Supreme Vatican Lawyer explains How Adultery is Justified to Allow Holy Communion

Can one be at once an impenitent adulterer and in the grace of God? Christ said not, but Francis says yes, and the Supreme Vatican Lawyer, Cardinal Francisco Coccopalmerio, explains how to square the circle. Yes, yes, “scribes and doctors of the law…” — the true pharisees are on Francis’ side.

Chapter Eight of the Post-Synodal 
Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia
by Francis Cardinal Coccopalmerio
President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts
Translated by Andrew Guernsey
April 2, 2017
[For Academic and Private Usage]

For a guided reading

Chapter Eight of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia is significantly entitled: “Accompanying, discerning and integrating weakness.” This part of the document is not very large, because it is composed of only twenty-two numbers, from n. 291 n. 312, but it is very dense and therefore presents greater difficulties for analysis and comprehension. A certain non-organic structure should be added to this, that is, a sequence that is not always in the order of the topics covered.
Because of its content and also its form, this chapter has been judged or treated with a certain disapproval or at least with some reservation. For this reason, it has been, in a certain way, put aside, little examined, and therefore less subjected to careful and analytical exegesis.
The intent of these pages is instead to take into timely consideration the valuable text of Chapter Eight to try to grasp its rich doctrinal and pastoral message.
I believe, however, it would seem useful in this place not to offer a theoretical reflection on the basis of the texts of the Exhortation, but rather a reading of the texts themselves, which may enable us, on the one hand, to carry out a theoretical reflection on the various points of the document and, on the other hand, to encounter it in direct form, and therefore to get a taste of the original texts of the document itself.
The reading of the texts will be, therefore, a guided reading, which, however, will not follow the numerical order of the paragraphs of Chapter Eight, but rather the sequence of the arguments that we have specified below. By incorporating, however, the individual texts within the logic of the arguments, it will perhaps be easier then re-read them and understand them in numerical order.
That said, it seems useful to me to distinguish and present six arguments:
1. The exposition of the doctrine of the Church concerning marriage and family; 2. The pastoral attitude of the Church toward those people who find themselves in irregular situations; 3. The subjective conditions or conditions of consciousness of different people in different irregular situations and the related question of admission to the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist; 4. The problem of the relationship between the doctrine and the rule in their generality and individuals in their concreteness; 5. The integration of people who find themselves in irregular situations, that is, their participation in the life and also the ministry of the Church; 6. The hermeneutic of the person in Pope Francis. 


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I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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