Sunday, December 11, 2016

Cardinal Aguilar Defends Amoris Laetitia

"Thanks, I owe you one."
H/t Jane Royal.

Today in the print edition of L'Osservatore Romano, an official organ of the Vatican, a short editorial was penned in the name of Cardinal Sebastián Aguilar, Abp. emeritus of Pamplona, defending Amoris Laetitia and attacking the four cardinals. 

Aguilar was appointed cardinal by Francis in 2014. He is 86 years old and is one of the small number of cardinals who were given a cardinal's hat at the age of 80 or older.

He came under fire a few years ago for publicly reiterating the teaching of the Church that homosexuality was a "deficiency."

Here is the quasi-cleaned up Google translated version of the Italian text: 
A few distinguished gentlemen are suffering because they do not understand what Francis meant in Amoris laetitia and want the Pope to explain it. Their "concerns" are imaginary, because the Pope said what needed to be said with sufficient clarity. 
Just read it slowly if you want to understand. Some say (Amoris Laetitia) expresses personal opinions; others that it doesn't change anything; and others that it changes much. One must be more sincere and open-minded. 
The Pope expressed much about the nature of Christian marriage as a covenant of irrevocable love. And he did so as it had never been done previously in the magisterium of the Church. Taking a very realistic perspective, he says that in today's society there may be people trapped in situations of sin, from which they repent and from which, at a given time, they cannot extricate themselves; and it teaches that these people, if they are truly repentant, can receive absolution from their sins and can therefore receive communion avoiding any scandal. If those who doubt put aside their cards and go to confession, they will understand better.  
Find people who are suffering and sincerely seek God. God loves, God calls, God waits with his peace. How can we dispossess them?
In my view (and I will now speak in the familiar), defenses of Amoris Laetitia come in three basic categories:

1. Amoris Laetitia means X (where X is clear).

2. Amoris Laetitia means X (where X is at least as unclear or ambiguous as the critical passages in Amoris Laetitia).

3. Shut up, you capitalist roader.

I think Aguilar's defense is of the first category, and should be (in a sense) commended for that. People are sometimes "trapped" in second marriages (he argues). Thus it's possible for them to sincerely repent of their past sins without precisely intending to sin again (that they intend to go on fully "living out" their second marriage is not a sin or is only a quasi-sin since they are trapped in it).

You can, so to speak, read out the dubia answers from Aguilar's relatively clear response:


Everyone knows this is how the Pope desires and intends Amoris Laetitia to be interpreted:

Divorced and remarried Catholics may be admitted to communion even if they fully intend to continue (in every way) their "marital" relationship.

This is what the Pope desires and intends. And it is clear as a bell. But he cannot himself say it clearly and "officially" (by among other things, giving answers to the dubia).

That's because it is heretical.

Or not. But if not, then those who defend Amoris Laetitia or this Pope should explain why the Pope doesn't simply answer the dubia and thus clear things up once and for all.

Instead of asking old men who owe him favors to do it for him.


  1. Keep these analyses coming, Oakes. This Sebastian Cardinal Aguilar will go in the scoundrel column.

  2. Is this a Latin thing, to constantly insult the other, the person who dares to disagree with you? It is profoundly disturbing to read Cardinals and a pope who use snark and catty remarks as often as these men do. I so miss the days when grownups were in charge of our church! These men reminds me so often of teenage girls.

  3. well...the lines are certainly being clearly drawn, and the players choosing their sides. ah? eh? no?

  4. This kind of thing is pure Alinski. Demonize your enemy. Isolate him as being outside the mainstream of thought. Present Francis as victim - the victim of nasty people who don't get that that was then, this is now. Rules for Radicals, written by that horrible man Saul Alinski is being used by everyone - because its tactics work.

    The only remedy is to keep on teaching and preaching the Truth until the last Catholic stands.

  5. R e a d i t s l o o o w l y!

    Hahaha, he's got to be kidding.

    Read it like you're "trapped" and it makes perfect sense!

    For those of us who are not trapped, it's heresy.

  6. The original article in Spanish is here: