned by their legitimate partner.
With firm confidence she believes that those who have rejected the Lord’s command and are still living in this state will be able to obtain from God the grace of conversion and salvation, provided that they have persevered in prayer, penance and charity. – Familiaris Consortio (November 22, 1981) of the great and saintly Supreme Pontiff Pope St. John Paul II (Sans references. My emphasis)
Four objections, four responses, and one conclusion by Robert Sarah in Overrated Synod. Before All Else in the Church There Is a Crisis of Faith | WWW.CHIESA by Sandro Magister – This is what African cardinal Robert Sarah maintains in his book “God or Nothing” and in the discussion that has followed. An exclusive preview of his remarks in the next issue of “L’Homme Nouveau”
If we analyze certain statements of AL with intellectual honesty within their proper context, we find ourselves faced with difficulties when trying to interpret them in accordance with the traditional doctrine of the Church. This is due to the absence of the concrete and explicit affirmation of the doctrine and constant practice of the Church, founded on the Word of God and reiterated by Pope John Paul II, who said,
However the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage. Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who … 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 … they take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples (Familiaris Consortio, 84).
Professor Spaemann, you have accompanied the papacies of John Paul II and Benedict XVI with your philosophy. Many believers are now asking, whether and how Pope Francis’ post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris laetitia should be read in continuity with the teachings of the Church and these previous Popes. How do you see this?
For the most part, it is possible, although the direction allows for consequences which cannot be made compatible with the teaching of the Church. Article 305 together with footnote 351 – in which it is stated that believers can be allowed to the sacraments “in an objective situation of sin” “because of mitigating factors” – directly contradicts article 84 of Pope John Paul II’s exhortation Familiaris consortio.
What then is Pope John Paul II’s exhortation about?
John Paul II explains human sexuality as a “real symbol for the giving of the whole person,” and namely, “without every temporal or other limitation.” He thus formulates very clearly in article 84 that remarried divorcés must refrain from sex if they want to go to communion. A change in the practice of the administration of the sacraments would therefore be no “further development of Familiaris consortio,” as Cardinal Kasper said, but rather a breach in her essential anthropological and theological teaching on marriage and human sexuality. The Church has no authority, without prior conversion, to approve disordered sexual relationships through the administration of the sacraments, thereby anticipating God’s mercy – regardless of how these situations are to be judged on a human and moral level. The door here – as with the ordination of women to the priesthood – is closed.
And a few days later, during the flight from Lesbos to Rome, Francis once again proposed Schönborn as the main exegete of the post-synodal exhortation, he being a “great theologian [who] knows well the doctrine of the faith,” as the pope described him. To the question of whether for the divorced or remarried there now is or is not the possibility, formerly precluded, of receiving communion, the pope responded with a peremptory and for once unmistakable: “Yes. Period.” But he recommended that none other than Schönborn be consulted for a more detailed reply.
And cf. also Pope Francis’ Plane Comments on Divorce & Remarriage | 1P5 and Full Text of Pope Francis’ in-flight interview from Lesbos to Rome – Catholic News Agency (CNA) vs. IN-FLIGHT PRESS CONFERENCE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS FROM LESVOS TO ROME, Papal Flight, Saturday, 16 April 2016
“Naturally this poses the question: what does the Pope say in relation to access to the sacraments for people who live in ‘irregular’ situations?”, continued the cardinal. “Pope Francis reiterates the need to discern carefully the situation in keeping with St. John Paul II’s Familiaris consortio. ‘Discernment must help to find possible ways of responding to God and growing in the midst of limits. By thinking that everything is black and white, we sometimes close off the way of grace and of growth, and discourage paths of sanctification which give glory to God’. … In the sense of this ‘via caritatis’, the Pope affirms, in a humble and simple manner, in a note that the help of the sacraments may also be given in ‘certain cases’. But for this purpose he does not offer us case studies or recipes, but instead simply reminds us of two of his famous phrases: ‘I want to remind priests that the confessional should not be a torture chamber but rather an encounter with the Lord’s mercy’ and the Eucharist ‘is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak'”.
What others are saying and doing
Father Gerstle continues:
The Church has up to now always had a clear attitude [Haltung] in this question [of the “remarried” divorcees], even if there has developed, already for quite a while now, a practice of receiving Holy Communion that is in opposition to the objective norms of the Church.”
Thus, says Gerstle, this current discussion is finally about receiving a “retrospective blessing” for a practice of disobedience about something that has heretofore been gravely forbidden by the Church. With regard to Amoris Laetitia, the German priest says: “In Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis now gives permission to the individual priests and pastors to examine each individual case with regard to the possibility of receiving the Sacraments (Penance and Holy Communion).” Thus, Pope Francis does not anymore, “in a general way, exclude those couples who live in an irregular situation (to include cohabiting couples) from the reception of the Sacraments.” Gerstle stresses that Pope Francis does not anymore demand from these couples the binding requirement to live in continence. He adds: “This is indeed a novelty and is thus being celebrated by the representatives of the liberal direction as being revolutionary and as constituting a landmark decision.” However, in Gerstle’s eyes, those who “feel bound to the valid teaching of the Church, and who fear the watering down of the indissolubility of marriage,” see a “justified reason for the great concern that now there will follow a complete breech of the levée.”
With this new approach, Gerstle says, “the Church’s teaching – according to which the validity of the Sacrament of Confession is dependent upon a penitent’s true contrition and his firm purpose to avoid the near occasion of sin if possible – would be taken off the hinges.” [emphasis added] This would mean “a serious breech with the elementary principles of the Church’s moral teaching, as it had last been confirmed to be the irreformable teaching of the Church by St. John Paul II himself in his encyclical Veritatis Splendor, as well as in his apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio.
“Important magisterial tenets cannot be changed by half sentences or somewhat ambiguous footnotes,” the German archbishop said, alluding to the controversy over the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia. He further warned, “Statements that can be interpreted in different ways are a risky thing.”
— F M Shyanguya (@TheWarOurTime) April 15, 2016
Prayer whenever faced with error, even that emanating from Rome. pic.twitter.com/tAa6u8s8mj
— F M Shyanguya (@TheWarOurTime) July 11, 2016
On the family:
CWR: What concerns do you have about family life?
Mother Miriam: It is God’s number one design to build His kingdom, and the Enemy’s number one target to destroy. This destruction seems to be happening at breakneck speed. When the Enemy destroys the family, he destroys society. This attack has primarily happened within the Church; as Pope Paul VI famously said, the “smoke of Satan” has entered the Church.
A Catholic who is not a priest or nun has the very first and most vital calling we have as human beings: to marry and multiply the kingdom of God on Earth. I accept that a religious calling is higher than marriage, but I cannot see anything more glorious than a man and woman joined as one in marriage. If they are truly open to life-giving love and living according to God’s design amidst many trials, it is in a great measure to live heaven on Earth.
On the so-called “same-sex marriage”:
CWR: What was your reaction to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision redefining marriage, mandating that all 50 states accept “same-sex marriage”?
Mother Miriam: Utter, utter grief. I was not surprised, but nonetheless I was deeply grieved.
People have asked me what I think of “same-sex marriage.” I tell them that I have no opinion on it, because it does not and cannot exist. There is no such thing. Human beings cannot define marriage; they can decide to live immoral lifestyles, but what they do is not marriage.
God has left Christians to be lights in the world. This “same-sex marriage” ruling gives us a great opportunity to be lights in the darkness.
CWR: Not long ago, “same-sex marriage” was unthinkable. Do you marvel at the speed in which it has been widely accepted in society?
Mother Miriam: Yes. It has happened very quickly. I used to use the example of putting the frog in the boiling water: if you drop him in boiling water he’ll jump out, if you put him in cool water and slowly turn up the temperature you can boil him to death. But now I use a new illustration. There is a lily you can put into a pond that doubles in size every day. The question I ask is that if it takes 29 days for the lily to cover half the pond, how many more days for the lily to cover all of it? Not another 29 days, but one.
Pope Benedict XVI himself, in his private writings, spoke about the Church having to go underground in our day, due to the evil that pervades civil governments. But, for me, the greatest tragedy is priests and bishops who have defected from the faith and have not taught the sheep or who, by their silence or poor example, have led them astray. This is far more grievous than what is happening in the world today. In fact, if bishops were not afraid, if they truly believed the Faith and taught the truth and Catholics knew their faith, we would not be as threatened as we are.
On the Synod on the Family in Rome:
CWR: What are your thoughts on last year’s Synod on the Family in Rome?
Mother Miriam: It was tragic. There was a confusion that came out of it that the bishops should not have allowed.
And, with the continuation of the Synod this October, there’s going to be a discussion about the possibility of giving Communion to the divorced and remarried. That is something that should not even be a topic. It should be off the plate. It simply is not a Catholic question. Should we reconsider whether or not murder is legitimate? It would be no less absurd than discussing whether or not Catholics should receive the Body and Blood of Our Lord in an unworthy and gravely immoral manner.
Families need direction and solid help that coincides with our faith so that we know how to live.
TESTIMONY TO THE POWER OF GRACE: ON THE INDISSOLUBILITY OF MARRIAGE AND THE DEBATE CONCERNING THE CIVILLY REMARRIED AND THE SACRAMENTS | Archbishop Gerhard Ludwig Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
This is also in Remaining in the Truth of Christ, Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church by Author: Fr. Robert Dodaro O.S.D.
– Cf. Filial Appeal Association Releases New Book on Synod [Preferential Option for the Family – One Hundred Questions and One Hundred Answers Regarding the Synod] Written by Three Bishops | The American TFP.
I ask you, please, to not neglect your prayer. All of us – the Pope, Cardinals, Bishops, priests, religious, lay faithful – we are all called to pray for the Synod. There is need of this, not of chatter! I also invite those who feel far away, or who are not accustomed to do so, to pray. This prayer for the Synod on the Family is for the good of everyone. – Pope Francis, Pope calls for renewed prayers for Synod on the Family | Vatican Radio.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
In you we contemplate
The splendour of true love,
We turn to you with confidence.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
Make our families, also,
Places of communion and cenacles of prayer,
Authentic schools of the Gospel,
And little domestic Churches.
Holy Family of Nazareth
May our families never more experience
Violence, isolation, and division:
May anyone who was wounded or scandalized
Rapidly experience consolation and healing.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
May the upcoming Synod of Bishops
Re-awaken in all an awareness
Of the sacred character and inviolability of the family,
Its beauty in the project of God.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
Hear and answer our prayer. Amen.
Good children listen with profound respect to even the simplest advice of the common Father and try sincerely to put it into practice. – In Conversation with God, 68.3, Francis Fernandez, Fourth Sunday of Easter, THE GOOD SHEPHERD. LOVE FOR THE POPE