Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Alice in “Amoris Laetitia” Land

From Sandro Magister:

The dazzling critique by an Australian scholar on the post-synodal exhortation. “We have lost all foothold, and fallen like Alice into a parallel universe, where nothing is quite what it seems to be”

by Sandro Magister

ROME, June 7, 2016 - Keep an eye on the author of the volume above, the first critical version of a masterpiece by Saint Basil the Great lost in the original Greek but come down to us in an ancient Syrian version attested to in five manuscripts, published two years ago by the historical publisher Brill, active in Holland since the 17th century.

The author is Anna M. Silvas, one of the world’s most renowned scholars of the Fathers of the Church, especially Eastern. She belongs to the Greek Catholic Church of Romania, and lives in Armindale, Australia, in New South Wales.

She teaches at the University of New England and at the Australian Catholic University. Her main fields of study are the Cappadocian Fathers – Basil, Gregory Nazianzen, Gregory of Nyssa –, the development of monasticism, female asceticism in early Christianity and in the Middle Ages.

She also gives courses on marriage, family, and sexuality in the Catholic tradition at the Pontifical John Paul II Institute on Marriage and Family in Melbourne.

The following is her commentary on the post-synodal apostolic exhortation “Amoris Laetitia,” delivered before a packed crowd with bishops and priests and then published on the website of the Parish of Blessed John Henry Newman in Caulfield North, near Melbourne.

The original text of the commentary is supplemented with footnotes and an epilogue with a passage from Saint Basil, omitted here.

But not another word. The commentary by Anna M. Silvas is a must-read. Brilliant, acute, expert, straightforward. A luminous example of that “parresìa” which is the duty of every baptized person.

Read Anna Silvas' speech at this link:


Peter Lamb said...

" At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavor to draw many into error and death...Then scandals will be multiplied...There will be such diversity of opinions and schisms among the people, the religious and the clergy, that, except those days were shortened, according to the words of the Gospel, even the elect would be led into error...Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days JESUS CHRIST WILL SEND THEM NOT A TRUE PASTOR, BUT A DESTROYER.”

(St. Francis of Assisi.)

Michael Dowd said...

Thanks Vox for posting this most enlightening document by Anna Silvas. It is one of the best critiques of AL I have read.

In simple terms, if one were to ask what is the problem with AL, the answer would be that it legitimizes a rationale for committing and remaining in a state of mortal sin. What could be a worse condemnation? It is a colossal scandal. God will not let this stand.

Peter Lamb said...

Dear Catholics, Please correct me. I am a pain, I know, but will somebody please fault my logic?

Roncalli and Montini were judeo-masons, as were the other conciliar popes. This we know objectively.
They thereby excommunicated themselves.
They, being non-Catholics, were ineligible for election to the Papacy.
They were, despite their impediments, legally elected to the Papacy, but their elections were void.
Therefore neither Roncalli, nor Montini had authority to summon, or promulgate a Council.
Therefore Vatican II is null, void and irrelevant, as are all teachings and writings of the heretical conciliar popes.
Therefore AL is irrelevant and not worth reading, let alone discussing?

Vox Cantoris said...

Peter, you are always welcome here even though I don't agree with sedevacantism.

Michael Dowd said...

Peter Lamb. Sounds good. I could live with it. But not sure we have the standing to make such a judgement.

TLM said...

AL is EXTREMELY relevant as to the destruction of souls. And yes, not only should we 'talk about it' but we should vehemently deny the thing with every breath of life we have, and speak boldly as the the errors within it, which are many. We should also press our Bishops and Cardinals to stand against the atrocity and demand that it be scrapped, as it is not a Catholic Exhortation in the least. The laity can only do so much, and after that, it is up to the hierarchy to condemn this piece of garbage. We can sign petitions, talk to our 'deaf' Pastors who look at us as if we had 10 heads, etc, etc, etc. but it is THEY who have the control. After that, we PRAY as if our very lives depend on it.......because it DOES!!!!

Peter Lamb said...

Thanks Vox. I know you don't, but you are one of the very few who truly do allow free discussion on their blogs. I am most grateful for that and I greatly appreciate it. (And I live in hope of converting you one day. :) )

Anonymous said...

PLEASE READ True or False Pope by John Salza and Robert Siscoe. It's essential for every Catholic.

Mark Thomas said...

Critics of AL have contradicted each other dramatically in regard to their "expert" critques of the Exhortation. In turn, that calls into question their objectivity. That is, they read and present AL to suit their agendas. That should sound alarm bells to anybody who is interested in truth.

Here is the perfect example of that.

Certain conservative and Traditionalist critics of AL have claimed that the Exhortation does not uphold parental rights in regard to children and sex education.

