Friday, 3 June 2016

Bishop Athanasius Schneider issues public letter on Amoris Laetitia interpretation

Will anyone else join this Bishop and the few others who have had the courage to state the reality that we are faced with as faithful Catholics?

Bishop Athanasius Schneider 3

http://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/2558-bishop-athanasius-schneider-replies-to-the-remnant-s-open-letter-on-amoris-laetitia
Dear Mr. Christopher A. Ferrara:
On May 9, 2016 you published on “The Remnant” website an open letter to me regarding the question of the Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris laetitia”.
As a bishop, I am grateful and at the same time encouraged to receive from a Catholic layman such a clear and beautiful manifestation of the “sensus fidei” regarding the Divine truth on marriage and the moral law.
I am agreeing with your observations as to those expressions in AL (“Amoris laetitia”), and especially in its VIII’s chapter, which are highly ambiguous and misleading. In using our reason and in respecting the proper sense of the words, one can hardly interpret some expressions in AL according to the holy immutable Tradition of the Church.
In AL, there are of course expressions which are obviously in conformity with the Tradition. But that is not what is at issue here. What is at stake are the natural and logical consequences of the ambiguous expressions of AL. Indeed, they contain a real spiritual danger, which will cause doctrinal confusion, a fast and easy spreading of heterodox doctrines concerning marriage and moral law, and also the adoption and consolidation of the praxis of admitting divorced and remarried to Holy Communion, a praxis which will trivialize and profane, as to say, at one blow three sacraments: the sacrament of Marriage, of Penance, and of the Most Holy Eucharist.
In these our dark times, in which Our Beloved Lord seems to sleep in the boat of His Holy Church, all Catholics, beginning from the bishops up to the simplest faithful, who still take seriously their baptismal vows, should with one voice (“una voce”) make a profession of fidelity, enunciating concretely and clearly all those Catholic truths, which are in some expressions of AL undermined or ambiguously disfigured. It would be a kind of a “Credo” of the people of God. AL is clearly a pastoral document (i.e., by its nature of temporal character) and has no claims to be definitive. We have to avoid to “make infallible” every word and gesture of a current Pope. This is contrary to the teaching of Jesus and of the whole Tradition of the Church. Such a totalitarian understanding and application of Papal infallibility is not Catholic, is ultimately worldly, like in a dictatorship; it is against the spirit of the Gospel and of the Fathers of the Church.
Beside the above mentioned possible common profession of fidelity, there should be made to my opinion, by competent scholars of dogmatic and moral theology also a solid analysis of all ambiguous and objectively erroneous expressions in AL. Such a scientific analysis should be made without anger and partiality (“sine ira et studio”) and out of filial deference to the Vicar of Christ.
I am convinced that in later times the Popes will be grateful that there had been concerning voices of some bishops, theologians and laypeople in times of a great confusion. Let us live for the sake of the truth and of the eternity, “pro veritate et aeternitate”!
+ Athanasius Schneider,        
Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana

32 comments:

Ana Milan said...

Bishop Schneider is the only prelate so far to publicly request clarification of AL but he needs public support
Amoris Laetitia contains statements which directly contradict the authoritative teaching of the CC & further statements that undermine it, without directly contradicting it. This was done deliberately, as jokingly verified by Archbishop Bruno Forte. When will it dawn on the Hierarchy that these continuous heresies issuing forth from PF are not in accordance with the Deposit of Faith & Tradition as handed down by the First Apostles but directly opposite. As no valid Pope can preach heresy when are they going to declare that he is not a valid Successor of St. Peter but an anti-pope?

Most Bishops Conferences have already met to discuss how to implement this Papal Exhortation which, undoubtedly does change the Magisterium despite assurances from Cardinal Burke. Maybe this response to The Remnant's Open Letter on AL will start the ball rolling - but then, maybe not.

Anonymous said...

@Paul Morphy

I wholeheartedly agree with Ana Milan : the Laity need to show visible and real support for those such as Archbishop Schneider who speak the complete truth. The faithful Laity need to mobilise and to remind the hierarchy of the millenia old truths, and to reject AL and what it professes.

God Bless Archbishop Schneider.

Mark Thomas said...

Vox, I imagine that Cardinals and bishops would join Bishop Schneider in regard to his concerns about Amoris Laetitia. However, the monumental problem that Bishop Schneider faces is that they have disagreed publicly with his concerns. As far as I am aware, and in regard to Bishop Schneider's concerns, he is alone among bishops in his thinking.

