In an article introducing their latest roundtable discussion of Amoris Laetitia, our friends at Church Militant tell us that Amoris Laetitia, “reaffirms Church teaching on marriage, abortion, contraception and euthanasia.” Excellent news! You’d then expect them to be touting the document, selling it in their online store, and promoting its use marriage prep courses. Instead, they quote Cardinal Raymond Burke, who holds all of the magisterial authority of the patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta (i.e., zero):
Wait a second. I thought Cardinal Burke just told us that the entire “post-synodal apostolic exhortation is not an act of the magisterium.” But now we have Ed Peters saying that the exhortation contributes “to that magisterium in some respects.” Then, Church Militant immediately agrees with Ed Peters, in complete contradiction to Cardinal Burke who they just quoted. Huh? But now they quote Cardinal Burke again. Hopefully this next quote will clear it all up!
Umm..nope. Doesn’t clear it up. Thus, if only portions of Amoris Laetitia are magisterial, how do we know which portions those are? Will Ed Peters use his canon law blog to inform us? Will Church Militant inform us? That won’t work. Well, then let’s go with Cardinal Burke’s interpretation. In that case the entire rambling 256 page exhortation is nothing more than “a reflection of the Holy Father…proposing what he personally believes is the will of Christ for His Church.” Thus, Amoris Laetitia, according to Cardinal Burke, is nothing more than the personal pipe dream of Francis which has no more magisterial authority than one of his airplane interviews.
By this logic, all apostolic exhortations are nothing more than personal reflections of popes. Sort of like “deep thoughts” from the Bishop of Rome who makes some friendly recommendations which every Catholic is then free to ignore. This is actually fine with me. Apostolic exhortations are themselves a post-conciliar novelty. They serve no real purpose except to waste time and money flying bishops to Rome, housing and feeding them, and then killing countless trees publishing the non-binding dross that the Pope issues as a result. In other words, synods are a complete waste of time and can be ignored.
However, what this means in practice is that the conciliar Church is nothing but a farce that issues hardly anything binding. She instead issues a plethora of pseudo-magisterial tripe to be used as a pretext to justify every sort of sacrilege and heresy. What is the very purpose of the Church if not to lead souls to Heaven by feeding, guiding, and teaching Catholics in every age and protecting them from error? Is Francis' conciliar Church doing this? No. Instead it is feeding the flock poison through its "non-magisterial" statatements. And this poisoning is being directly facilitated by willfully blind Neo-Catholic water carriers both in the clergy and the press.
What is Cardinal Burke’s response? He denies the “interpretation” that Pope Francis allows for giving Communion to those living in adultery and fornication (not to mention untold other categories of sin opened up by Francis’ rewriting of moral culpability). In other words, Cardinal Burke completely denies reality. For anyone with the ability to read can see that Francis allows for sacrilegious Communion in the document. I’ve laid it out twice and it can be accessed in summary at the beginning of an article HERE.
What should be the reaction of Cardinal Burke, Church Militant, and all true Catholics when a Pope proposes an heretical or blasphemous personal belief that he wishes Christ’s Church to adopt? Our Catholic ancestors give us the answer and they shame us in doing so. I will let Fr. Victor Francis O’Daniel, O.P. tell the tale: