To Sign or Not to Sign #2

Posted September 30, 2017 2:49 pm by Editor

To Sign or Not to Sign #2

I was speaking to a brother priest, another who is deeply concerned about the state of the Church today, the bullying and turning away from the plain teaching of Jesus Christ and scripture. He said he too was asked to sign the Correctio, he hadn’t because he simply didn’t have time to read Amoris Laetitia.

He said that although St John Paul had written some long documents, that Amoris Laetitia was as long as all the existing Papal documents up to the reign of St John Paul. It is true. It took me over two weeks to read A L whereas Humanae Vitae can be read in less than an hour, Pastor Aeternus in half that time. My friend deeply aware of the need for intellectual rigour said that he thought the great problem for him was that parts of it were incoherent.
I suspect many of our Pastors, even Cardinals simply haven’t read this document either and yet promote what “they understand” the document to say. or what their Episcopal Conference says it says, or what their favourite ‘Catholic’ newspaper, or heaven preserve us of what the noisiest journalist says. It is similar to Benedict’s remark about the two Councils – the Council of the media and the true Council.

The Pope encourages this sloppiness by referring people who question its meaning to Cardinal Graf von Schönborn or ‘Tucho’ or some obscure Conference of Bishops, like Malta. The situation isn’t helped when it appears that the Pope himself might actually not comprehend, or even have studied what has been written for him and what the problems are – when questioned on the controversial footnote he actually replied that he couldn’t remember it.

I am sure all the signatories of the Filial Correction have read AL, what concerns me is whether those who have expressed themselves online both for and against it have done so or even possess a copy. I can understand many without a theological formation are seriously uneasy about the political, theological, intellectual or even the sartorial (maybe ‘style’ might be a better term) direction the Pope is taking the Church – this should not be treated lightly, it is part of the sensus fidelium – the gut instinct of the Church, which is often ignored (churches, convents, seminaries being empty is one sign of it).

What I am trying to say is that just because someone like my friend has not signed the Filial Correction does not mean he is against it, he would certainly support those who have signed but more is desired for formally and publicly correcting a Pope or another Successor of the Apostles than mere fellowship or even a gut instinct. The Church of Jesus Christ is not a mob, the great flaw of Pope Francis is that rather than gathering the flock he is scattering it, sending many to wander in the desert or runaway in confusion and fear.

There is another aspect best seen in the Mueller/Burke take on the matter, Burke sees the error as needing corrected by the Church’s law NOW, Mueller by the Church’s theology LATER (probably the next Pontificate) both agree there is a problem what they disagree on is the method by which it is to solved.

Despite not signing the Dubia I suspect many Cardinals want it answered and feel the Church is suffering until it is, however that does not mean they are willing to condemn the Pope publicly, though they might be very glad that Cdl Burke and the three have done so, just to show there is a problem but reasonably feel they will act in the next Conclave in the not so distant future rather than today.

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