Incredibly, Bishop Schneider weakened greatly, if not ruined, his argument against AL when he acknowledged the following critical points:

1. In the very first sentence of his first extensive public critique of AL, Bishop Schneider declared that Amoris Laetitia "contains a plethora of spiritual and pastoral riches with regard to life within marriage and the Christian family in our times...".

One bishop after another has offered similar statements in their assessments of AL. Again, Bishop Schneider acknowledged that AL is filled with "spiritual and pastoral riches." It is very difficult to decry a Church document that is ripe with "spiritual and pastoral riches".

At the very least, Bishop Schneider has destroyed the claims advanced by many Traditionalists that from beginning to end, AL is devoid of Catholic thought and treasures.

2. Bishop Schneider inflicted much harm upon his arguments against AL when he declared that bishops have insisted that Amoris Laetitia "ought to be read in the light of the perennial magisterium of the Church and that AL does not permit access to communion for divorced and remarried couples, not even in exceptional cases.

"This statement is fundamentally correct and desirable. In fact, the content of every Magisterial text must, as a rule, be in its content consistent with the former teachings of the Magisterium of the Church, without any break."
===========================================================================

Bishop Schneider made it clear that...

-- AL must be read "in the light of the perennial magisterium of the Church".

-- AL "does not permit access to communion for divorced and remarried couples, not even in exceptional cases".

-- "This statement is fundamentally correct and desirable. In fact, the content of every Magisterial text must, as a rule, be in its content consistent with the former teachings of the Magisterium of the Church, without any break."
=============================================================================

Therefore, any potential problem in regard to AL would rest upon a false interpretation offered by somebody who rejected the Magisterium's teachings on Communion for divorced and "remarried" Catholics.

Again, as Bishop Schneider made clear, an orthodox Catholic must accept that Al "does not permit access to communion for divorced and remarried couples, not even in exceptional cases".

Based upon Bishop Schneider's words, only those who are unorthodox to begin with would twist Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia into something that it is not. Therefore, the problem does not involve AL. The problem involves unorthodox Catholics who refuse to read AL in the light of Magisterial teaching.

Problem solved...courtesy of Bishop Schneider's own words.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Rab said...

Mark, so why did P. Francis published AL in the first place? Didn't he admit it changes things? Hasn't the ghostwriter behind AL been exposed? Why would Pope sow such dissent and disorientation in the Church?

Anonymous said...

Screw, Bergoglio.

He is a mobster, thug, reprobate bully. He should be taken out behind the barn, beaten soundly, stripped naked and force paraded, barefoot, through the streets in Rome, pelted with soft eggs and other vegetables, then loaded on a plane, completely humiliated and degraded, sent back to some God-forsaken slums in Argentina, told that he has gotten far less than he actually deserves, and that he should spend the rest of his remaining days in mortification and prayer for those faithful, abandoned, persecuted spouses and children that scum like him and the vast majority of bishops and the clergy have raped, pillaged and plundered, in support of our malicious abandoning, adulterous spouses.

Bishop Schneider is far, far too gentle and restrained in view of what is done, daily and endlessly to our marriages and our lives, decade, after decade, after decade!

Give us Barabbas!


A persecuted, unendingly violated, faithful, unjustly abandoned spouse, who is sick of fake mercy and injustice.

Michael Dowd said...

Mark Thomas--

I think you are correct. The good Bishop offers more of an encomium than a critique of AL. Sorting out the meaning of AL is left to the reader who is burdened with interpreting it and coming to the correct conclusions "in the light of the perennial magisterium of the Church". No mention is made of the presumed fact that the strong tendency will be to read it in the flexible and merciful "spirit of Vatican II" and not the perennial magisterium. In order words, Bishop Schneider fails to point out the potential dangers of the many confusing statements in the document which is the basic point against the document by the so called traditionalists (formerly known as Catholics).

Vox Cantoris said...

Anon. I hate censoring, so I am publishing your comment, let's be a little less hyperbolic, which coming from me is saying something.

Mark Thomas said...

Rab, it doesn't matter who served as Pope Francis' ghostwriter. All that matters is whether Amoris Laetitia is orthodox. Bishop Schneider's very words confirm that the Exhortation does not contain heresy. He acknowledged that Amoris Laetitia cannot possibly be interpreted as having allowed (unrepentant) divorced and "remarried" Catholics to receive Holy Communion.

