Amoris Laetitia Laxity Trickles Down to Parish Level

Amoris Laetitia Laxity Trickles Down to Parish Level

BY FATHER BRIAN HARRISON, O.S. ON JUNE 13, 2016 ON 1P5 BLOG

The following paragraph is a citation from an email I received recently from a devout Catholic lady here in St. Louis who sometimes visits my church for Mass. She has given permission for this slightly edited version of her remarks to be made known to others who may be concerned about the grass-roots-level fallout from Amoris Laetitia. Her experience may well be symptomatic of situations that will now arise more and more frequently as the result of the Apostolic Exhortation’s tendentious guidelines for the pastoral “accompaniment” of divorced and remarried Catholics.

I’m especially concerned about the turmoil Amoris Laetitia will create at parish level. I’ve already seen this in action with good friends of ours who are in an irregular marriage. Their new pastor invited them to present themselves for Communion because they had “certainly done their penance.” They announced this to a Catholic group we belong to, to let us know that after not receiving Communion since their civil marriage over 25 years ago – and yet always going to Mass – they would now be receiving. Everyone in the group expressed their happiness and support of this decision – except me and my husband. We just sat stunned that there was no concern for their souls in receiving Communion unworthily. This priest – who is an older pastor – has led them into grave sin. I’ve suggested to my husband that our group be renamed to the Not-So-Catholics. I recommended to our friends in the irregular marriage that they read the [“five cardinals’”] book, Remaining in the Truth of Christ, which they did. They are still going to Communion. I just keep them in my prayers. I wonder how many other couples that pastor has led astray. And if he excuses this sin, I can only imagine what other sins he excuses.

If nothing else, the above testimony gives an indication of the kind of division and confusion over this issue that is likely to spread now in many or most dioceses, as different pastors interpret and implement AL in very different ways. It is likely to get to the point of the word getting around that if you’re divorced and civilly remarried, Father X in Parish A will give you Communion, but Father Y in Parish B won’t. (What’s mortal sin in one parish is quite OK in the next!)

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One comment on “Amoris Laetitia Laxity Trickles Down to Parish Level

  1. Fr. Harrison says:

    If nothing else, the above testimony gives an indication of the kind of division and confusion over this issue that is likely to spread now in many or most dioceses, as different pastors interpret and implement AL in very different ways. It is likely to get to the point of the word getting around that if you’re divorced and civilly remarried, Father X in Parish A will give you Communion, but Father Y in Parish B won’t. (What’s mortal sin in one parish is quite OK in the next!)

    As I have previously commented on AQ:

    A new version of “cuius regio, eius religio”? – A Latin phrase which literally means “whose region, his religion,” meaning that the religion of the ruler of a region was to dictate the religion of that region. At the Peace of Augsburg of 1555, which ended a period of armed conflict between Roman Catholic and Protestant forces within the Holy Roman Empire, the rulers of the German-speaking states and Charles V, the Emperor, agreed to accept this principle – Wikipedia. Thus, the bishop(s) of a region or a diocese determine whether or not adulterers and other public sinners may receive Holy Communion – for example, in countries such as Germany the bishops would say “Yes,” while in Poland they would say “No”; or in dioceses such as Chicago where Abp. Cupich has no problems with couples in adulterous or sodomite unions receiving Holy Communion as long as they do such in “good conscience.”

    Add to that mix: The pastor of a parish.

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