Saturday, April 9, 2016

On Amoris Laetitia

Various opinions ranging from orthodox-minded giving both their approval and dissent on Pope Francis' latest exhortation on Family Life, "Amoris Laetitia" (Joy of Love).The same goes for heterodox-minded likewise expressing both their approval and dissent on the document:
Samples so far:
a. orthodox edition--Amoris Laetitia is great or at least good. Pope upholds tradition. Marriage between a man and a woman. Mutual, exclusive, permanent, indissoluble union. Open to children. No gay marriage. No contraception. No abortion. Says nothing new, really, on pastoral level, though he's emphasizing mercy. Isn't that what Jesus is about? "Conscience" cases handled pastorally, according to the teaching of the Church. Inspiring vision for young people of what marriage and family are all about. Just as Jesus taught.

b. liberal/dissenting edition--Amoris Laetitia is great. The Pope is moving us forward to a reform of doctrine. The Church is going to change on certain issues regarding marriage, but it's going to take time. What he says on the pastoral level is key. Here there is a revolution, which focuses on the primacy of conscience and mercy over law. What he says about traditional marriage and family can be adapted to other kinds of union. We need to be more welcoming of a diversity of expressions of love. Francis is moving us toward being so. Just like Jesus wants.
2. Critics:
a. orthodox edition--Amoris Laetitia is a problem. Maybe a disaster. Yes, Pope upholds doctrine. Well, duh. That's his job. On the pastoral level, yes, he is right about the value of mercy. Of course. Who is against mercy? Again, duh. But mercy and morality aren't at odds. Francis' fuzzy thinking and muddled expression lead to big problems, which others will exploit to the grave harm of the Church. Many souls will likely be lost. Does he even know what he is doing? The Vicar of Christ should know better.
b. liberal/dissenting edition--Amoris Laetitia is window-dressing. It's maintaining the homophobic, cis-normal notions of sex and family. Pastorally, it may make life more bearable for some but in the long run it only perpetuates anti-human attitudes toward marriage. It's just another form of "control". We may not want to say this in public, but we know it's the truth. Jesus didn't talk or act this way.

Not surprisingly, the document seems ambiguous in itself. 
Thus, do not to rely on abridged opinions appearing on various media forms. Read first the whole document and judge it for yourself. As the document itself says in #7 :
"Consequently, I do not recommend a rushed reading of the text."  More here , here and here.