-- Randy Engel, for example, claimed the following in her critique of Amoris Laetitia: "There can be no mistake that Francis perceives that proper sexual instruction of children is to take part outside the home and is connected principally to institutionalized sexual instruction in the classroom apart from the parents and home life."

-- John Smeaton, co-founder of Voice of the Family and the CEO of the UK Society for the Protection of Unborn Children:

"Smeaton highlighted several concerns with the exhortation, including: the section about sex education, which speaks at length about sex education in schools, without reference to the rights of parents;"

Now, let us explore what Anna Silvas said in regard to Amoris Laetitia and sex education.

"It is true, some doctrines of the Church are robustly upheld, e.g....the sovereign rights of parents in the education of their children (n. 84)."

Here is what Pope Francis said in Amoris Laetitia in regard to parents and sex education...#84, as noted by Anna Silvas:

"At the same time I feel it important to reiterate that the overall education of children is a “most serious duty” and at the same time a “primary right” of parents.

"This is not just a task or a burden, but an essential and inalienable right that parents are called to defend and of which no one may claim to deprive them.

"The State offers educational programmes in a subsidiary way, supporting the parents in their indeclinable role; parents themselves enjoy the right to choose freely the kind of education – accessible and of good quality – which they wish to give their children in accordance with their convictions."

Anna Silvas has does her share to misrepresent AL. But in regard to AL and the education of children, at least she stuck to the facts. Pope Francis, as Anna Silvas noted, has upheld "robustly" Church teaching in regard to the "sovereign rights of parents in the education of their children (n. 84)."

Unfortunately, many folks have misrepresented Pope Francis to advance their agendas. That is why we must read Amoris Laetitia in the light of the Magisterium. One bishop after another has provided for us the True Church's reading of Amoris Laetitia.

As God's children, let us please remain attached to His Holiness Pope Francis and the Magisterium. In that regard, our holy and great Blessed Virgin Mary will lead us down that path. Therefore, let us ask her to fill our hearts and minds with the true understanding of Amoris Laetitia — the understanding that only the Magisterium can provide.


Mark Thomas

Amoris Laetitia "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".

— Bishop Athansius Schneider

Peter Lamb said...

Dear Mike, You are of course correct. We do not have the standing to depose an heretical pope canonically - only the Cardinals can do that. It is Catholic doctrine that a true Pope can be neither judged, nor deposed by any man - only by God. It is dogma that a true Pope cannot teach error. But we as Catholics are perfectly entitled and in fact are required to call out any heretic - St. Paul said "let him be anathema."
Vatican I said: "What is to be done with the Pope if he becomes a heretic?’ It was answered that there has never been such a case; the Council of Bishops could depose him for heresy, for from the moment he becomes a heretic he is not the head or even a member of the Church. The Church would not be, for a moment, obliged to listen to him when he begins to teach a doctrine the Church knows to be a false doctrine, and he would cease to be Pope, being deposed by God Himself... If he denies any dogma of the Church held by every true believer, he is no more Pope than either you or I."

We know our Faith, because we have been taught it. We have the standing as Catholics and are not only able, but duty-bound to denounce heresy and heretic. To do this is not above our station.
" Reveal to the faithful the wolves which are demolishing the Lord's vineyard."
(Pope Clement XIII, Encyclical Christianae Reipublicae, 1766.)

I wonder if the people organizing the petition/demonstration against AL in Rome realize that they are thereby admitting that Bergoglio is not a true Pope - for the reasons given above?

Dear TLM, Your point is totally valid. That is precisely why we are fighting the NWO apostasy.

Michael Dowd said...

Mark Thomas--

"As God's children, let us please remain attached to His Holiness Pope Francis and the Magisterium'

Considering the confusion and incoherence surrounding the interpretation of AL the prudent course of action is to disregard it and call for it's withdrawal. To me, this is the path the Blessed Virgin Mary would appear to support given her general disappointment with disobedient Papal actions beginning with Pope John XXIII in 1960 when he refused to disclose the 3rd Secret of Fatima which warned us of the smoke of Satan entering the Church and the catastrophic decline that followed.

Michael Ortiz said...

There are problematic sections of AL when considered in the light of Catholic teaching. That is simply a fact. Politely said, but a fact nonetheless.

Mark Thomas said...

Michael Dowd said..."Considering the confusion and incoherence surrounding the interpretation of AL..."

What confusion and incoherence? At first, I admit that I had bought into that notion. I was influenced by the claims that flowed from various Traditionalists, liberals, and the secular news media in regard to AL.

However, as time has passed since the issuance of AL, the more I have realized that the "confusion and incoherence" has been limited to a microscopic group of conservatives/traditionalists.

AL has not confused bishops — other than Bishop Schneider. In regard to AL, is there an additional bishop who has expressed anything akin to Bishop Schneider's concerns in regard to AL?.

