Three Bishops call Pope’s reading of Amoris Laetitia “alien” to Catholic faith

BREAKING: Three Bishops call Pope’s reading of Amoris Laetitia “alien” to Catholic faith

Diane Montagna

ROME, January 2, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Three bishops have spoken out against Pope Francis’ interpretation of Amoris Laetitia to allow some remarried divorcees access to Holy Communion, saying such a reading is causing “rampant confusion,” is “alien” to the Catholic faith, and will spread “a plague of divorce” in the Church.

Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary of Astana, Kazakhstan, Archbishop Tomash Peta, Metropolitan of Astana, and Archbishop Jan Pawel Lenga of Karaganda, Kazakhstan issued a Profession of the immutable truths about sacramental marriage on December 31 as a “service of charity in truth” to the Church of today and to the Pope.

The bishops took the decision to make a “public and unequivocal profession of the truth” regarding the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage because they say they “are not allowed to be silent.”

As Catholic bishops charged with defending and promoting the Catholic faith and common discipline, they say they have a “grave responsibility” and “duty before the faithful” who expect from them “a public and unequivocal profession of the truth and the immutable discipline of the Church regarding the indissolubility of marriage.”

They note that after the publication of Pope Francis’ document on the family, Amoris Laetitia, various bishops and bishops’ conferences have issued norms allowing some civilly remarried divorcees, not living in sexual continence, to receive the sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion. They point out that these various hierarchical authorities (Germany, Malta, and Buenos Aires, although they do not cite them by name), have also received approval “even from the supreme authority of the Church.”

Last month Pope Francis decided to formally declare the Buenos Aires bishops’ interpretation of Amoris Laetitia “authentic magisterium.”

The spread of these ecclesiastically approved pastoral norms “has caused a considerable and ever increasing confusion among the faithful and the clergy” and are “a means of spreading the ‘plague of divorce’” in the Church, the Kazakhstan bishops write.

“Our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ solemnly reaffirmed God’s will regarding the absolute prohibition of divorce,” they recall, and the Church has always preserved and faithfully transmitted both in her doctrine and sacramental discipline “the crystalline teaching of Christ” concerning the indissolubility of marriage.

“Because of the vital importance that the doctrine and discipline of marriage and the Eucharist constitute, the Church is obliged to speak with the same voice. The pastoral norms regarding the indissolubility of marriage must not, therefore, be contradicted between one diocese and another, between one country and another.”

“Since the time of the Apostles,” the bishops explain, “the Church has observed this principle as St. Irenaeus of Lyons testifies”:

“The Church, though spread throughout the world to the ends of the earth, having received the faith from the Apostles and their disciples, preserves this preaching and this faith with care and, as if she inhabits a single house, believes in the same identical way, as if she had only one soul and only one heart, and preaches the truth of the faith, teaches it and transmits it in a unanimous voice, as if she had only one mouth” (Adversus haereses, I, 10, 2).

They further recall Pope John Paul II’s warning that the confusion sown in the consciences of the faithful by different “opinions and teachings” would diminish the “true sense of sin, almost to the point of eliminating it.”

Pope John Paul II erected St. Mary in Astana in 1999 and promoted it to an archdiocese on May 17, 2003, appointing Polish-born Tomash Peta as its archbishop. At the Ordinary Synod on the Family in 2015, Archbishop Peta, who attended as the delegate of Kazakhstan, began his brief intervention with the words Blessed Pope Paul VI pronounced in 1972: “From some crack the smoke of Satan has entered the temple of God.”

He then told the Synod Fathers who were assembled: “I am convinced that these were prophetic words of the holy pope, the author of Humanae vitae. During the Synod last year [in 2014], ‘the smoke of Satan’ was trying to enter the aula of Paul VI.” The archbishop added: “Unfortunately, one can still perceive the smell of this ‘infernal smoke’ in some items of the Instrumentum Laboris and also in the interventions of some synod fathers this year.” [Read the intervention here.]

In the Profession, (provided in full below) Bishop Athanasius Schneider, along with Archbishops Peta and Lenga, reiterate for the faithful seven immutable truths about the sacrament of marriage, and “in the spirit of St. John the Baptist, of St. John Fisher, of St. Thomas More, of Blessed Laura Vicuña and of numerous known and unknown confessors and martyrs of the indissolubility of marriage” affirm:

It is not licit (non licet) to justify, approve, or legitimize either directly or indirectly divorce and a non-conjugal stable sexual relationship through the sacramental discipline of the admission of so-called “divorced and remarried” to Holy Communion, in this case a discipline alien to the entire Tradition of the Catholic and Apostolic faith.

Read the full text of the Profession of the immutable truths about sacramental marriage here.

