COMMUNION FOR DIVORCED AND REMARRIED PERSONS: LECTIO MAGISTRALIS JOHN Cavalcoli A CORRADO GNERRE & (C)
The impression that sometimes the Pope has not adhered to revelation transmitted by Sacred Tradition, is always a false impression, that should make us understand that with such mental attitude you end up falling under the rebuke of the Lord, the Pharisees did not hear the Word of the eternal God, that does not pass and not wetsuit, but to become slaves of fleeting and vain "traditions of men"
I answer to the recent criticisms I addressed to me by Prof. Corrado Gnerre and published in the sites Correspondence Romana [cf. WHO], Christian levied [cf. WHO], Church and post-conciliar [cf. WHO] and other. The reader can read the critical three points in those sites. Here the public and my answers point by point.
First point – Sin and sinful situation
The divorced and remarried, in the judgment of the Church, They are in an "irregular" position and are therefore excluded from the sacraments. But the claim that with what they are in a "state of grave sin" is a rash judgment, which takes no account of what is sin and what is its dynamism in the concrete of consciences. In fact, they may at any time, with the grace of God, repent and receive forgiveness from God, even without the Sacrament of Penance.
To clarify the discussion, I find it useful to make some assumptions of moral theology. Then I begin by saying that the conscious human conduct is constituted by a succession of acts of the will, now good, and we have the good deed, connected to virtue; now bad, and we have the bad action, that sin, connected with the vice.
It is in the power of our free will operate alternation, in time, of good deeds and sins. This dynamism of our will plays the action of divine grace, which urges us to the good, It supports us in and perform it, when we commit evil, It moves us to repent and ask God's forgiveness, with regard to sin no more and to avoid the near occasion of sin. At last, on the basis of these assumptions, God forgives us and restores us the grace, if he had lost with mortal sin.
To get a complete picture of human action and its operation, and you can then make a judgment or an assessment of the serious issue that we are dealing, we must also take account of other factors, that contribute, albeit accidentally and occasionally the formation of the act human or moral, good or bad. It is motivation, incentives, pushed, stimuli, solicitations or more or less strong or persistent pressure, favorable or unfavorable when good or bad, that can come from inside or outside, or of the agent, and which may or may not be favored or caused by the will of the subject agent.
internal stimuli are the projects, intents, ideas, wishes, the imagination, trends, habits, the interests, the provisions and the passions of the subject. external stimuli are the human and physical environment, stimuli and influences received from other, opportunities to do good or evil, that occur, try or do not try, foreseen or unforeseen.
In particular, as it regards the sin, there are temptations, or that are from within or from meetings or acquaintances or dangerous or harmful experiences, from bad example, or the seductions of sinners, temptresses persons, with whom he lives or must or is compelled or forced to live.
If the occasions of sin They are frequent and inevitable, the fall that follows is less attributable, Whereas, on the one hand the pressure of passion and on the other, relieving stress by occasion will to sin. Our will has limited strength. Sin occurs only when, being able to resist the temptation, we do not. But if the temptation is too strong and the will can not overcome the lust, The blame diminishes, because it decreases the volunteer, which it is essential moral act, both good and bad. In this case one does not sin because he deliberately wanted to sin, but because the forces of resistance, sometimes caught off guard, They were not sufficient. If someone gives me a shove and I helmet on the ground, I will give a fault if I fell to the ground? The sexual instinct, especially in young people - we should all know -, It is an overwhelming force, which in some cases it is impossible to resist. Ad impossibilia nemo tenetur. We can not be blamed for acts we have committed for reasons of force majeure.
Also remember to distinguish between sin in the objective sense, that is, the evil deed itself, from the subjective condition agent, in whose act may lack the full awareness or deliberate consent, so that his conscience, although he objectively has hurt or damage to third parties, could be partly or completely excused.
In what the Pope was referring with that famous phrase, "Who am I to judge?». It would be absurd to believe, as did some foolishly, that with what the Pope wanted to relativize the moral law; but merely referred to a particular case, always known to the moralists.
All these premises They should lead us to an important distinction, playing immediately in our discussion, namely that between sin as a voluntary act, protraibile or interruptible in time at will; and certain situations or hazardous conditions, internal or external, subjective or objective, pushing more or less strongly to sin, but they are still not a sin, because the will, as Stressed, It remains free to decide. However, we can call "state of sin" a sin or a crime voluntarily protracted, the psychic state and moral culprit we call "persistence" and the Bible calls "hardened heart". Even in that case, but, the will, moved by grace, can always, in principle, stop this state, break these chains and return to the good, as it occurs for example in the conversions.
What happens in the case of cohabiting, It is something that can occur in many other cases of life, where we need distinguish from opportunity sin to sin. The sin we can take it off right away; the opportunity may be, even if we do not want.
Some examples. A seminarian who has a teacher rahneriano, it is good that remains in the seminary, even if it is attempted to fall into heresy; and note that heresy is a mortal sin, worse adultery [cf. Ariel S. Levi Gualdo, WHO]. A worker has an exploitative landlord, will keep it, given the difficulty of changing jobs, even if it is attempted to beat him. a citizen, victim of a dictatorship, It would be tempted to make an attack, since it is hardly possible to emigrate abroad. And so on.
But in all these cases it is necessary to resist, even if the temptation to sin is strong. E is if yields, There are excuses or extenuating. When one has had enough, cede. This happens in sex, but also in many other cases. And we do? We send them to hell? Or perhaps that the grace of God can something? Or perhaps that the Synod can give us some advice?
In these cases and in this sense I would not be totally opposed to talk about "sinful situation", provided, however, that may always be distinguished on the one hand the state volunteer of sin, that it is possible, although not necessary and therefore can always be interrupted at any time and, other, from one context or from an objective situation durable, unsurpassable or force majeure, from which the subject, at least at the time, can not get rid, also wanting.
The thing to keep in mind is that, even in a union illegitimate, It is not at all certain that the two are always and necessarily in a state of mortal sin ("Sinful situation" or "state of sin") and they can not be touched by grace, as if to say that in itself can not be adapted to receive the Communion, without committing sacrilege.
Believing that the mere opportunity to sin ports of necessity to sin, It is a serious mistake, offensive to human dignity of the sinner himself, which preserves the free will, although it weakened by original sin. If then for "sinful situation" means that view, Well, like I said, there is a "sinful situation", because But sin is the implementation of a free judgment, yes sinful; is an act categorical voluntary and conscious, repeatable, indeed repetitive and, for how severe, always forgivable or erasable by God, whatever the situation in which we sin.
The situation, which it is a condition of the act, not constitute the act as such in its substance, but it is only an accidental mode or an occasion of human action, good or bad. But is not the real cause, which is just the ill will. So the substance of sin, that is, the thing that made objectively and substantially comes, It is independent of the situations and the occasions. You can accomplish a shame in situations that lead to good; and you can perform an act of virtue, where the situation would push us to sin. I accomplished a gesture of charity in a mood of joy, because I passed a test, or suffering, because my mother died, the moral value of the gesture is always the same.
One of the heresies of Luther condemned by the Council of Trent, it was to believe that the lust, which it is the inevitable and invincible permanent tendency to sin, in all of us, coincide with a non-existent permanent state of sin and inevitable.
The concept of sin as a "situation" is de-empowering. Unless our inner states, the situations in which we act, usually we do not determine us, but we are given to us and we can not change them. Here we are in a vision of the type of that of Rousseau, discharging our guilt on society. In addition to this, the said concept appears to reflect the vision Rahner, who refuses to look upon sin as an act categorical, replacing it with a non-existent and unsustainable "fundamental option athematic". But these ideas were condemned by St. John Paul II in the encyclical veritatis Splendor.
If the church currently excludes cohabiting from the Holy Communion, Suppose it is not because they are always in sin, but only for a pastoral measure, who wants to be: first, a summons to their conscience; second, the respect due to the sacraments; third, avoid scandal and the disturbance of the faithful. But in itself it is not impossible that they come to it Communion in a state of grace. That is to say,, although the situation is irregular, they can live in grace, although it is certainly difficult for them.
