Celebrating my 50 years of priesthood, with all the pastoral experience I humbly acquired, I strongly believe that Pope Francis’s exhortation Amoris Laetitia, especially chapter eight, came as an extraordinary pastoral tool which will help one and all – fundamentalists included – in our discernment when we help those who still come to us. My heartfelt gratitude goes out to our bishops.
Some short reflections:
- In the words of the memorable and wise Bishop Emanuel Galea in the wake of Vatican II, there is a lot to conserve and a lot to progress on within the Church.
- Church teaching accepts the development of doctrine. Now, if there is any field where one expects this development, it is definitely in the Church’s teaching on the family.
- To those who are perplexed with the stand of certain personalities within the hierarchy, this also occurred during Vatican II. Respectful names like that of Cardinal Ottaviani promptly come to mind. But it was Pope John XXIII who was proven right. Also, Amoris Letitia is an exhortation that is the fruit of two Synods and not a Motu Proprio. Fundamentalists please note.
- Theologians like Bernard Haring, I am sure, would have liked to live the present moment we are living within the Church. The mentality of dura lex, sed lex (the law is harsh, but it is the law) does not hold in this day and age. The equally eternal virtue of mercy is more proper as things have developed.
- I will conclude by saying, Thank-you Pope, Thank you Bishops.
Fr John Caruana