Posted by: frroberts | January 21, 2017

Cardinal Caraffa on Amoris Laetitia

Courtesy of Edward Pentin

  • “[The dubia] were reflected on, at length, for months, and were discussed at length among ourselves. For my part, they were prayed about at length before the Blessed Sacrament.”
  • “Our concerns were twofold. The first was not to scandalize the little ones in the faith … The second concern was that no person, whether a believer or not a believer, should be able to find in the letter expressions that even remotely could appear in the slightest lacking in respect towards the Pope. The final text, therefore, is the fruit of quite a lot of revisions: texts [were] revised, rejected, corrected.”
  • “It is a fact — which only a blind man can deny — that there exists in the Church a great confusion, uncertainty, and insecurity caused by some paragraphs of Amoris laetitia … Some bishops have said A, others have said the contrary of A, with the intention of interpreting well the same texts.”
  • “A scandal on the part of many of the faithful was beginning to grow, as though we cardinals were behaving like the dogs who did not bark about whom the prophet speaks.”
  • “[Referring to letters from priests he has received] They find themselves carrying a load on their shoulders that they cannot bear. This is what I am thinking of when I talk about a great disorientation. And I am speaking of parish priests, but many lay faithful are even more confused.”
  • “[The dubia] seemed to us the simplest way [to resolve the contradictory interpretations]. The other question which arose was whether to do it in private or in public. We reasoned and agreed that it would be a lack of respect to make everything public right away. So it was done in private, and only once we had obtained certainty that the Holy Father would not respond did we decide to publicize it.”
  •  “Some individuals continue to say that we are not being docile to the magisterium of the Pope. This is false and calumnious … I can be docile to the magisterium of the Pope if I know what the Pope is teaching in a matter of faith and of the Christian life. But this is exactly the problem: what the Pope is teaching on the fundamental points simply cannot be well understood, as the conflict of interpretations among bishops shows.”
  • “The division, already existing in the Church, is the cause of the letter, not its effect. The things unworthy within the Church, however, above all in a context such as this, are the insults and threats of canonical sanctions.”
  • “None of us wanted ‘to oblige’ the Holy Father to respond: in the letter, we spoke of [his] sovereign judgment. We simply and respectfully asked questions.”
  • “A Church which pays little attention to doctrine is not a more pastoral Church, but a more ignorant Church. The Truth of which we speak is not a formal truth, but a Truth that gives eternal salvation.”
  • “When I hear it said that it is only a pastoral change, and not doctrinal [in dealing with the sin of adultery] … it means to admit that yes, generally a triangle has three sides, but there is the possibility of constructing one of them with four sides. This is, I say, an absurdity.”
  • “If there is a clear point [in Bl. Cardinal Newman’s writing], it is that there is no evolution where there is a contradiction. If I say that S is P and then I say that S is not P, the second proposition does not develop the first one, but contradicts it.”
  • “One of the fundamental teachings of [Pope St. John Paul II’s encyclical Veritatis splendor] is that there exist acts which can, in and of themselves, be considered wrongful, regardless of the circumstances in which they are committed and the purpose which the agent intends. He [John Paul II] adds that denying this fact can lead to denying the meaning of martyrdom.”
  • “[On the conscience of the individual] I retain that this is the most important point of all. It is where we meet and clash with the central pillar of modernity.”
  • “[On whether Amoris laetitia allows a “creative interpretation of conscience” permitting “legitimate exceptions to absolute moral norms that prohibit intrinsically evil acts” (dubium n. 5)] These are matters of a disturbing gravity. It would elevate private judgment to the ultimate criterion of moral truth. Never say to a person: ‘Always follow your conscience’, without adding immediately and always: ‘Love and seek the truth about the good.’ You would be putting into his hands the weapon most destructive to his own humanity.”

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