Here are Bishop Schneider's very words in that regard:

Amoris Laetitia "does not permit access to communion for divorced and remarried couples, not even in exceptional cases. This statement is fundamentally correct and desirable."

That is undeniable. Bishop Schneider acknowledged that "not even in exceptional cases" does AL "permit access to communion for divorced and remarried couples."

Those are Bishop Schneider's very words. Bishop Schneider also declared that Amoris Laetitia "contains a plethora of spiritual and pastoral riches with regard to life within marriage and the Christian family in our times."

If Amoris Laetitia contained even the most microscopic bit of heresy, then Bishop Schneider would not possibly have been able to declare that AL is to be "read in the light of the perennial magisterium of the Church".

Something that is false cannot possibly be true. Therefore, if AL contained false teachings, then it would be impossible to read AL "in the light of the perennial magisterium of the Church".

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Amoris Laetitia "does not permit access to communion for divorced and remarried couples, not even in exceptional cases. This statement is fundamentally correct and desirable."

— Bishop Athanasius Schneider

Anonymous said...

Well there you go, i never thought i would be witnessing the words of a living saint,Bishop Schneider. We are blessed to be given such a Holy true disciple during these times of darkness. God Bless him!

Anonymous said...

VOX,

What I wrote is true and very personal and I will be honored to answer for the truth before ALMIGHTY GOD at my particular judgment.

If it was not true, I would not have submitted it.

I apologize to YOU if it offended you, but I was taught and have learned through my many decades that sometimes the truth has an edge and it hurts.

If any REAL MAN of a cleric or bishop really was interested in truth, in justice and in mercy, I would have, long ago, been sought out, personally, at the very highest levels in the Catholic Church to discern what ACTUALLY GOES ON in cases of marital abandonment.....

THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO INTEREST IN THE VICTIMS; NEITHER THEIR FAITH NOR THEIR WELL BEING ARE BLIPS ON THE HIERARCHICAL RADAR.

ALL THE INTEREST IS FOCUSED ON THE POOR CRIMINAL, ADULTERERS!

Vox Cantoris said...

No problem, brother; I understand fully and appreciate you reading and commenting.

Mark Thomas said...

Michael Dowd said..."The good Bishop offers more of an encomium than a critique of AL. Sorting out the meaning of AL is left to the reader who is burdened with interpreting it and coming to the correct conclusions "in the light of the perennial magisterium of the Church". No mention is made of the presumed fact that the strong tendency will be to read it in the flexible and merciful "spirit of Vatican II" and not the perennial magisterium."

But the "reader", unless he is a Pope, Cardinal, or bishop, has not been authorized by God to interpret Amoris Laetitia. Only the Vicar of Christ and bishops in communion with him have been authorized by God to teach, govern, and sanctify the People of God. God has tasked the Church's Teaching Authority alone to interpret Amoris Laetitia.

That said, why is it presumed "that the strong tendency will be to read it in the flexible and merciful "spirit of Vatican II" and not the perennial magisterium"?
The fact is that the opposite is true. One Cardinal and bishop after another has made it clear that that is the only manner in which they will interpret and implement Amoris Laetitia.

One Cardinal and bishop after another has declared that AL is orthodox and has not changed Church teaching. AL is poised to benefit the Church for as Bishop Schneider declared, Amoris Laetitia "contains a plethora of spiritual and pastoral riches with regard to life within marriage and the Christian family in our times...".

Everything points to AL as being of tremendous benefit to Holy Mother Church.

-- One Cardinal and bishop after another has agreed with Bishop Schneider's declaration that Amoris Laetitia "contains a plethora of spiritual and pastoral riches with regard to life within marriage and the Christian family in our times...".

-- One Cardinal and bishop after another has agreed with Bishop Schneider's declaration that Amoris Laetitia "does not permit access to communion for divorced and remarried couples, not even in exceptional cases. This statement is fundamentally correct and desirable."

-- One Cardinal and bishop after another has agreed with Bishop Schneider's declaration that Amoris Laetitia must be read "in the light of the perennial magisterium of the Church".

Pax.

Mark Thomas

==================================================================================
Amoris Laetitia "does not permit access to communion for divorced and remarried couples, not even in exceptional cases. This statement is fundamentally correct and desirable."

