Devastating Critique of Amoris Laetitia: A Different Kind of Papal Press ConferenceBy: Michael J. Matt | Editor
A reporter: Your Holiness, I’m a bit puzzled about who has been saying the things that you say should no longer be said. But leaving that aside, are you not concerned that making the well-known distinction about sin and guilt here might have the effect of watering down the Church’s teaching on the rights of workers? Pope Francis: No, no, no. The Church’s teaching about fair wages remains. The Catechism is still the Catechism! However, while it is certainly true that exploiting workers does not “correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel” (AL 303), “it is reductive simply to consider whether or not an individual’s actions correspond to a general law or rule” (AL 304). We must always look at the person rather than the rule.
Indeed, we may even say that sometimes it is impossible for an unjust employer to avoid doing wrong.
A reporter: I beg your pardon?
Pope Francis: Yes, it’s true. There may be no way for an unjust employer to avoid what is objectively sinful. What Amoris Laetitia says about the divorced and remarried could be true of the employer. He or she “may know full well the rule, yet . . . be in a concrete situation which does not allow him or her to act differently and decide otherwise without further sin (AL 301).” I will go even further, and say that it is possible for an employer to find, with the secure peace of a good conscience, the will of God in his current failure to stop cheating his workers.
A reporter: Holy Father, how can that possibly be?
Pope Francis: Let me explain, with the help of Amoris Laetitia.
The conscience of an employer who pays his workers unfairly and yet struggles sincerely but unsuccessfully to overcome his injustice can certainly “do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking” (AL 303).
A reporter: But would that not be a mistaken conscience?
Pope Francis: Ah, but who are we to judge consciences? As I lamented in Amoris Laetita, we so often “find it hard to make room for the consciences of the faithful” (AL 37)!
Let us make room for consciences, even for the consciences of employers who unfortunately may be causing their workers misery. Just as couples sometimes make marriage choices that do not attain the ideal, these employers “very often respond as best they can to the Gospel amid their limitations, and are capable of carrying out their own discernment in complex situations. We have been called to form consciences, not to replace them” (AL 37). READ HERE
REMNANT COMMENT: Francis's shtick has worn thin. Nobody's buying it anymore, except for those who want the free hall pass he's offering. Now for the next stage: To lead people to realize that Pope Francis is the ideal pope for the Church that the Spirit of Vatican II built. He's not an anomaly... he was inevitable.
Michael J. Matt | Editor
Michael J. Matt has been an editor of The Remnant since 1990. Since 1994, he has been the newspaper's editor. A graduate of Christendom College, Michael Matt has written hundreds of articles on the state of the Church and the modern world. He is the host of The Remnant Underground and Remnant TV's The Remnant Forum. He's been U.S. Coordinator for Notre Dame de Chrétienté in Paris--the organization responsible for the Pentecost Pilgrimage to Chartres, France--since 2000. Mr. Matt has led the U.S. contingent on the Pilgrimage to Chartres for the last 24 years. He is a lecturer for the Roman Forum's Summer Symposium in Gardone Riviera, Italy. He is the author of Christian Fables, Legends of Christmas and Gods of Wasteland (Fifty Years of Rock ‘n’ Roll) and regularly delivers addresses and conferences to Catholic groups about the Mass, home-schooling, and the culture question. Together with his wife, Carol Lynn and their seven children, Mr. Matt currently resides in St. Paul, Minnesota.