May 31, 2016
Posted by Tantumblogo
Cardinal Caffara of Bologna made minor waves recently by declaring that, owing to the contradictory interpretations already being made of the document, Francis’ post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia is “objectively unclear.” He further states that whenever one happens upon a novel pronouncement of the Magisterium that is unclear in nature, a faithful soul has the duty to accept the Doctrine and practice as lived by the preceding Magisterium …
Makes eminent sense to me. But given that we already have not just “mere” bishops, but high ranking cardinals, arguing passionately over not just the interpretation of Vatican II, but whether or not certain decrees of Vatican II are even binding on conscience, does the same line of reasoning put forth by Cardinal Caffara not apply?
And, of course, by declaring that the Magisterium cannot contradict itself, and assuming the notion of non-contradiction still applies in Church affairs, does this not also provide at least a tacit, if likely unintentional, support for the argument of many traditionally-minded Catholics that those portions of Vatican II that do certainly appear to contradict the prior Magisterium not only can be, but should be ignored? Cardinal Caffara may well say no, but doesn’t his argument here, with regard to Amoris Laetitia, also have implications for Vatican II? And if not, why not?
Is this not what many bewildered Catholics have not wondered for decades? I guess to make my point perfectly clear, if one can say that a papal exhortation can be “unclear” and give rise to destructive, heterodox interpretations, why can the same not be said about other recent acts of the Church hierarchy that are manifestly unclear and appear to contradict the prior Magisterium? At the very least, how on earth are lowly lay people to determine what is the authentic interpretation of each, when the very hierarchy that is supposed to tell us these things has lost its mind?
No wonder the Vatican II apologists have taken the Doctrine of the Faith, which used to be described as simple enough for anyone with even a basic education to observe, and turned it into this incredibly complex, nuanced, subtle, and seemingly self-contradictory ball of meaningless that it takes extensive post-licentiate work to even begin to understand?
Or perhaps total doctrinal confusion was the point all along? It makes a great environment to make the “doctrine” say whatever you want it to from one moment to the next, depending on what the vagaries of the world demand. Bug, feature, etc.