— Bishop Athanasius Schneider
===================================================================================

Anonymous said...

I agree with you and Ana. The only way the hierarchy will act is if we insist that they take action against AL.

St. Athanasius, pray for us!

Anonymous said...

I beg your pardon, but AL IS the problem.

Vox Cantoris said...

Mark Thomas, the fundamental problem is, in fact, AL. The fundamental problem is that it should not need "interpreting." The laity, therefore, is left to the "mercy" of their bishops and priests, most of whom will interpret it in the most liberal manner. You know this.

AL is the problem. Pope Francis owns it, he did it and he is responsible, singularly, for this mess!

Michael Dowd said...

Mark Thomas--

You are technically correct but substantially wrong. The entire point of this massive, confusing and subversive document is to undermine the "perennial magisterium" otherwise why would it be written in the first place. So I take it that your "support" of AL is nothing more than taking the opposite position for education purposes and to expose those naive folks who actually think the writing of AL was a good idea.

For myself, I support the commentary of Hilary White, The Remnant among others on interpretation of AL.


Mark Thomas said...

Vox, Sacred Scriptures, let alone AL, must be interpreted. Even the most seemingly clear-cut statements are subjected to misinterpretations.

Vox, I can say..."Vox, your chanting today at Mass was beautiful...just beautiful". Somebody could say that it's "obvious" that I was just being sarcastic. The next person could say that it's obvious that I was sincere. Literally, anything that we say or do is subject to misinterpretation.

AL, as is the case with any Church document, must be overseen by our bishops. God has authorized bishops to teach, govern, and sanctify His children.

Vox, I don't know that AL will be interpreted in the most liberal manner. Vox, one bishop after another has said, for example, that AL has not changed Church teaching...the teachings on the administration of Holy Communion to divorced and "remarried" Catholics stand. That is what one bishop after another has declared.

Vox, one bishop after another has agreed with the following declaration from Bishop Schneider:

==================================================================================
Amoris Laetitia, which "contains a plethora of spiritual and pastoral riches with regard to life within marriage and the Christian family in our times...does not permit access to communion for divorced and remarried couples, not even in exceptional cases. This statement is fundamentally correct and desirable."

— Bishop Athanasius Schneider
===================================================================================

Vox, I have even posted to your great blog the names of bishops who have made clear the above. We will be all right. Let us be prayerful and hopeful that, as Bishop Schneider said, Amoris Laetitia's "...plethora of spiritual and pastoral riches with regard to life within marriage and the Christian family in our times..." will shine throughout the Church to strengthen Catholic families.

Vox, please don't give up on Amoris Laetitia. AL contains a "plethora of spiritual" riches that God has shared with us. Vox, let us spread the word about those spiritual riches.

Vox, I pray and hope that you, an important Catholic man who commands a large audience, will promote AL's spiritual riches. Vox, I know that you love and offer your great talents to Holy Mother Church.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Michael Dowd said..."For myself, I support the commentary of Hilary White, The Remnant among others on interpretation of AL."

I support the True Church and Her Pope and bishops as God has authorized them to teach, govern, and sanctify the People of God. Hilary White and The Remnant don't possess the right to interpret AL. In the True Church, that task belongs to His Holiness Pope Francis and bishops in communion with him.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

===========================================================================
Amoris Laetitia, which "contains a plethora of spiritual and pastoral riches with regard to life within marriage and the Christian family in our times...does not permit access to communion for divorced and remarried couples, not even in exceptional cases. This statement is fundamentally correct and desirable."

— Bishop Athanasius Schneider
============================================================================

blue said...

Bishop Antanasius Is weak and ineffectual. He will never get us to the Promised Land. No wonder our Church is in such trouble. Bergoglio is a heretic, plain and simple. You will never get good fruit from a bad tree.

Peter Lamb said...

When I started reading Bishop Schneider's letter, my eyes got wider and wider. Wow! This man is talking like a Bishop! I must have been wrong about him. Thanks be to God! Now he might really start something!
Then I got to the second half!
"AL is clearly a pastoral document (i.e., by its nature of temporal character) and has no claims to be definitive. We have to avoid to “make infallible” every word and gesture of a current Pope. This is contrary to the teaching of Jesus and of the whole Tradition of the Church. Such a totalitarian understanding and application of Papal infallibility is not Catholic ...it is against the spirit of the Gospel and of the Fathers of the Church."

