Cardinal Schönborn Says Amoris Laetitia is Binding Doctrine

Cardinal Schönborn Says Amoris Laetitia is Binding Doctrine


Austrian Catholic website reports that on 7 July, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn published an interview in the Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, in which he said that Amoris Laetitia is a binding doctrinal document. From now on, says Schönborn, all the previous magisterial texts concerning marriage and the family “have to be read in the light of Amoris Laetitia.”

Schönborn also said in this interview – a fuller excerpt of this text has now been published in English in the Jesuit journal Civiltà Cattolica – that it is “obvious” that Amoris Laetitia is an act of the Magisterium since it is an Apostolic Exhortation. reports:

All previous magisterial statements concerning marriage and the family now have to be read in the light of Amoris Laetitia, Schönborn stressed, and just as today the First Vatican Council (1869-1870) must be interpreted in the light of the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965).

Cardinal Raymond Burke had previously claimed that Amoris Laetitia did not have a doctrinally binding character; Cardinal Carlo Caffarra and Cardinal Walter Brandmüller both had insisted that Amoris Laetitia had to be read in light of the previous magisterial texts.

Cardinal Schönborn also now says that Amoris Laetitia is “an authentic lesson of the holy teaching” which now actualizes doctrine for today’s world. He added, according to

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, as Prefect for the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, had once told him, during that time, that one should not handle all of the cases of the remarried divorcees according to one overall general rule.

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15 comments on “Cardinal Schönborn Says Amoris Laetitia is Binding Doctrine

  1. I have added a third line to my doggerel verse on Frankenpope and his magisterium:

    I am the Pope of this Body Ecclesial,
    And anything that I write or say is magisterial,
    And all that has been taught before is immaterial.

  2. Plagiarising Gilbert & Sullivan. Think what they could have done with our current situation and dilemma, it might lighten life!



      by Clare Coffey

      I am the very model of a modern ultramontanist
      I’ve been congratulated as an excellent dialogist
      I have degrees from all the best colleges of theology
      I do not know quite what it means but I reject ontology
      I understand the finer points both nuanced and theoretical
      and when I go on twitter Ross Douthat calls me heretical
      I’ve many sage remarks to make on what I call the Christ event
      and just how many tragic deaths forbidden condoms could prevent

      I much prefer to shun the works of any scholar scholastic
      I find the very concept of forgiveness rather elastic
      in short, as such an erudite and excellent dialogist
      I am the very model of a modern ultramontanist

      I’ve listed all the ways the church might deepen its humility
      I send my kids to Jesuit factories of gentility
      I’ve quoted bits of Newman and I’ve memorized my Bernardin
      and when it comes right down to it I couldn’t name a mortal sin
      I keep my Rahner library in an embossed ciborium
      I purchase all my pinafores at a fair trade emporium
      I sing a new church into life with quite a catchy guitar hook
      And whistle all the airs from that infernal Haugen hymnal book

      Then I can write decrials of a medieval mentality
      and open letters calling for civil collegiality
      In short as such an erudite and excellent dialogist
      I am the very model of a modern ultramontanist

      In fact, when l learn what’s meant by “abbot” and “episcopal”
      When I have clearly understood why Mass precludes a disco ball
      When I distinguish easily dissent from sensus fidei
      And when I know the diff’rence twixt a rose window and rosary
      When I can sing the Salve like a dutiful Gregorian
      When I know all my heresies, Arian and Nestorian
      In short when I have exercised my understanding to the full
      A better ultramontanist never bestrode a papal bull

      For though my theologic bent is bounded by this century
      I’m of a temperament so fearless, plucky and adventur-y
      You must admit that as an erudite elite dialogist
      I am the very model of a modern ultramontanist

      • Dear Clare Coffey, This is brilliant and hillarious. Thanks!

        Tom, where did you find this? BTW, we must forward your doggerel verse to Rome in anticipation of Frankenpope’s eventual burial. I’ll add for the ceremony:

        Remembering Francis
        Whom this day we curse
        And engrave his stone
        With this doggerel verse.


        • An Internet search for a satire of NewChurch based on Gilbert & Sullivan’s “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General” ironically led me to Fr. Z’s website, from which I copied it. The original source is the neo-Catholic First Things.

    • The inspiration of the first two lines of my doggerel verse is the one about the 19th-century Classical scholar Benjamin Jowett when he was the Master (President) of Balliol College at Oxford University:

      I am Master of this College,
      What I don’t know isn’t knowledge.

  3. Captain Kirk: Mister Spock! Amoris Laetitia and Ultramontane modernists making up new doctrines…analyze using your usual superior Vulcan logic!

    Spock: Fascinating, Captain. However, I should offer one fraternal correction before we proceed any further. During the Year of Mercy under the Bergoglian pontificate, in the interests of ecumenical dialogue and the new evangelization of culture, we do not speak of logic as being superior out of concern for not appearing to be too rigid or judgmental. Beyond the additional multicultural concerns about the logocentric and Eurocentric microaggressions involved in the use of Aristotelian logic in general, there is the matter of neo-Pelagian triumphalism which we must try to avoid so as not to stray from the tolerance and diversity of ecumenical dialogue.

