FOR FRANCIS, CONVERSION TO THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IS THE RESULT OF PROSELYTISM, WHICH HE CONSIDERS A MORTAL SIN

 

Settimo Cielodi Sandro Magister 

14 feb  17 

The Ex-Anglicans of America Say No To Communion for the Divorced and Remarried

Lettera

 

[Emphasis and {commentary} in red type by Abyssum}

Pope Francis has never liked the Anglicans who become Catholic. He prefers that they stay where they are, and has said so. Meanwhile, however, he has received as a legacy from his predecessor, Benedict XVI, a special ordinariate set up in 2012, which takes care of none other than the faithful of the Unites States and Canada who have converted from Anglicanism.

This ordinariate goes by the name of the Chair of Saint Peter and operates as an immense diocese headquartered in Houston, Texas. It is in charge of more than forty parishes. Its liturgies enshrine the Anglican tradition, which is not much different from the traditional Catholic form. Its bishop is Steven J. Lopes, 42, born in California to a Portuguese father and Polish mother, who for ten years, since 2005, has been an official of the Vatican congregation for the doctrine of the faith, and was promoted to his present role by Pope Francis on November 24, 2015.

So then, in January Bishop Lopes offered his priests and faithful a pastoral letter with instructions on how to intepret and put into practice “Amoris Laetitia.”

> A Pledged Troth

And naturally everyone immediately rushed to read what it said on the controversial question of communion for the divoced and remarried.

Finding this response:

“A civilly remarried couple, if committed to complete continence, could have the Eucharist available to them, after proper discernment with their pastor and making recourse to the sacrament of reconciliation.”

A response perfectly in line both with the title given to the pastoral letter – “A Pledged Troth” – and above all with the magisterium of the Church of all time, from Saint Paul to the Council of Trent to the last popes before the current one.

Here in more depth is the passage concerning communion for the divorced and remarried.

*

A PLEDGED TROTH

by Steven J. Lopes

{Bravo, Bishop Lopes, for this excellent pastoral letter}

[…] The formation of conscience “can include the help of the sacraments,” including reconciliation and, under certain conditions, the Eucharist (Amoris Laetitia, no. 351, no. 336). As the Church teaches, and has always and firmly maintained, because reception of the Eucharist is the reception of Christ himself, “anyone conscious of a grave sin must receive the sacrament of Reconciliation before coming to communion” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1385).  St. Paul cautioned that “anyone who eats and drinks unworthily, without discerning the body of the Lord, eats and drinks judgment upon himself” (1 Cor. 11:29), as Pope St. John Paul II reaffirmed: “in the Church there remains in force, now and in the future, the rule by which the Council of Trent gave concrete expression to the Apostle Paul’s stern warning when it affirmed that, in order to receive the Eucharist in a worthy manner, one must first confess one’s sins, when one is aware of mortal sin” (Ecclesia de Eucharistia, 36).

Under the guidance of their pastor, avoiding occasions of confusion or scandal, divorced and civilly remarried persons may receive the Eucharist, on the condition that when “for serious reasons, such as for example the children’s upbringing, a man and woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they “take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples” (Familiaris Consortio, 84). A civilly remarried couple, if committed to complete continence, could have the Eucharist available to them, after proper discernment with their pastor and making recourse to the sacrament of reconciliation. Such a couple may experience continence as difficult, and they may sometimes fail, in which case they are, like any Christian, to repent, confess their sins, and begin anew.

Reconciliation requires contrition, the “sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1451). A civilly remarried couple firmly resolving complete chastity thus resolves not to sin again, which differs in kind from a civilly remarried couple who do not firmly intend to live chastely, however much they may feel sorrow for the failure of their first marriage. In this situation, they either do not acknowledge that their unchastity, which is adultery, is gravely wrong, or they do not firmly intend to avoid sin. In either case, the disposition required for reconciliation is not satisfied, and they would receive the Eucharist in a condition of grave sin. Unless and until the civilly remarried honestly intend to refrain from sexual relations entirely, sacramental discipline does not allow for the reception of the Eucharist.

The firm intention for a chaste life is difficult, but chastity is possible, and it “can be followed with the help of grace” (Amoris Laetitia, 295)…  God commands only what is for our goodness, and he never abandons us in our weakness and need. […]

_______

In the meantime, Pope Francis continues not to respond to the requests – addressed to him in primis by four cardinals – to “bring clarity” on the doubtsraised by some passages of his post-synodal exhortation “Amoris Laetitia.”

He has spoken out, so far, with only a few allusive, resentful words. Or by approving what has been said and written in a lenient vein by the Argentine bishops of the region of Buenos Aires and by his vicar for the diocese of Rome.

The pope has chosen to remain silent even when by force of circumstance he has run up against liturgical texts that could have constrained him to speak out.

For example, on October 4, 2015 Francis was careful not to cite or comment on the passage from the Gospel of Mark (10:2-12) that was read in all the Catholic churches of the world at Mass on that Sunday that marked the beginning of the 2015 synod on the family, the passage in which Jesus strictly rules out the divorce allowed by the law of Moses.

And the same thing happened last Sunday, with the parallel passage of the Gospel of Matthew (5:17-37) read at Mass in all the churches. At the Angelus, Francis steered clear of citing both that passage and the other a few lines further on in which Jesus says: “Let your speech be yes, yes, no, no.”

*

Returning to the Anglicans who have switched to Catholicism, there is one thriving parish in San Antonio, Texas, born in the 1980’s from a first wave of conversions, that is now asking to join the ordinariate of the Chair of Saint Peter.

But the bishop of San Antonio, Gustavo Garcia-Siller, not only is not allowing it to do so, but has suspended from his role the pastor and founder of the parish, Fr. Christopher Phillips.

The bishop’s fear is that the whole parish, including its numerous faithful of the Latin rite, would slip out of his control and emigrate toward Anglo-Catholic shores, which for him is too old-fashioned both in liturgical terms and in terms of doctrine and pastoral practice, to judge by the letter from its ordinary in commentary on “Amoris Laetitia.”

(English translation by Matthew Sherry, Ballwin, Missouri, U.S.A.)

About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.