September 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Some of the scholars who sent an appeal to the 218 Cardinals and patriarchs are under fire for urging corrective measures to clarify “a number of statements that can be understood in a sense that is contrary to Catholic faith and morals” in Amoris Laetitia.
A few weeks ago, a letter from Pope Francis surfaced that expressed the Holy Father’s support to the bishops of the Buenos Aires, Argentina, pastoral region that read: “No other interpretation” of Amoris Laetitia is valid, consequently allowing the distribution of Holy Communion to divorced/remarried (Catholics) in some cases — certainly one of the hot topics in question.
Many of the signatories of the scholarly appeal remain anonymous to protect their reputation and jobs. Yet some are still suffering pressure for their attempt to stay faithful to Church teaching and tradition.
LifeSiteNews has gathered information – confirmed by several of the signatories, including the spokesperson, Dr. Joseph Shaw – that one signatory, who is well known internationally, has lost his position as a director of academic affairs at a Pontifical university.
Another was threatened by his bishop that his academic sabbatical would be canceled, but he found another bishop willing to allow him to begin the process of incardination in his diocese.
Yet another has been forbidden to speak publicly about Amoris Laetitia, and another has been told to rescind his signature.
And a Cardinal put pressure on one of the signatories to withdraw his name.
Two clear conclusions can be drawn: first, many of the suffering parties are under pressure not by remote institutions but by high-ranking individuals in the hierarchy. Second, the scholars’ document has opened the discussion on a wide public field and given rise to similar demands by individuals and groups.
In an earlier interview regarding the intention of the appeal, Shaw explained: “It is our hope that by seeking from our Holy Father a definitive repudiation of these errors we can help to allay the confusion already brought about by Amoris Laetitia among pastors and the lay faithful, for that confusion can be dispelled effectively only by an unambiguous affirmation of authentic Catholic teaching by the Successor of Peter.”
Regarding the persecution of the signatories, Shaw told LifeSiteNews on September 27: “It is distressing to hear of people, particularly clergy, suffering because they have signed this letter. It was, after all, a private letter to prelates expressing, without rancor or accusations, a request for clarification about questions the objective theological difficulties of which are acknowledged right across the spectrum of opinion. It is particularly disappointing to see Catholics in positions of authority who regard themselves as supporters of the Holy Father, not simply ignoring his repeated calls for parrhesia — fearless and candid discussion — but actively seeking to suppress it.”