Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Forbidden To Call It Divorce. But It Sure Looks Like It

ROME, September 15, 2015 - As the days go by it becomes ever clearer how revolutionary is the scope of the two motu prorio published by Pope Francis on September 8 - the second for the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches - on the reform of procedures for marital nullity cases:

> Lettera apostolica "Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus"

> Lettera apostolica "Mitis et Misericors Iesus"

It is the pope himself, in the opening of the document, who presents the reason for the reform:

“The enormous number of faithful who, despite wanting to look after their conscience, too often are turned aside by the juridical structures of the Church.”

In the official presentation of the motu proprio the president of the commission that elaborated the reform, Monsignor Pio Vito Pinto, dean of the Roman Rota, turned the reason into an objective:

“To move from the restricted number of a few thousand findings of nullity to the enormous number of unfortunates who could have a declaration of nullity but are left out by the existing system.”

Francis has been absolutely convinced for some time that at least half of the marriages celebrated in church all over the world are invalid. He said so in the press conference on July 28, 2013 on the return flight from Rio de Janeiro. He said it again to Cardinal Walter Kasper, as Kasper in turn said in an interview with “Commonweal” of May 7, 2014.

Read the rest here.


Peter said...

Nine years later, I still read this post sometimes:

Rome, Orthodoxy and the big "D": Are we closer than we think?

Han said...

Here is the problem for Rome: Having made the impossibility of divorce a matter of sacramental theology - not discipline, the Catholics are now in a bind. It looks like they refuse to change their teaching on the theological impossibility of divorce, and so they have chosen to say that half of the church marriages that they bless are invalid. This seems to me to be a confession that either (1) the ordinary ministers of the sacrament [the couple, according to Catholic sacramental theology] are utterly un-catechized and have no clue what they are doing, or (2) these Catholics are intentionally perpetuating a massive fraud upon their families, their priest, and the universal Church so that they can fornicate and cohabit while maintaining apparent good standing in their parishes.

Consequently, this would mean that the bishops and priests are either (1) total incompetents as handers-over of the Catholic faith, having failed to teach Catholics about Christian marriage either through ordinary catachesis or during the 9-month marriage prep programme, or (2) they are either materially or formally [depending on whether they are total fools or just willfully blind] in the fraud perpetuated against the Church by the couple, or (3) both.

Were it otherwise, it would mean that this "pastoral" measure is anything but. It would mean that the Pope knows that more than half of Catholic couples knew what they were doing when the got married, now have buyers remorse, but he is willing to nevertheless soothe them with comforting words while enabling adultery, profanation of the Sacrament, or both so as to boost the numbers for Sunday Mass attendance.

Of course, Rome could admit that they were in error about their doctrine that divorce is completely impossible and adopt the Orthodox position, but that would call into question the infallibility of the teachings of the Roman Church, the consequences of which would be the unraveling of the whole edifice (I suppose they could try to limit the damage by pounding the "not-ex-cathedra-therefore-all-is-well-and-Papal-Infallibility-is-so-circumscribed-that-it-means-nothing-but-don't-question-the-necessity-of-the-dogma-or-the-weird-ultramontism" drum).