"Revolution" Amoris Laetitia: the -- "Pastoral Realignment" of the Church
(Rome) The "pastoral reorientation" of the Church was stressed at the press conference for the presentation of the Apostolic Letter Amoris Laetitia , which summarizes the results of the double Synod on Marriage and Family from 2014 and 2015, the "pastoral reorientation." There is no lack of disappointed voices over a "a missed revolution." Is it actually failed or is it sneaked in, albeit subliminally in the new document? One thing is certain: The document allows a variety of interpretations. Some of "The revolution, which really isn't" to "A revolution, but it does not call itself that." The document contains valuable information about the beauty of marriage and the importance of family. Yet in the current dispute they are not the focus of attention.
What exactly was in the Post-Synodal Exhortation, and what does it communicates to the public, are two different things. For the actual impact is expected, as experience shows, to be more significant in the communicated content. Is there anyone who actually reads a nearly 200-page Vatican document?
Schönborn: "Francis wants a church in which all have their place"
The tenor of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn (Archbishop of Vienna) cited press conference expressed in the following sentences: "Francis wants a church, in which all people have space and in which the conscience is of great importance." Tone is the mother of the music, where Cardinal Schönborn's thrust is lodged. In the first sentence, without further explanation, there are already more than enough explosives included.
His appointment to present the letter in Rome, is not only an acknowledgment by Pope Francis. It is also an attempt to satisfy the most obstreperous German-speaking Church. The spokesman for the German Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, frankly threatened beforehand that they would act on their own in case of the non-fulfillment of their expectations. This refers to the de facto recognition of divorce and remarriage by giving Communion to remarried divorcees and the acceptance of aberrosexuality. That is already the the de facto situation, and how well the Catholic Church in Germany fits into the political consensus on aberrosexuality, which was demonstrated last April 2nd in the "ecumenical memorial service" for the late former Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle. The funeral service for the self-confessed homosexual and Protestant Westerwelle took place in Cologne in a Catholic basilica.
The central message: communion for remarried divorcees "In Certain Cases"
The central message of today's press conference for the presentation of Amoris Laetitia which was announced by Cardinal Schönborn, was the fact that the sacraments for divorced and remarried was possible "in certain cases." [Sure, if it's sacrilegious.]
This is sufficient to avert the latent question floating around the schism of the German church, and yet directs the Church to "new pastoral paths".
The German schism threat had overshadowed the final phase of the pontificate of Benedict XVI. It will even be the task of historians to shed light on the relationship between that pressure and its significance on the unexpected resignation of the German pope. In 2017 the Protestant part of the German area will celebrate 500 years of Reformation. Within a hair's breadth, the Reformation commemoration would "fittingly" coincide with a second schism. It might have been the best for the Church. But who wants to accept that responsibility? [Me?] Benedict XVI. did not want it anyway.
The German threat of schism
The pressure in the boiler is vented on the present day. But are the problems really solved? As it stands, neither the practical and certainly not the theological. For half a century the world church is under a baleful protestantizing German influence. There coresponds then that there is an internal logic that there are also Germans who oppose this influence. The election of Benedict XVI. should, for this logic, complete the countermovement. It was a task, ultimately, that he could not cope with despite the effort. The "practical" success through the schism threat cemented the commencement of the "Rheinische Alliance" and its influence on the overall alignment of the universal Church in 1963. Has Rome been blackmailed? This can not be formulated so drastically. Things are a lot more complex and interwoven. There is the risk of conditioning in any case.
Theologically in the past two years, since Pope Francis newly set the new course and gave a free pass to the "German train", considerable effort has been expended by the defenders of ecclesiastical marriage and morality of the traditional to deepen the understanding of marriage sacrament and related indissolubility. This will bear rich fruit.
As much as Pope Francis has given room since his election, to the new progressive "alliance" on the Rhine and Danube, and opened the door, he can not be said to be in lockstep with the German episcopate. The papal sympathies for Cardinal Walter Kasper are known and real. They secured the former bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart as the late unexpected "comeback". After all, he is likely to have been the "masterpiece" of the German cardinal, the election of Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Francis has less sympathy for the mighty man of the German Church, for the Munich Archbishop Reinhard Cardinal Marx. This is probably do e ti the different characters involved. This explains the closeness between the Pope and the Archbishop of Vienna Cardinal Schönborn.
The Schönborn interview: "Love more important than norms"
A native of an ancient family, Dominican Schoenborn is also a representative of the German-speaking world, but in his skilful, diplomatic way, is much closer to the Pope. In order to understand the intricacies of the "message",it is noted in an interview that Schönborn already have a press conference to the Roman press for his own press agency Kathpress. The interview and press conference shall be read as a unit.
In the interview, the programmatic statement was:
"Firstly it is not the norms that are important, but in the first place is the focus on the love."