"... there should be made ... by competent scholars of dogmatic and moral theology also a solid analysis of all ambiguous and objectively erroneous expressions in AL."

Shucks! I felt like somebody had doused me with a bucket of ice cold water. I wonder if the good bishop could tell me what would make AL magisterial and binding? So far we have Bergoglio's statement that it is magisterial; an apostolic exhortation by the pope teaching faith and morals to the Universal Church and published in the pope's acta sedis, but this is not enough - it remains merely "pastoral" and "temporal". Clearly nothing related to VII, or it's adherents can be made binding and not "pastoral". Can't be done - AL "has no claims to be definative."!

"We have to avoid to “make infallible” every word and gesture of a current Pope."

Only an ignorant idiot doesn't know that Eminence, but this idiot didn't know that an Apostolic Exhortation was equivalent to every word and gesture of a current pope. Naturally, I imagine that the God given Teaching Authority of the pope can be as easily set aside as his "infallibility". I mean, to be fair, "pastoral" and "temporal" trump all else. Not so?

Thank goodness we might have, apart from just the laity, a committee of "competent scholars of dogmatic and moral theology" to put the pope straight on "all [his] ambiguous and objectively erroneous expressions" in his Apostolic Exhortation. (Salza, Siscoe and Bp. Fellay are musts for this committee!) Of course the Committee will operate at all times with "filial deference to the Vicar of Christ" and nothing of the above is "against the spirit of the Gospel and of the Fathers of the Church." Well, thanks for small mercies!

Peter Lamb said...


Hmmm.. I'm not so sure that everybody agrees with the good NWO bishop Schneider. I've even got a horrible feeling the Catholic Magisterium might judge him:

"To the shepherds alone was given all power to teach, to judge, to direct; on the faithful was imposed the duty of following their teach-ing, of submitting with docility to their judgment, and of allowing themselves to be governed, corrected, and guided by them in the way of salvation. Thus, it is an absolute necessity for the simple faithful to submit in mind and heart to their own pastors, and for the latter to submit with them to the Head and Supreme Pastor.
(Pope Leo XIII, Letter Epistola Tua to Cardinal Guibert, June 17, 1885; excerpted in Papal Teachings: The Church, p. 263.)

Nor can we pass over in silence the audacity of those who, not enduring sound doctrine, contend that “without sin and without any sacrifice of the Catholic profession assent and obedience may be refused to those judgments and decrees of the Apostolic See, whose object is declared to concern the Church's general good and her rights and discipline, so only it does not touch the dogmata of faith and morals ... how grievously this is opposed to the Catholic dogma of the full power given from God by Christ our Lord Himself to the Roman Pontiff of feeding, ruling and guiding the Universal Church.
(Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Quanta Cura, n. 5.)

"... the truth that nothing should be nearer to a Catholic Bishop, nothing is more obligatory for him, than heartfelt respect for the supreme power of this Chair of St. Peter, whence flows sacerdotal unity, the ordination of bishops, and the government of the Church ... this Pontiff, placed in this See, who has received from Our Lord Himself in the person of the Blessed Prince of the Apostles, all power to feed the sheep and the lambs, to confirm his brethren, to rule and govern the whole Church throughout the world.
(Pope Pius IX, Apostolic Letter Redditae Sunt, Jan. 6, 1851; excerpted in Papal Teachings: The Church, p. 153.)

Peter Lamb said...

When one loves the pope one does not stop to debate about what he advises or demands, to ask how far the rigorous duty of obedience extends and to mark the limit of this obligation. When one loves the pope, one does not object that he has not spoken clearly enough, as if he were obliged to repeat into the ear of each individual his will, so often clearly expressed, not only viva voce, but also by letters and other public documents; one does not call his orders into doubt on the pretext – easily advanced by whoever does not wish to obey – that they emanate not directly from him, but from his entourage; one does not limit the field in which he can and should exercise his will; one does not oppose to the authority of the pope that of other persons, however learned, [Oh shucks! There goes our Committee?] who differ in opinion from the pope. Besides, however great their knowledge, their holiness is wanting, for there can be no holiness where there is disagreement with the pope.
(Pope St. Pius X, Address to the Priests of the Apostolic Union, Nov. 18, 1912; in Acta Apostolicae Sedis 4 [1912], p. 695)