One bishop after another has proclaimed AL orthodox, beautiful, and much-needed to aid Catholic families. TLM-friendly bishops have praised AL. Outstanding theologians have praised AL.

Even Bishop Schneider has 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" and "does not permit access to communion for divorced and remarried couples, not even in exceptional cases".

Except among a relative handful of folks, the Universal Church has received AL with great joy and proclaimed the Exhortation orthodox and filled with a "plethora of spiritual riches" designed to strengthen Catholic marriages and families.

If any or all of the above is incorrect, then I welcome correction.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Michael Dowd said..."...this is the path the Blessed Virgin Mary would appear to support given her general disappointment with disobedient Papal actions beginning with Pope John XXIII in 1960..."

What Church-approved messages from the Blessed Virgin Mary have, at least during our time, exhorted us to stand against anything akin to Pope Francis' AL?


Mark Thomas

Eirene said...

Dear Peter Lamb. Your statements seems to me to be the most sensible I have read so far over these past horrific 3 1/2 years.
Might I just add that despite that logic, Almighty God seems to have permitted all these events to unfold. Maybe bowing one s head and saying Thy Will be done ... is the only solution right now. All things will be made clear at the Second Coming of Our Blessed Lord. Can t wait! Thank you for your straightforward thoughts (albeit sometimes interminably lengthy!)
God bless you and your dear Family - and keep this Blog going empowered by the Holy Spirit!

Mark Thomas said...

Anna Silvas' weak critique of Amoris Laetitia is filled with false claims.

Example: Anna Silvas claimed the following: "If you love me", says our Lord, keep my commandments...Alas, as we look into AL, we find that "commandments" too are entirely absent from its lexicon..."

Hmmm..."commandments" are "entirely absent from its (Amoris Laetitia) lexion? Then why do we find the following in Amoris Laetitia?

#222: "The more the couple tries to listen in conscience to God *******and his commandments******* and is accompanied spiritually, the more their decision will be profoundly free of subjective caprice and accommodation to prevailing social mores”.

17: "Children, for their part, are called to accept and practice the *******commandment*******: “Honor your father and your mother” (Ex 20:12)."

96. "In a word, love means *******fulfilling the last two commandments of God’s Law*******: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant, or his maidservant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s” (Ex 20:17)."


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Anna Silvas declared the following:

"Another register of language is also missing in "Amoris Laetitia" is that of eternal salvation. There are no immortal souls in need of eternal salvation to be found in this document! True, we do have "eternal life" and "eternity" nominated in nn. 166 and 168 as the seemingly inevitable "fulfillment" of a child’s destiny, but with no hint that any of the imperatives of grace and struggle, in short, of eternal salvation, are involved in getting there."

I guess that Anna Silvas and I have read different versions of AL as her above claims don't hold up against the Exhortation that I've read:

Amoris Laetitia:

301: Pope Francis referenced the existence of "mortal sin".

316: "The word of God tells us that “the one who hates his brother is in the darkness, and walks in the darkness”; such a person “abides in death” and “does not know God".

117: "Here hope comes most fully into its own, for it embraces the certainty of life after death. Each person, with all his or her failings, is called to the fullness of life in heaven. There, fully transformed by Christ’s resurrection, every weakness, darkness and infirmity will pass away. There the person’s true being will shine forth in all its goodness and beauty.

"This realization helps us, amid the aggravations of this present life, to see each person from a supernatural perspective, in the light of hope, and await the fullness that he or she will receive in the heavenly kingdom, even if it is not yet visible."

256: " assures us that the risen Lord will never abandon us. Thus we can “prevent death from poisoning life, from rendering vain our love, from pushing us into the darkest chasm”.

"The Preface of the Liturgy of the Dead puts it nicely: “Although the certainty of death saddens us, we are consoled by the promise of future immortality. For the life of those who believe in you, Lord, is not ended but changed”.

257: "The Bible tells us that “to pray for the dead” is “holy and pious” (2 Macc 12:44-45). “Our prayer for them is capable not only of helping them, but also of making their intercession for us effective”.


Mark Thomas

Michael Dowd said...

Mark Thomas--

This getting wearying.

"What Church-approved messages from the Blessed Virgin Mary have, at least during our time, exhorted us to stand against anything akin to Pope Francis' AL?"

The third secret is purported to speak of corruption at the top of the Church. From all appearances Pope Francis fits the description as outlined in exquisite detail by most of the folks you contend with on any orthodox Catholic blog.

Your Pollyanna approach to Pope Francis is frankly disturbing. I will pray for you.

Peace and Joy!

Peter Lamb said...

Thank you Eirene. Our Lord certainly has sent this "operation of error" for His purpose and indeed may His will be done. I try to quote the magisterium whenever I am able to and that's what makes my comments long. My opinion on things is pretty worthless and I try to provide what the Church teaches on various matters that come up - that is the pre-Vatican II Catholic Church. :)

Mark Thomas said...

