Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, archbishop emeritus of Bologna and a former member of the Pontifical Council for the Family, said in an interview that Amoris Laetitia must be read in light of Church doctrine.
“To Catholic faithful who are confused about the Doctrine of the Faith concerning marriage, I simply say: ‘Read and meditate upon the Catechism of Catholic Church nn.1601-1666,’” Caffarra said. “And when you hear some talk about marriage — even if done by priests, bishops, cardinals — and you then verify that it is not in conformity with the Catechism, do not listen to them. They are the blind leading the blind.”
The portion of the Catechism he referenced teaches that marriage is a lifelong covenant of man and a woman that “is by its nature ordered toward the good of the spouses and the procreation and education of offspring,” and is a Sacrament when it occurs between baptized people.
Caffarra also addressed the ambiguities in Amoris Laetitia, for which he said it seems Pope Francis by his own admission realized the potential. He told Dr. Maike Hickson at OnePeterFive that if he had the opportunity to speak with Pope Francis about the ambiguity of Amoris Laetitia, particularly its controversial chapter 8, Caffarra would ask for clarification on whether the Church’s traditional teaching that certain actions are always gravely sinful is “still believed to be true.”
The constant teaching of the Church — as it has also been recently reiterated in Veritatis splendor, No. 79 — is that there are negative moral norms which allow of no exceptions, because they prohibit acts which are intrinsically dishonorable and dishonest — such as, for example, adultery. Is this traditional teaching still believed to be true, even after Amoris Laetitia?” This is what I would say to the Holy Father.
Chapter 8 — and specifically footnote 351 — of Amoris Laetitia seems to contradict the Church’s longstanding teaching that those committing objectively sinful acts, such as marital intimacy in an illegitimate second “marriage,” may not receive Holy Communion.
Responding to Cardinal Christoph Schönborn’s recent assertion that all prior Church teaching on family must be read through Amoris Laetitia, Caffarra said, “one should not only read the previous Magisterium on marriage in the light of Amoris Laetitia (AL), but one should also read Amoris Laetitia in the light of the previous Magisterium. The logic of the Living Tradition of the Church is bipolar: it has two directions, not one.”
Bishops and many theologians faithful to the Church and to the Magisterium argue that, especially on one specific — but very important — point, there is not a continuity, but, rather, an opposition between Amoris Laetitia and the previous Magisterium… Amoris Laetitia says that, under some circumstances, sexual intercourse between the divorced and civilly remarried is morally legitimate. Even more so, it says that, what the Second Vatican Council has said about spouses — with regard to sexual intimacy — also applies to them (see footnote 329). Therefore: when one says that a sexual relationship outside of marriage is legitimate, it is therefore a claim contrary to the Church’s doctrine on sexuality; and when one says that adultery is not an intrinsically dishonest act — and that therefore there might be circumstances which render it not to be dishonest — that, too, is a claim contrary to the Tradition and Doctrine of the Church. In such a situation like this, the Holy Father thus has to clarify the matter…When someone says: the doctrine remains, but it is only about taking care of some few cases, I answer: the moral norm “Do not commit adultery” is an ABSOLUTELY NEGATIVE norm which does not allow of any exceptions. There are many ways to do good, but there is only one way not to do evil: not to do evil.
by Claire Chretien, Lifesite News