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
http://angelqueen.org/2018/01/01/three-bishops-call-popes-reading-of-amoris-laetitia-alien-to-catholic-faith/
Get AQ Email Updates
AQ RSS Feed

3 comments on “Three Bishops call Pope’s reading of Amoris Laetitia “alien” to Catholic faith

  1. [More from OnePeterFive]

    Kazakhstan Bishops Call Communion for Remarried “Alien to the Entire Tradition of the Catholic and Apostolic Faith”

    January 1, 2018

    Almost exactly a year after they issued a call for prayer that the pope would uphold Catholic teaching on marriage, three bishops from Kazakhstan — Tomash Peta, Metropolitan Archbishop of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana, Jan Pawel Lenga, Archbishop-Bishop emeritus of Karaganda, and Athanasius Schneider, Auxiliary Bishop of the archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana — have issued a new statement, saying that any change in sacramental discipline that would allow Catholic divorcees living in new sexual unions to receive Holy Communion is “alien to the entire Tradition of the Catholic and Apostolic faith”.

    One year ago this month, these same bishops issued a joint statement urging the faithful to pray that Pope Francis would “confirm the unchanging praxis of the Church with regard to the truth of the indissolubility of marriage.”

    As 1P5 reported last January:

    The statement, issued on January 18th, the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter, is much more than a solicitation to storm heaven. The bishops document their concerns with “published norms” for the “application and interpretations” of Amoris Laetitia “whereby the divorced who have attempted civil marriage with a new partner, notwithstanding the sacramental bond by which they are joined to their legitimate spouse, are admitted to the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist without fulfilling the duty, established by God, of ceasing to violate the bond of their existing sacramental marriage.”

    The bishops assert that “Pastors of the Church who tolerate or authorize, even in individual or exceptional cases, the reception of the sacrament of the Eucharist by the divorced and so-called “remarried,” without their being clothed in the ‘wedding garment,’… are complicit in this way with a continual offense against the sacramental bond of marriage, the nuptial bond between Christ and the Church and the nuptial bond between Christ and the individual soul who receives his Eucharistic Body.”

    Making mention of particular churches that have issued pastoral guidelines for the implementation of Amoris Laetitia along such lines, the bishop say that such guidelines “contradict the universal tradition of the Catholic Church, which by means of an uninterrupted Petrine Ministry of the Sovereign Pontiffs has always been faithfully kept, without any shadow of doubt or of ambiguity, either in its doctrine or its praxis, in that which concerns the indissolubility of marriage.”

    Pope Francis did not, however, respond to their insistence that “only the voice of the Supreme Pastor of the Church can definitively impede a situation where in the future, the Church of our time is described with the following expression: ‘all the world groaned and noticed with amazement that it has in practice accepted divorce’”. Instead, he chose to add his confirmation of the permissive interpretation in the guidelines of the bishops of Buenos Aires to the official acts of the Holy See — a decision that Cardinal Coccopalmerio, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, said makes it a part of the pope’s “authentic magisterium.”

    In their new statement, issued on the Feast of the Holy Family (Dec. 31), the Kazakhstani bishops do not specifically mention the recent actions of the pope, but nevertheless warn that “The admission of so-called ‘divorced and remarried’ faithful to Holy Communion, which is the highest expression of the unity of Christ the Spouse with His Church, means in practice a way of approving or legitimizing divorce, and in this meaning a kind of introduction of divorce in the life of the Church.” Further, they say, the new norms being implemented by bishops in various parts of the world (in line with the pope’s support of the Buenos Aires bishops) represent “a matter of spreading the ‘plague of divorce’ even in the life of the Church, when the Church, instead, because of her unconditional fidelity to the doctrine of Christ, should be a bulwark and an unmistakable sign of contradiction against the plague of divorce which is every day more rampant in civil society.”

    The bishops go on to explain the gravity of the shift in direction from the Vatican:

    Unequivocally and without admitting any exception Our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ solemnly reaffirmed God’s will regarding the absolute prohibition of divorce. An approval or legitimation of the violation of the sacredness of the marriage bond, even indirectly through the mentioned new sacramental discipline, seriously contradicts God’s express will and His commandment. This practice therefore represents a substantial alteration of the two thousand-year-old sacramental discipline of the Church. Furthermore, a substantially altered discipline will eventually lead to an alteration in the corresponding doctrine.

    The constant Magisterium of the Church, beginning with the teachings of the Apostles and of all the Supreme Pontiffs, has preserved and faithfully transmitted both in the doctrine (in theory) and in the sacramental discipline (in practice) in an unequivocal way, without any shadow of doubt and always in the same sense and in the same meaning (eodem sensu eademque sententia), the crystalline teaching of Christ concerning the indissolubility of marriage.

