Figments. If Instead of Bergoglio They Had Elected Cardinal Scola Pope

Figments. If Instead of Bergoglio They Had Elected Cardinal Scola Pope

Scola

Sandro Magister – 9/6/18

The explosive indictment against Pope Francis by the former nuncio in the United States Carlo Maria Viganò has obscured the other controversial points of this pontificate. In particular, that of communion for the divorced and remarried.

Francis has never replied to the “dubia” raised in this regard by four authoritative cardinals. Nor has he ever had any interest in receiving them. While in the meantime he has agreed that the “liberal” interpretations of his post-synodal exhortation “Amoris Laetitia” should be put into practice.

In recent weeks, however, another cardinal of the highest caliber has taken the field to reiterate the ‘no’ to communion for the divorced and remarried: Angelo Scola, 77, the most voted-for – as rumor has it – in the first ballot of the conclave that ultimately elected Jorge Mario Bergoglio.

Scola was archbishop of Milan from 2011 to 2017, after having been patriarch of Venice and before that bishop of Grosseto, rector of the Pontifical Lateran University, and a professor of theology in Fribourg, in the footsteps of the great Hans Urs von Balthasar, as well as being cofounder together with Joseph Ratzinger of the international theological journal “Communio,” and in his youth an associate of Fr. Luigi Giussani, the founder of Communion and Liberation.

Scola’s opposition to communion for the divorced and remarried goes all the way back. He argued against it in 2014 and 2015 in two long articles in the magazine “Il Regno.” He reiterated it after “Amoris Laetitia” was released in his diocese of Milan. And now he writes that he also “spoke about it with the Holy Father during a private audience.”

This disclosure, along with many others, can be found in the autobiographical book-length interview that Scola published in mid-August:

> Angelo Scola, “Ho scommesso sulla libertà. Autobiografia”, Conversazioni con Luigi Geninazzi, Solferino, Milan, 2018.

The cardinal writes in justification of his “no” to communion for the divorced and remarried:

“I would like to start from what I maintain to be the heart of the problem, meaning the substantial bond between marriage and the Eucharist, in that this is the sacrament of spousal love between Christ and the Church.”

Ordinarily – Scola continues – it is said that the relationship between Christ the bridegroom and his bride the Church “is a model for the mutual self-donation of the spouses. However, it is much more: it is the very foundation of marriage.”

Who, in fact, could guarantee the definitive ‘yes’ which the two spouses pledge in front of the community? the cardinal wonders. And he answers: “Certainly not the shifting sands of their freedom. Only by virtue of the nuptial bond between Christ and the Church, explicitly or implicitly recognized, can a woman and a man commit to an indissoluble relationship. The reference to the Eucharist is therefore not something extrinsic to marriage, but has a foundational character for it.”

Scola does not give any citations, but this argument of his is the same one that underpins the most penetrating criticism of “Amoris Laetitia” that has been formulated so far, that of the Benedictine theologian Giulio Meiattini, in the book “Amoris Laetitia: The Sacraments Reduced to Morality,” which was covered by Settimo Cielo.

And by virtue of this argument the cardinal is not afraid to land the blow on none other than “Amoris Laetitia” and the synod that preceded it, where – he says – “the fundamental relationship between Eucharist and marriage is not evident, and this is in my judgment an absence that takes its toll.” In part because “this absence has exposed ‘Amoris Laetitia’ to a vast array of interpretative incursions.”

“I will explain,” Scola continues:

“The non-admissibility of the divorced and remarried to the Eucharist is not a punishment that can be taken away or reduced, but is inherent in the very character of Christian marriage, which, as I have said, lives on the foundation of the Eucharistic gift of Christ the bridegroom to his bride the Church. The result of this is that someone who has excluded himself from the Eucharist by establishing a new union can return to receiving the Eucharistic sacrament only by living in perfect chastity, as affirmed by the apostolic exhortation of John Paul II ‘Familiaris Consortio.’ But there is no hint of this in ‘Amoris Laetitia.’ It is not said that this guideline is no longer valid, but it is also not said that it is still valid. It is simply ignored. At the same time it is recalled that the Eucharist, as Saint Ambrose says, ‘is not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.’ Now it is true that the Eucharist also has a function of healing, but this statement cannot be used outside of what the conciliar constitution ‘Lumen Gentium’ says at number 11, on the ecclesial nature of the sacraments.”

Of Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, one of the four of the “dubia,” Scola emphasizes “that I have always had a sincere affection and a great friendship” with him, having worked together “in complete harmony for many years at the Institute for studies on marriage and family, and whose sudden passing painfully wounded me.”

And he adds:

“I believe that no one can raise objections on his theological and canonical competence, as also on his frankness and loyalty to the pope.”

But Scola is at pains to point out that “my critique of ‘Amoris Laetitia’ is of a different nature with respect to that of the ‘dubia,’ which reveal an intellectualist framework in which theology and morality are conceived of in deductivistic terms. Moreover the ‘dubia,’ in my judgment, do not bring into sharp enough relief the spousal nature of the Eucharist as the foundation of marriage, which is at the origin of its ecclesial significance.”

Further on in his autobiographical book-length interview, Scola recalls the visit of Benedict XVI to Milan at the world meeting of families, in June of 2012.

And he says:

“I was struck in particular by his beautiful off-the-cuff response to a question on the divorced and remarried. He said that it is not enough that the Church should intend to love these persons, but ‘they should see and feel this love.’ And he added that ‘their suffering, if truly accepted from within, is a gift to the Church.’ Moving words that document an attention and a sensitivity to the problem that did not suddenly spring forth with ‘Amoris Laetitia,’ as a crude and superficial commonplace would have it.”

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http://angelqueen.org/2018/09/06/figments-if-instead-of-bergoglio-they-had-elected-cardinal-scola-pope/
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