Then the Church would one day give them Holy Communion, this would not at all say that the Church - something unthinkable - to complete an attack on the substance of the sacraments, but simply that it uses its power to legislate and change its laws to better reception of the sacraments. The Church keeps prudently in that the divorced and remarried to live in God's grace, despite their situation. The other part, if the current remains unchanged discipline, I would have no problems, because in my long experience as a confessor and director of souls, I always managed to brighten these people, simply reminding them that they can still take a personal journey of penance and thus be in grace, even if they can not access to the sacraments.
Today there is an excessive fixation and superstitious on wanting to do to force the Communion, as if it were a labor claim, maybe neglecting confession, while the Church has long been prescribed for these couples who can make a spiritual Communion at Mass.
The other part, if the current framework should be enlarged or mitigated, I do not see why, as some fear, who can not distinguish dogma from pastoral, what should constitute an attack on the Sacraments. The ministry puts into practice the dogma and does not contradict it. Between dogma and pastoral there is a similar to the relationship between the body's biological rhythm, and two different methods of health care. The doctor can not fix care without compromising the patient's health?
The Church has under the pastoral dogma, since there are laws in the dogma intangible divine and immutable, that must be applied in life. Many are changing and the ways in which the divine laws can be applied by the Church, which instead plays and always respects and infallibly the immutability of dogma.
So it is absurd to believe or fear, as do the lefevriani, victims of a rigid legalism, that the Church and the Pope, where it adopts or change a law, can disregard or change the dogma. This would however hope the modernists, that, under the pretext of "mercy" more for himself than for others, They want to shake off the yoke of Christ, but they delude themselves, because they forget the words of Christ: "Heaven and earth will pass, but my words shall not pass away " [cf. Mt 24, 32-35].
Then, if the partner, to bad habits or previous bad choices or for various serious reasons or independent obstacles beyond his control, prisoner of vice, He can not get away from the situation where it is and get out, if he sins of lust, It is partly apologized and blamed decreases. In these subjects consciousness can ottundersi, so that they no longer find the strength to stand up and correct, Easily reclining in a perverse and fatalistic resignation. Yet the Church, caring mother to lead all to salvation, do not surrender, but it can and must be cured of these difficult cases and almost desperate. Here the work of the Synod.
The Church knows what he does especially in this delicate matter of the Discipline of the Sacraments. It knows how to heal the souls from sin and keep them healthy. It is up to her to establish the rules for the preservation and respect of those wonderful spirit medicines, which are the sacraments, as well as for their worthy and fruitful celebration, Administration and reception, ordering the Minister's conduct and that of the faithful, according to the times, places and circumstances, affnché such conduct is consistent with a worthy sacramental practice.
We have to trust the legal provisions, liturgical and pastoral of the Church, in the certainty that the Bride of Christ, even among its human limitations, He will never fail in fidelity to his spouse and his commandments, as different and also in contrast between them, in time and space, may be its laws, which in any case always apply and interpret the will of the Lord.
Second point – Regarding the difficulty of the relationship
It is clear that we are talking about an illegitimate cohabitation. But I have spoken of "sinful situations" and not "sinful condition", which I am not the same. As I rejected the first expression in the sense that I have explained, instead I would be willing to accept the second, in the sense of "living conditions that lead to sin ". But then, even here there is still in the game sin. As I said about the situation, so I must say for the condition: they can not be classified as "sinful", because they are not sins, but circumstances of sin, as I explained above.
Do not constitute the substance of sin but a property accidentally added, you can miss, without the kind of dumb sin. Even two legitimate spouses may commit a sin of lust. Thus, to return to our case, the illegitimate union does not necessarily in itself the act of sin, while constituting a situation or condition, which leads to sin and arose from sin.
Certain, then, that living together is an act of will. But the sin of living together, as sinning, It is not necessarily coextensive with their live. It's not that their whole life is a sin?. They may very well have good quality in other respects, quality that they can and should enhance, without sin on the merits. If he is an engineer and she is a nurse, They can not possibly do good in these respects? It is true that the good works done in a state of mortal sin are not valid for salvation. But judgment would severely reckless and cruel to think that these humans, redeemed by the blood of Christ, They are in a continuous and irremediable state of mortal sin, unless you leave. And the grace of God that we're doing?