That was the "special logic" that was behind the entire papal letter.
What Vienna has "long practiced", was "fully accepted" by the Pope
Schönborn also gave his interpretation of the letter in the interview. He sees in Amoris Laetitia confirmation what "in Vienna has been lived as pastoral practice for over 15 years." What Vienna has long practicing, had been "fully accepted" by the Pope. That applies to obedience and German unilateralism.
The letter, says Schönborn, should actually be prefixed by the phrase "Love and do what you will." The Vienna archbishop strove not only to explain this nowadays easily misunderstood sentence of St. Augustine. A certain misunderstanding seems intended. Schönborn repeated in other words, the concise thesis "Love is Love", which he had already expressed at the Synod of Bishops, 2014.
Schönborns disassembly: Is there an objectively irregular situation?
In particular, the cardinal warned against rash judgments about so-called "regular" or "irregular" situations. In the papal document the word "irregular" had almost always been written in quotes, which is "especially important". Schönborn said:
"Whether someone is in a regular or irregular situation, is first of all only an external view of the situation."
This is therefore, for the Archbishop of Vienna, not an objective state. "The inside view of the situation of marriages and families is that we all have to face difficulties and all are in need of God's mercy"
Schönborn: "Liberating and soothing message"
"No couple and no family" are therefore likely to say: "We are the ordinary and you are the messy" That was for him, a "liberating and beneficial" message "because it is in reality even so," said Schoenborn, "Liberating" for whom and what?
The post-synodal letter includes 190 pages. One should "not hastily" read it, commended the Pope today. Nevertheless, the number of 1.3 billion Catholics who read it will be completely manageable.
By now the race is on, to make the search, according to which the document can meet their own positions or to monopolize it. For decades, it was also analogous to the factions of the Protestant Synod parliaments, even in the Catholic Church one speaks of "conservative", "progressive", "traditionalists", "modernists" or "moderates". It's a distorted perspective, because that's not in the Catholic Church. Anyway, that is not what it should not be about. There should be no question thy one faction triumphs over another, but to learn the truth revealed by God. And that is what all factions are committed to when we assume ourselves to be Catholic. Again, it should be at least that.
Methodology of the imprecise wording
Is the result of the Synod as outlandish as they had expected it? Ultimately, yes. It did, as several high church officials, including Curial Archbishop Georg Gänswein, assured, not come to a startling break. Yet one can clearly deduce the fracture on closer inspection of the details. Therein lies the confirmation of expectations. The changes, the "revolution", the "revolutionary change" (words of Cardinal Kasper) happens when it happens, subtle in inaccurate word sausage formulations. In this respect therefore, there is nothing new under the sun. The method used already on the Second Vatican Council, to dissolve the clarity in the obscurity of the wording, will be continued. The Jesuit Karl Rahner, whose Jesuit brother is the reigning pope, found t language methodology as downright brilliant because it ultimately always allowed whatever reading or interpretation was wanted.
It is the method that revolutionaries, who lack the majority or the armies, wish to impose its will directly and quickly. It is even more the technique of pseudo-revolutionaries who do have radical ideas, but where the final drive is missing, in openly professing the Revolution. The popular theology, whose representative Jorge Mario Bergoglio of Argentina was, and his rejection of the armed struggle of his confreres for Marxist liberation theology offers several approaches to understanding this pontificate.
Utterly irritating, though it was mentioned only in passing, is the largely uncritical "yes, to sex education", pronounced by Pope Francis. Given the experience of school sex education and government "education campaigns", given that the gender ideology wants school sex education to put their stamp on a massive scale, given the appropriate "curricula" of Baden-Württemberg, Vienna or Bavaria, to name just a few, it's a wonder just what "reality" the Pope and his ghostwriter have in mind on this issue.
Where the "pastoral reorganization" leads, is in the stars
Where the "pastoral reorientation," will lead the church in Western Europe, is completely in the stars. One thing is certain: The German church tax system persists with its downsides, which represent a disproportionately bad influence on the whole Church. At least that is likely to be for some prelates a relief which may, -in case of doubt- be more important than the battle for "liberal" openings.
If at the end the question: Was it worth it that Pope Francis made marriage and family the subject of a Synod of Bishops in 2013 to replace the post-synodal letter Familiaris Consortio from 1981? If the chronology of the previous three years could be seen in fast motion, the impression remains ambivalent. On one hand, a quarrel was picked and it was carried out by Francis into the Universal Church who gave undue latitude unnecessarily to the intolerant German church. How many shards there will yet be to picked up can not yet be judged. At the same time, the double Synod when it was conceived as a revolution - and with some evidence - become the starter. The Church speaks less than ever with a unitary voice. The pontificate of Francis promotes discord. The real inner renewal of the Church is not undergoing any real impetus. It must continue to wait.