Michael Dowd said..."Your Pollyanna approach to Pope Francis is frankly disturbing."

Disturbing? "Pollyanna" Sorry, "my approach" is simply Holy Mother Church's approach. In my approach to Pope Francis, I follow the teachings of Holy Mother Church. From the Catechism of the Catholic Church: SECTION TWO THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, THE EIGHTH COMMANDMENT" "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor."

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."

"Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another's statement than to condemn it."

That is what I have done in regard to this thread about Anna Silvas supposedly "brilliant" critique of Amoris Laetitia. I have examined each claim in question, then compare that claim to that which Pope Francis has said and/or done.

In regard to this thread about Anna Silvas' supposedly "brilliant" critique of Amoris Laetitia, I have simply examined her claims in question. In turn, I quoted AL in response to her claims. Time and again, it is undeniable that she misrepresented Amoris Laetitia. That is undeniable. You may not like that fact. But it is an undeniable fact.

Again, I quoted Amoris Laetitia word-for-word against this or that claim issued by Anna Silvas. Nobody can deny that the direct quotes from Amoris Laetitia have shattered Anna Silvas' critique of AL. I did not shatter her critique. Amoris Laetitia shattered her critique.

I question whether those folks who praised Silvas' critique as "brilliant" had examined sections of Amoris Laetitia to determine whether Silvas' claims were valid. Had they done so, then they would never have praised Silvas' critique. Her critique of AL does not stand up to AL's contents.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Here is an undeniable example of Anna Silvas having issued a false claim in regard to Amoris Laetitia:

Anna Silvas declared: "Other key words I miss too from the language of this document: the fear of the Lord. You know, that awe of the sovereign reality of God that is the beginning of wisdom, one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in Confirmation."

That is a mind-boggling statement as at the beginning of Chapter One of Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis offers the following:

"Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots round your table.

"Thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord. The Lord bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life! May you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Israel!” (Ps 128:1-6)."

How on earth could Anna Silvas have claimed that "Other key words I miss too from the language of this document: the fear of the Lord"? How could she possibly have said that when literally at the beginning of Amoris Laetiti, Pope Francis promoted the Psalm..."Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways!"

How is it possible that she advanced her claim in question? It is embarrassing and mind-boggling that she claimed that missing "from the language of this document: the fear of the Lord."

I again question whether those folks who have praised Anna Silvas' critique of Amoris Laetitia examined her claims in question.

Nobody who has done so could possibly have praised her botched "critique" of AL. Once again, Amoris Laetitia actual words have shattered Silvas' claim in question.

What is very disturbing is that Anna Silvas has overlooked that literally, just a few sentences into AL, Pope Francis introduced the concept that blessed are people who "fear the Lord and walk in his ways".

Her supposed "scholarly" review of Amoris Laetitia is in shambles. The very words of Amoris Laetitia prove that.


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas said...

Vox, prior to your having posted this thread, were you aware of Anna Silvas? Is she known in Catholic circles outside Australia? I am amazed that Sandro Magister actually endorsed this so-called "dazzling critique by an Australian scholar on the post-synodal exhortation."

by Sandro Magister

ROME, June 7, 2016 - "The author is Anna M. Silvas, one of the world’s most renowned scholars of the Fathers of the Church, especially Eastern."

Vox, I am amazed that a "renowned" scholar has made one undeniable false claim after another in regard to Amoris Laetitia. Vox, I am a hack. I am not even close to being a scholar. I have simply checked this and that claim by Silvas against AL's actual texts. Time and again, Silvas' claims have proved false.

I realize that only time will tell as to whether AL proves successful in helping to strengthen Catholic families. Ecumenical Councils have failed to strengthen the Church. AL is, as Bishop Schneider declared, filled with spiritual and pastoral riches. Despite that, (just as certain failed Ecumenical Councils were filled with said riches), it is possible that AL, for certain reasons (including whether bishops and priests utilized the Exhortation nefariously) may not achieve its goals.
Again, I recognize that possibility.

However, what is beyond comprehension is why Sandro Magister, positioned Silvas' critique, which is flawed horrifically, and that is undeniable, as "dazzling". Did he not take a few minutes to simply check Silvas' various claims against AL's actual texts?

It is shocking to me that Silvas, a "renowned" scholar, offered one bit of nonsense after another in regard to AL. Perhaps here most infamous moment is her claim that AL does not present the concept of the "fear of the Lord".

As I demonstrated, immediately in chapter one of AL, His Holiness Pope Francis quoted Psalm 128..."Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways."

Wow! Anna Silvas has made dreadful mistakes in regard to her "dazzling" critique of AL.


Mark Thomas