    Because of its Divinely established nature, the discipline of the sacraments must never contradict the revealed word of God and the faith of the Church in the absolute indissolubility of a ratified and consummated marriage. [emphasis added]

    In support of their position, the Kazakhstani bishops make ample reference to teaching and thought not just of the Second Vatican Council, but also of the conciliar and post-conciliar popes and other Vatican dicasteries, making it difficult for papal defenders to dismiss their claims as a solely traditionalist critique.

    They then invoke their obligation as bishops, who have a “grave responsibility” and “duty before the faithful who await from us a public and unequivocal profession of the truth and the immutable discipline of the Church regarding the indissolubility of marriage.”

    “For this reason,” they say, “we are not allowed to be silent.”

    They go on:

    We affirm therefore in the spirit of St. John the Baptist, of St. John Fisher, of St. Thomas More, of Blessed Laura Vicuña and of numerous known and unknown confessors and martyrs of the indissolubility of marriage:

    It is not licit (non licet) to justify, approve, or legitimize either directly or indirectly divorce and a non-conjugal stable sexual relationship through the sacramental discipline of the admission of so-called “divorced and remarried” to Holy Communion, in this case a discipline alien to the entire Tradition of the Catholic and Apostolic faith.

    By making this public profession before our conscience and before God who will judge us, we are sincerely convinced that we have provided a service of charity in truth to the Church of our day and to the Supreme Pontiff, Successor of Saint Peter and Vicar of Christ on earth.[emphasis in original]

  2. Former US Nuncio joins statement calling Pope’s reading of Amoris Laetitia ‘alien’ to Catholic faith

    Diane Montagna

    ROME, January 2, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Two Italian archbishops have joined three bishops of Kazakhstan in professing the “immutable truths about sacramental marriage.”

    Like the Kazakh Ordinaries, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former apostolic nuncio to the United States, and His Excellency Luigi Negri, archbishop emeritus of Ferrara-Comacchio, have taken issue with Pope Francis’ official interpretation of Amoris Laetitia to allow some “remarried” divorcees to receive Holy Communion.

    Last month Pope Francis decided to formally declare the Buenos Aires bishops’ interpretation of Amoris Laetitia “authentic magisterium.”

    In the profession, released Jan. 2, the Ordinaries, all from Kazakhstan and including auxiliary Bishop Athanasius Schneider of Astana, say that the Pope’s official interpretation, along with those of other bishops’ conferences such as Germany and Malta, is causing “rampant confusion,” and will spread a “plague of divorce,” and is “alien” to the entire Catholic Tradition and faith.

    In view of the “increasing confusion” spreading among clergy and laity alike, the bishops reassert the Church’s perennial teaching on the indissolubility of marriage, and argue that admitting some “remarried” divorcees (who do not have an annulment and are not living in sexual continence) to the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion, amounts to a “kind of introduction of divorce in the life of the Church.”

    The bishops underscore their “grave responsibility” and “duty to the faithful” who expect from them “a public and unequivocal profession of the truth and the immutable discipline of the Church regarding the indissolubility of marriage.”

    “For this reason, we are not allowed to be silent,” they add.

    Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò was ordained a priest on March 24, 1968. He entered the diplomatic service of the Holy See in 1973 and worked at the papal diplomatic missions in Iraq and Great Britain. He was named Special Envoy and Permanent Observer of the Holy See to the Council of Europe in Strasbourg in 1989, and Apostolic Nuncio to Nigeria by Pope John Paul II in 1992. At the close of his mission to Nigeria, Viganò was assigned as an official of the Secretariat of State. He was named Secretary General of the Governorate of Vatican City State from 2009-2011, until his appointment as Apostolic Nuncio to the U.S. His brother, Lorenzo, is a Jesuit priest.

    Archbishop Luigi Negri was ordained to the priesthood on June 28, 1972 and was appointed bishop of San Marino-Montefeltro by Pope John Paul II on March 17, 2005. In December 2012 he was promoted to archbishop of Ferrara-Commacchio, an office which he held until February 3, 2017.

    “Archbishop Negri is known as energetic pastor, theologian and philosopher; Bishops Viganò is regarded as a distinguished diplomat and excellent administrator,” the Italian news agency Corrispondenza Romana noted in a statement released earlier this evening in Rome.

    Both archbishops participated in a conference marking the upcoming 50th anniversary of Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae. The conference, entitled Humanae Vitae at 50: Setting the Context, was hosted at the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) in Rome last October and featured talks by German Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, Italian historian Prof. Roberto de Mattei, and Austrian philosopher Prof. Joseph Seifert. It aimed at offering participants an opportunity to study Humanae Vitae in the context of its time, as well as its place in the continuity of the Church’s perennial teaching and in the life of Catholics today.

Leave a Reply