Deceptus laetitia – Part II
by Christopher A. Ferrara
April 27, 2016
In my first column in this series on how Amoris laetitia (AL) engages in deceptive arguments and use of sources, I noted AL’s systematic and indeed fraudulent suggestion that in Familiaris consortio John Paul II endorsed a form of “pastoral discernment” that would allow public adulterers living in so-called “second marriages” to receive absolution and Holy Communion in “certain cases,” along with other habitual public sinners of the sexual variety, without any firm purpose of amendment.
I also showed how AL literally hides from the reader, throughout 256 pages, John Paul II’s insistence in paragraph 84 of Familiaris, in line with all of Tradition, that under no circumstances can the divorced and “remarried” be admitted to the sacraments because “their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist” and “if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage.”
Finally, I showed how in footnote 329, this teaching of John Paul II is deceptively reduced to a mere “possibility of living ‘as brothers and sisters’ which the Church offers them.” As footnote 329 is a little nest of deception in and of itself, it is the subject of this Part II.
First of all, John Paul’s teaching is not only demoted to a mere “possibility of living ‘as brothers and sisters’ which the Church offers them [i.e. public adulterers]” — when in fact it is a moral imperative admitting of no exceptions — it is also slyly rejected as impractical and unreasonable. To quote the footnote in full:
In such situations, many people, knowing and accepting the possibility [!] of living “as brothers and sisters” which the Church offers them, point out that if certain expressions of intimacy are lacking, “it often happens that faithfulness is endangered and the good of the children suffers” (Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, 51).
So, we have a Roman Pontiff who seriously proposes that, according to “many people,” John Paul II’s teaching in line with Tradition — which AL has already hidden from the reader and reduced to a “possibility” — would deprive an adulterous couple of “intimacy” and that their “faithfulness” to this adulterous union could be “endangered” as well as “the good of the children.” In support of this utterly outrageous proposition, AL plucks one phrase from paragraph 51 of the Vatican II document Gaudium et Spes. Here another deception is perpetrated. To quote the full paragraph from which the lone phrase was plucked as it appears in English at the Vatican website:
This council realizes that certain modern conditions often keep couples from arranging their married lives harmoniously, and that they find themselves in circumstances where at least temporarily the size of their families should not be increased. As a result, the faithful exercise of love and the full intimacy of their lives is hard to maintain. But where the intimacy of married life is broken off, its faithfulness can sometimes be imperiled and its quality of fruitfulness ruined, for then the upbringing of the children and the courage to accept new ones are both endangered.
In context, the Council is speaking of validly married couples who avoid marital relations or compromise them with contraception out of fear of having children. Moreover, this paragraph appears in a section of the document entitled “Fostering the Nobility of Marriage and Family,” which, a few paragraphs earlier, speaks of “the plague of divorce….” Worse still, AL’s cropped quotation is grossly inaccurate: the phrase “it often happens that faithfulness is endangered and the good of the children suffers” does not even appear in paragraph 51; it appears to be some sort of paraphrase tailored to AL’s rhetorical needs.
What can one say when a Roman Pontiff, albeit in a footnote, falsely implies that Vatican II supports the monstrous idea that divorced and “remarried” people need “intimacy” in order to be “faithful” to their partners in adultery? We can say that AL represents an apocalyptic turn of events in what is already the most profound crisis in Church history — truly the “final battle” between the devil and the Church of which Sister Lucia warned Cardinal Caffarra.
But that is only the beginning of the way AL attempts to mislead the faithful. More to come in subsequent columns.
Our Lady of Fatima, intercede for us!