Neither Bp. Schneider, nor your common pope-sifter, seem to realize that their position on papal authority and submission to the Pope is an inconsistent, confused, and confusing mess, certainly not backed up by any traditional Catholic teaching. They reduce everything to a question of infallibility, which, although related, is really not the issue at all. Long before the definition of papal infallibility was declared in 1870, the Church required submission to the Pope under pain of mortal sin and schism.
Infallibility and authority are not the same thing — as though nothing were authoritative unless it were also infallible, or as though anything were authoritative only to the extent that it is infallible. [Isn't this exactly what Bp. Schneider teaches?] Such an idea assumes as true the misconception, very widespread today, that the Church’s or the Pope’s authority derives from their inability to be wrong, but this is not the case. Rather, the Church and the Pope are authoritative because they are the divinely-appointed teacher, infallible or not.The Pope has the right and the power to bind his subjects’ consciences, not because he is infallible, but because he is the Vicar of Christ. This is something ignored and denied by Bp. Schneider when he suggests a Committee to monitor the pope!
Vatican I says that to reject ordinary, or extraordinary magisterial teaching, is to reject "all faith." But how often do we hear that unless the pope defines a dogma on faith and morals, we as Catholics may resist, or call into question his teachings? Well, according to the infallible teaching of the Church, this is a lie. If Bergoglio is one's Pope, one shall obey and submit - and that goes for modernist Bp. Schneider as well.

Michael Dowd said...

Mark Thomas--

"I support the True Church and Her Pope and bishops as God has authorized them to teach, govern, and sanctify the People of God. Hilary White and The Remnant don't possess the right to interpret AL. In the True Church, that task belongs to His Holiness Pope Francis and bishops in communion with him."

I would love to hear what Hilary White or Christopher Ferrara would respond to you. It would not be pretty.

Question to Mark. Do you work for Fr. Rosica?

Mark Thomas said...

Michael Dowd..."I would love to hear what Hilary White or Christopher Ferrara would respond to you. It would not be pretty."

If they are Catholic, their only response is that the True Church's Magisterium alone has been authorized by God to interpret AL correctly.

Correct?

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Michael Dowd said...

Mark Thomas--

AL is not a Magisterial document according to Cardinal Burke. Anyone can interpret it. And where is it written that lay folks are prohibited from expressing opinions about Magisterial documents, or the Pope or anyone in the Catholic Church? After all this is part of the mission of this blog and others like it.

Mark Thomas said...

Michael Dowd said..."AL is not a Magisterial document according to Cardinal Burke."

Fine. You invoked Raymond Cardinal Burke's assessment of AL. Great. You must possess confidence in Cardinal Burke's take on AL. Perfect. Therefore, let us examine Cardinal Burke's declarations in regard to AL.

-- Cardinal Burke declared that Amoris Laetitia upholds Church teaching on family and marriage.

-- Cardinal Burke declared that the only way to read and understand AL is within the light of the Church's perennial teachings on family and marriage. Any other way to read and/or present AL is erroneous.

-- Cardinal Burke criticized those who claim that AL breaks with Church teaching. He said that such persons only sow confusion within the Church and are the cause of potential scandal to the Faithful.

Perfect. Michael Dowd, than you for having invoked Cardinal Burke's analysis of AL. Below are quotes from Cardinal Burke that relate to the above.
================================================================================

1. Cardinal Burke criticized folks who described AL "as a revolution in the Church, as a radical departure from the teaching and practice of the Church, up to now, regarding marriage and the family."

2. Cardinal Burke declared that such "a view of the document is both a source of wonder and confusion to the faithful and potentially a source of scandal, not only for the faithful but for others of goodwill who look to Christ and his Church..."

3. "It is also a disservice to the nature of the document as the fruit of the Synod of Bishops...and set in motion confusion regarding what the Church teaches, safeguards and fosters by her discipline.

4. "The only key to the correct interpretation of Amoris Laetitia is the constant teaching of the Church and her discipline that safeguards and fosters this teaching."

5. A document from the Synod "must always be read in the light of the purpose of the synod itself, namely, to safeguard and foster what the Church has always taught and practiced in accord with her teaching. In other words, a post-synodal apostolic exhortation, by its very nature, does not propose new doctrine and discipline, but applies the perennial doctrine and discipline to the situation of the world at the time."

