Posted by Oakes Spalding on 1/30/17
A few weeks ago, Archbishop Charles Scicluna and the only other Maltese bishop Mario Grech, published controversial guidelines for the interpretation of the Papal exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Among other things, the guidelines stated that the divorced and remarried can receive communion “as long as they are peace with God.”
Today, Edward Pentin has an interesting albeit disturbing article where he dissects the first interview on the matter given by Scicluna. I encourage you to read it here.
But the thing that jumped out the most for me was Pentin’s account of some additional statements that Scicluna made subsequent to the interview:
Archbishop Scicluna’s wish to avoid addressing previous papal teaching was further witnessed the next day. In a homily on the Feast of the Conversion of St Paul in Birkirkara, Malta, Jan. 25, he said: “Whoever wishes to discover what the true will of Christ is for him, the true heart of Jesus, he should ask the Church, not blogs.”
To which any Catholic would answer, “of course.” Then came the kicker:
“He must ask the Pope and the bishops who are in communion with the Pope,” he added. “Whoever wishes to discover what Jesus wants from him, he must ask the Pope, this Pope, not the one who came before him, or the one who came before that. This present Pope.”
Now, this latter claim would have made even the most extreme Ultramontanist blush. All past Church pronouncements are meaningless. The current Pope is infallible on all relevant things, at least until he dies, at which point his declarations become a dead letter, and the opinions and statements of the next Pope become the new standard.
That may be Amoris, but it’s not Catholic.
But actually it’s even weirder than that. Note that Scicluna doesn’t speak of a Church member understanding “teachings” or “doctrine,” but rather of a faithful Catholic “discovering” (and only by asking the Pope) “what Jesus wants for him.”
Bergoglio as Sun Myung Moon.
The difference of course is that instead of your True Father arranging a first marriage for you, Francis is giving you a bit of help with your second one.
Or your third one.
Or however many it might take for you to finally be “at peace with God.”
And then there’s this other minor problem. The only person you’re allowed to go to for guidance is the Pope. But in the most well-known instance of a Catholic or group of Catholics asking the Pope for guidance – by asking five yes or no questions – the Pope refused to answer. And those who asked the questions (along with their perceived allies) appear now to be undergoing a purge.
As far as I know, even Moon wasn’t that difficult.