Their live, indeed, despite the objective irregularity of their position, It can also lead, at least at certain moments, the intervention and the presence of grace. It depends on the two sin or not to sin, on the basis of free will. Only the damned in hell are in a state of continuous and irremediable sin. Assuming then what I said, it is said that the two necessarily live and continuously in sin, as if they were lost souls, for the simple fact that their union is illegitimate.
This union sinful, some, is the status or condition of life. But the situation is not as yet himself the sin, which does not arise from the situation, but the will, will that can change, while the situation may remain the same. The persistence of a situation or condition of life, from which, for hypothesis, you can not go out and involving a continuous temptation to sin, It does not mean that in many cases the two can not, with the grace of God, overcome temptation or, always with the grace of God, resurrected from sin.
End the relationship It would certainly be good and dutiful, cs but it is not always possible due to obstacles and of objective situations of various kinds, to which I have already mentioned in the interview [cf. WHO]. But it is clear that if this is possible, It must be made.
As for the issue of education of children, raised by Gnerre, it is clear that the new couple has a primary duty towards their children, possibly born from the new union, while the new couple will have an interest, as far as is possible and convenient, according to the provisions of civil law and possibly under a spiritual guide, also any children born in the previous marriage or other had to be a new possible link with other contract from previous spouse.
third point – The Pope, Guardian of Tradition
I repeat that the authentic voice and official of the Apostolic Tradition is none other than the living Magisterium of the Church today, heir, guardian and custodian of the tradition of the apostles. The Magisterium of the Church throughout the centuries, beginning with the Holy Fathers, especially in the Ecumenical Councils, It is always authentic witness of Tradition. Pope Francis is therefore now the baton guide Tradition, it is the definitive interpreter and authentic.
Certainly that over the centuries the tradition was put in writing. And the same Holy Scripture, at the bottom of, It is nothing more than oral tradition, Preaching put in writing. In this sense Tradition, born from having heard the same word output from the lips of the Saviour, It is more important than Scripture. Christ did not say to the apostles "write", ma “predicate”, although in putting in writing they have had a very good idea.
It is clear that the Bible is a holy book. But it is interpreted by the Church, Custodian of Tradition. Luther, then, with its rebellion against the Pope and with his fetishistic attachment and presumptuous in a book printed by Guttenberg, He has lost sight of the true origin of God's Word.
But it still remains that Sacred Tradition, for its essence is oral, He is the living apostolic Magisterium; and in this it differs from the Writing. The current voice of our shepherds, under the guidance of the Pope, is the voice of Tradition, which is then regularly written down in Acts of the Apostolic See.
Certainly the Pope in his teaching on the truths of faith is based on Tradition, which, in this sense, is the rule of the same papal teaching. But the judge or know ultimately if the Pope adheres or not to Tradition, responsible only to the Pope himself. Christ did not entrust to others the apostles his word, ordering them to teach the world until the end of time what he had taught them.
So no one else outside of Peter's Successor It is the supreme and infallible guardian of Tradition. I repeat, therefore, that the claim of some Catholics to know the best tradition of the Pope, so it can be to find fault when he's wrong, It makes no sense, but rather resembles the attitude of the Pharisees who wanted to find fault with the Lord in his speeches.
We can discern when the Pope speaks in the name of tradition and when the. Of course we too can learn the tradition of documents and verify the Pope's loyalty to them. But even when the Pope speaks outside the Tradition, never talk against it.
The impression that sometimes the pope does not comply with the figure revealed transmitted by Sacred Tradition, is always a false impression, that should make us understand that with such mental attitude you end up falling under the rebuke of the Lord, the Pharisees did not hear the Word of the eternal God, that does not pass and not wetsuit, but to become slaves of fleeting and vain "traditions of men":
[…] so you have made the commandment of God by your tradition. Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying: 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men " [cf. Is 29,13]. He called the multitude said: "Hear and understand! Not what goes into the mouth defiles a man, but that which cometh out of the mouth defiles a man!». And his disciples came to him: "You know that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?». And he answered: "Every plant which is not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted. let them! They are blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a ditch!» [Mt. 15, 7-14].
Varazze, 18 October 2015
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