Did the Pope himself wonder whether Amoris Laetitia was orthodox?

Did the Pope himself wonder whether Amoris Laetitia was orthodox?

[His Holiness depends upon his yes-men to assure him of the orthodoxy of his writings; he paid no attention to the 20+ page critique by Cardinal Muller’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith supplied in advance of AL’s publication]

By Phil Lawler | Jul 17, 2017

Pope Francis has referred to Cardinal Christoph Schönborn as the “authoritative interpreter” of Amoris Laetitia. So when the Austrian cardinal spoke to an Irish audience about the controversial papal document, people naturally paid careful attention.

According to Austen Ivereigh’s account:

Schönborn revealed that when he met the Pope shortly after the presentation of Amoris, Francis thanked him, and asked him if the document was orthodox.
“I said, ‘Holy Father, it is fully orthodox’,” Schönborn told us he told the pope, adding that a few days later he received from Francis a little note that said: “Thank you for that word. That gave me comfort.”

Assuming that it is accurate—and we have no reason to doubt that it is—Cardinal Schönborn’s anecdote presents us with an astonishing picture: The successor to St. Peter—the man whose solemn duty it is to guard the deposit of the faith—is asking another prelate whether his own teaching is orthodox. And he is comforted to hear an affirmative answer.

More: Pope Francis consults with Cardinal Schönborn—one of his close advisers, and a respected theologian—and looks for assurance that his teaching is orthodox, after the document has been issued.

It is ordinary procedure for a Pope to draft a document and then circulate it privately among respected cardinals and theologians, asking them if they could detect any difficulties, so that inaccuracies can be corrected before promulgating the document. According to a rumor that is too widespread to be dismissed, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith submitted dozens of suggested amendments to Amoris Laetitia, and they were all ignored. Of course the Holy Father has every right to accept or reject suggestions from his staff.

Cardinal Schönborn’s account leads toward the stunning possibility that Pope Francis was not entirely sure about the orthodoxy of Amoris Laetitia even after he released it. At the very least the fact that he could take “comfort” in Cardinal Schönborn’s reassurance tells us the Pope knew some influential prelates would find the document unsound.

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3 comments on “Did the Pope himself wonder whether Amoris Laetitia was orthodox?



  1. How to recognize the signs when it is time for a loved one to consider assisted living….

    • At first blush, I thought you might be talking about Phil Lawler. Scraping the barrel of Francis’ semi-conscious quips to find evidence that he could yet be accused of having some semblance of the Catholic Faith is a futile endeavor.

  2. Quote: “Cardinal Schönborn’s account leads toward the stunning possibility that Pope Francis was not entirely sure about the orthodoxy of Amoris Laetitia even after he released it.”

    On the bright side, Bergoglio did not include a rant against Church Militant, fundamentalists, and integralists, exaggerating their influence and significance wildly out of proportion. Now, the reason for Church Militant coming in for special admonishment from Bergoglian modernists has to do with conversion therapy and what they (the modernists) perceive as gay bashing. It’s an emotional reaction. It pretty much serves the same function as the way liberals always used to blame Rush Limbaugh for creating an atmosphere of hate and thinking he was the cause of all of their electoral failures. If someone points out to Bergoglian modernists in the Vatican that Church Militant actually has very little influence of such matters as Catholic political affiliation in the U.S., they would just look perplexed and confused, as this bumps into their persecution fantasies. For them it’s irrelevant. It’s an emotional issue. Church Militant must be punished for talking about gay infiltration in the priesthood. Period. On the other hand, Spadaro didn’t blame Boris and Natasha, claiming the Russians are behind conservative Catholics. Give them time….

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