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Michael Dowd said..."And where is it written that lay folks are prohibited from expressing opinions about Magisterial documents, or the Pope or anyone in the Catholic Church?"

Laymen have every right as a Catholic to express their opinions to our Churchmen. Laymen are free most certainly to express their concerns in regard to Church documents. However, as laymen, we are not free to interpret Church documents. That task alone belongs to the Pope and bishops in communion with him.

Beyond that, we are compelled by Holy Mother Church to speak charitably of each other. I wonder as to how many of us apply, for example, the following to the manner in which we address His Holiness Pope Francis?

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2478:

"To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor's thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way: Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another's statement than to condemn it."

I wonder as to how many of us have applied that to Pope Francis and Amoris Laetitia?

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Michael Dowd said..."AL is not a Magisterial document according to Cardinal Burke. Anyone can interpret it."

Okay. As you invoked Raymond Cardinal Burke...here is the only manner in which "anyone" may interpret Amoris Laetitia:

"The only key to the correct interpretation of Amoris Laetitia is the constant teaching of the Church and her discipline that safeguards and fosters this teaching."

"What is more, as noted above, a document which is the fruit of the Synod of Bishops must always be read in the light of the purpose of the synod itself, namely, to safeguard and foster what the Church has always taught and practiced in accord with her teaching."

"In other words, a post-synodal apostolic exhortation, by its very nature, does not propose new doctrine and discipline, but applies the perennial doctrine and discipline to the situation of the world at the time."

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Michael Dowd,

It is interesting that you invoked Raymond Cardinal Burke in this discussion as while this thread pertains to Bishop Schneider, Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider agree that Amoris Laetitia may be interpreted only within the light of Church teaching.

There is not any other way that a Catholic may interpret AL, according to Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider. Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider also agree that Amoris Laetitia has not changed Church teaching. Most especially, Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider agree that Amoris Laetitia does not permit divorced and "remarried" Catholics to receive Holy Communion.

Cardinal Burke: "The only key to the correct interpretation of Amoris Laetitia is the constant teaching of the Church and her discipline that safeguards and fosters this teaching. In other words, a post-synodal apostolic exhortation, by its very nature, does not propose new doctrine and discipline, but applies the perennial doctrine and discipline to the situation of the world at the time."

Bishop Athanasius Schneider: "On the other hand, there are bishops who claim that AL ought to be read in the light of the perennial magisterium of the Church and that AL does not permit access to communion for divorced and remarried couples, not even in exceptional cases. This statement is fundamentally correct and desirable."

Pax.

Mark Thomas

===================================================================================
Amoris Laetitia "does not permit access to communion for divorced and remarried couples, not even in exceptional cases."

— Bishop Athanasius Schneider
===================================================================================

Michael Dowd said...

Mark Thomas--

Final word for me. My point is that AL is not a magisterial document according to Cardinal Burke. We are agreed on that. The comments by Cardinal Burke and Bishop Schneider are a triumph of prudence over courage. As stated above I prefer the commentary on AL by Hilary White and Chris Ferrara which is both more penetrating and helpful.

Peace be with you brother.

Mark Thomas said...

Michael Dowd...

Thank you very much for the expression of peace. Via Vox's great blog, I offer to you, my brother in Jesus Christ, peace.

Pax.

Mark Thomas

Jan said...

I would point out that Mark Thomas is erroneously quoting Bishop Schneider. As can be seen from the quote of what he actually said below, Bishop Schneider was in fact referring to some bishops claim that AL "does not permit access to communion for divorced and remarried couples".

By taking it out of context, Mark Thomas is giving a false impression of what Bishop Schneider has in fact said.

Unfortunately in taking quotes out of context it means that none of Mark Thomas's quotes can be trusted and one must go back and read the document itself:

"On the other hand, there are bishops who claim that AL ought to be read in the light of the perennial magisterium of the Church and that AL does not permit access to communion for divorced and remarried couples, not even in exceptional cases. This statement is fundamentally correct and desirable. In fact, the content of every Magisterial text must, as a rule, be in its content consistent with the former teachings of the Magisterium of the Church, without any break.

It is no secret, however, that divorced and remarried couples are admitted to Holy Communion in a number of churches, without their being required to practice continence. It must be admitted that certain statements in AL could be used to justify an abusive practice that has already been going on for some time in various places and circumstances in the life of the Church."