02 December 2016

"This is not communion for the weak; it is communion for the stable and solid and respectable."

Catholic New York Times columnist Ross Douthat has written an analysis of the Amoris Laetitia conundrum.  The title is the message: The End of Catholic Marriage.

Mr. Douthat, sometimes irritating (he writes for the NYT to begin with...), is no intellectual slouch. Nor is he a moonbat "liberal" Catholic, as if.  Calling the Amoris Laetitia of Francis' hints, henchmen, feckless bishops and petulant silence "the end of Catholic marriage" is. Right. On. the. Money.

I'll give you one three-paragraph excerpt from the full piece. I add one small aside, which you may note below. It is nails. This is the most brazen attack on Christ and His Church since Arius.

Which is why, finally, McElroy [SLC note: you may substitute "Kasper" or even "Francis of the airplane magisterium" and it comes out the same] seems to take for granted that nobody in such a second marriage would ever consider permanently leaving it, or permanently living as brother and sister, or permanently refraining from receiving communion. Instead, the decision to receive the body of Christ while living conjugally with someone who is not, from the church’s perspective, your true wife or husband is treated as a question of when, not if — do it now if you feel ready, wait a little longer if it might hurt your kids or your ex-spouse or you feel like have some spiritual maturing left to do.

This is a teaching on marriage that might be summarized as follows: Divorce is unfortunate, second marriages are not always ideal, and so the path back to communion runs through a mature weighing-out of everyone’s feelings — the feelings of your former spouse and any kids you may have had together, the feelings of your new spouse and possible children, and your own subjective sense of what God thinks about it all. The objective aspects of Catholic teaching on marriage — the supernatural reality of the first marriage, the metaphysical reality of sin and absolution, the sacramental reality of the eucharist itself — do not just recede; they essentially disappear.

Which means that is not at all a vision under which a small group of remarried Catholics in psychologically difficult situations might receive communion discreetly while they seek to sort those situations out. It is, in fact, by implication almost the reverse: The only people who might feel unready for communion under Bishop McElroy’s vision of spiritual maturation are Catholics whose lives are particularly chaotic and messed-up, who don’t feel sure at all about where they stand with God, to say nothing of their kids and ex-spouses or lovers or boyfriends or whomever. Is Sonia the prostitute from Dostoevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” ready for communion in the diocese of San Diego? Maybe not; maybe she should wait a while. But the respectable divorced father of three who gets along well enough with his ex-wife and has worked through all his issues in therapy can feel comfortable receiving ahead of her. This is not communion for the weak; it is communion for the stable and solid and respectable.

1 comment:

M. Prodigal said...

Could not be more protestant. I think of a lady I know who married a divorced man outside of the Church. She continued to attend Mass every Sunday but never received Holy Communion until she could get him to have his first marriage annulled (Catholic divorce?). This went on for about FORTY years! Finally they were able to be married in the Church and she returned to Holy Communion. Was that all for nothing?