    Captain Kirk: Oh. I’m sorry, Mister Spock. I wasn’t aware of these concerns. Please continue in any manner that feels comfortable.

    Spock: Indeed, Captain. While trying to observe the neo-Kantian boundaries and hermeneutics of modernist discourse, we can consider many hypotheticals and possibilities relating to this quandary. If, for instance, a progressive modernist from the Weston School of Theology claimed that the supernatural substance and eschatological structure of the Catholic faith could be adequately replaced by the Marxist “praxis” of Liberation theology through economics and progressive politics, it is safe to conclude that there would be some disagreement by ultra-conservatives and neo-Pelagian triumphalists on this point which progressives modernists would qualify as “rigid” and even quite possibly as judgmental and reactionary. That much we could regard as being true, factually and ontologically in the traditional pre-Bergoglian conception of reality.

    Captain Kirk: Oh, yes, I can see that, Mister Spock. By all means, let’s observe the neo-Kantian boundaries and hermeneutics of modernist discourse while trying to tell the truth at the same time.

    Father Mulcahy, S.J.: Oh, yes, Father Gannon and Father W. Norris Clarke always insisted that we do that at Fordham. We must always tell the truth. It’s one of the transcendentals in the metaphysics of St. Thomas Aquinas. I remember our having to translate the Quaestiones disputatae de veritate like it was yesterday….Koufax and Drysdale were both pitching for the Dodgers then. Of course, it was quite a long ride from the Bronx to Ebbets Field in those days and they had some very good hot dog stands in Brooklyn then…Father Gannon liked the Polish sausage with extra onions…but never on Friday which was reserved for fish in the 1950s before Vatican II came along….

    Father Sarducci: Neo-Kantian hermeneutics is like that sometimes….

    Hans Küng: I would like to address that….

    Henry VIII: Did someone say something about changing the rules on marriage and divorce?

    Reverend Neuhaus: That’s my opening. Forgive me for interrupting again as aggressive and pushy professional Protestant converts sometimes do, but I would like to say something here about the Naked Public Square in modernity and Professor Charles Taylor’s secularization theories….

  4. Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar: Why can’t we just make up whatever doctrines we like?

    Alice: I’m not really sure. They said something about neo-Kantian hermeneutics.

    Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar: Neo-Kantian what?

    Alice: Um….neo-Kantian hermeneutics.

    Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar: Oh, neo-Kantian hermeneutics again….Well, that is something that we know something about. But in modernity, my dear, we just make up whatever doctrines we like and since they don’t teach metaphysics or ontology in modern schools, no one can tell the difference.

    Captain Kirk: Is that right, Mister Spock?

    Spock: Affirmative, Captain. The prohibition on teaching Thomistic metaphysics or ontology is back up by the so-called “Separation of Church and State” in the legal jargon of secular humanism.
    There is a genuine lack of understanding of basic principles of metaphysics and ontology so that when new doctrines and ideological theories are made up and imposed most Americans can’t tell the difference.

    Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar: Yes. Not only are they unable to tell the difference but they don’t even know that there is such a thing. Neat, huh?

    Alice: Oh, my gosh! That’s terrible!

    Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar: John Rawls, call your office…

    Reverend Neuhaus: That’s my opening….

  5. Father Mulcahy, S.J.: Father W. Norris Clarke was a stickler on this point of responding to questions truthfully. And, of course, that was a rule in the Society of Jesus back in those days. Let’s see…we should have the answer here somewhere…Oh, yes….

    Secundum hoc ergo veritas sive verum tripliciter invenitur diffiniri. Uno modo secundum illud quod praecedit rationem veritatis, et in quo verum fundatur; et sic Augustinus definit in Lib. Solil.: verum est id quod est; et Avicenna in sua Metaphysic.: veritas cuiusque rei est proprietas sui esse quod stabilitum est ei; et quidam sic: verum est indivisio esse, et quod est. Alio modo definitur secundum id in quo formaliter ratio veri perficitur; et sic dicit Isaac quod veritas est adaequatio rei et intellectus; et Anselmus in Lib. de veritate: veritas est rectitudo sola mente perceptibilis. Rectitudo enim ista secundum adaequationem quamdam dicitur, et philosophus dicit in IV Metaphysic., quod definientes verum dicimus cum dicitur esse quod est, aut non esse quod non est.

    Father Sarducci: verum est id quod est? You will notice that there is no mention of cows and global warming. Yet….

    Captain Kirk: That’s an interesting point, Mister Spock. Or would this be another Eurocentric microaggression?

    Spock: Quite possibly, Captain. Citing the Quaestiones disputatae de veritate of St. Thomas Aquinas without exegesis might be considered unfair to the non-Catholic faculty making decisions for the university. That could be considered a microaggression of Eurocentric Catholic privilege in the doctrines of political correctness.

    Bob Hope: More of that pre-Vatican II stuff, huh?

    Bing: I’m afraid so, Junior!

    Father Fitzgibbon: What about the Disputed Questions on the Virtues?

    Father Mulcahy, S.J.: Oh, that’s a valid point! Klinger, have you ever read the
    Quaestiones disputatae de virtutibus by St. Thomas Aquinas?

    Hitchcock: As Father Thurston used to say, the quest for virtue is a challenging and arduous undertaking.

  6. … et sic dicit Isaac quod veritas est adaequatio rei et intellectus

    Prof. Blondel: Mais, non! The old way of conforming the mind to the object, to reality, is passé. Truth is the conformity of the mind with the requirements of human life. It is necessary that my truth is my truth, your truth is your truth, and there can no longer be rigidity on this. Acknowledging, however, that the phenomenologist pope Wojtyla is a saint, you must agree with me on this, that the relativity of truth is infallibly true!

  7. Professor Husserl: Ah! We must bracket and suspend all such claims of judgment about the natural world to focus on description and analysis of experience instead. I label this revolutionary procedure the epoché from the ancient Greek ἐποχή (“suspension”). When we have suspended judgment regarding the naïve philosophical belief in the existence of the external world and all such metaphysical claims, then we can begin the description of the acts and data of consciousness in phenomenological experience!

    The Professor: Why, yes, Gilligan. Phenomenology is one of the most important movements in modern Continental philosophy. Although no two professors can agree on what it is, everyone is talking about it.

    Ginger: Isn’t this exciting? Gilligan’s taking the neo-Kantian Transcendental turn and heading into Phenomenology!

    Mary Ann: Oh, I just hope he can remember the directions to Louvain!

    Gilligan: But how do I get to Louvain, Ginger?

    Ginger: It’s somewhere between France and Amsterdam.
    I hear they have good beer there….

    Professor Derrida: Here Ginger is subverting the discourse…

    The Professor: Forget about who you really are, just try to focus on the eidetic essence of Mary Ann Summers as you might encounter the intentional data of consciousness in the flow of phenomenological experience if you were Ginger talking to Mary Ann. Now, describe that for me….

    Father Copleston, S.J.: Perhaps we should comment on that at some length…

    Professor Sartre: Yes, I was going to mention that…

    Reverend Neuhaus: That’s my opening. Forgive me for interrupting again as aggressive and pushy professional Protestant converts sometimes do, but I would like to say something here about the Naked Public Square in modernity, Max Weber’s concept of disenchantment, and Professor Charles Taylor’s secularization theories….

    • Mary Ann: I just don’t feel myself anymore, Gilligan.

      Gilligan: I always go to the lagoon after talking to the Professor because there’s something fishy about it.

      • Mary Ann: Can’t we say what a lagoon is?

        Gilligan: I don’t think so, Mary Ann. We’re just supposed to bracket that with the phenomenological epoché and describe the intentional data of consciousness from the lagoon as it appears and as we experience it within the flow of phenomenological experience.

        Mary Ann: And this leads us back to the things themselves?

        Gilligan: Theoretically….

  8. Father Fitzgibbon: They do have fine beer in Louvain. That part is ontologically true with metaphysical certitude, Father O’Malley.

    Father O’Malley: I promise that I won’t go neo-Kantian on that, Father.

    Father Fitzgibbon: Well, almost as good as in Dublin, but….

  9. Father Mulcahy, S.J.: Of course, Father Gannon was also what would now be considered an ultra-conservative defender of the neo-Pelagian triumphalist idea that we should all learn the Aristotelian law of non-contradiction as well.

    Alice: What’s the Aristotelian law of non-contradiction?

    Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar: Well, As Benjamin Jowett, John Henry Newman, John Keble, Edward Pusey, Charles Pourtales Golightly, and even Bertrand Russell could have explained, the Aristotelian law of non-contradiction, if I may quote liberally, ” is the second of the three classic laws of thought. It states that contradictory statements cannot both be true in the same sense at the same time, e.g. the two propositions “A is B” and “A is not B” are mutually exclusive.” But in modernity, we don’t have to follow such rigid principles.

    Alice: Why not? It sounded sensible enough.

    Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar: Why not? Why not, you say? Because it’s a lot of old, medieval, Roman, popish baggage that gets in the way.

    Alice: Gets in the way of what?

    Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar: It gets in the way.

    Alice: Like what? What does it get in the way of?

    Hookah-Smoking Caterpillar: Don’t end a question with a dangling preposition, you silly young girl!

    It gets in the way of the subjective. Of the mind, of what is pleasing, of what we want,
    Of the Long March of the Frankfurt School, Fabian Socialism, and social engineering. The whole agenda of gnostic illumination and turning nature on its head. That’s what!

    And since we can make up whatever doctrines we like, it must go! Along with metaphysics and all of that popish medieval superstition and metaphysical gibberish about an objective truth that stands in the way!

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