Given that diabolical disorientation is truly an epidemic in the Church in our day, most of us have said with respect to matters ecclesial, “Nothing surprises me anymore.”
And yet, I still find it somewhat stunning just how many otherwise intelligent Catholics cannot seem to get their head around the true nature of Amoris Laetitia and the grave danger that it poses.
Enter Dr. Edward Peters, a well-regarded “conservative” canon lawyer whose approach to this disastrous document is emblematic of the “see no evil” denial that is so prevalent in such circles.
Writing on his blog, In the Light of the Law, Dr. Peters states:
“Am I the only (or among the few) Amoris critics who agrees with Amoris defenders that Pope Francis made no doctrinal changes in Amoris? I do not think that Francis changed any doctrines in Amoris (or even purported to change any doctrines—assuming a pope could have changed doctrines this way, which I would dispute)…”
It isn’t immediately clear exactly what “way” Dr. Peters imagines that a pope could change doctrines, but apparently he never read the Oath Against Modernism:
I sincerely hold that the doctrine of faith was handed down to us from the apostles through the orthodox Fathers in exactly the same meaning and always in the same purport. Therefore, I entirely reject the heretical misrepresentation that dogmas evolve and change from one meaning to another different from the one which the Church held previously …
The purpose of this is, then, not that dogma may be tailored according to what seems better and more suited to the culture of each age; rather, that the absolute and immutable truth preached by the apostles from the beginning may never be believed to be different, may never be understood in any other way.
The point is simple: doctrines cannot be changed; not even by a pope.
They can, however, be distorted by those who teach errors that effectively change the way in which they are held in substance; often in so deceptive a manner as to appear authentically Catholic.
This is precisely the craft and trade of the modernists, which is why Pope St. Pius X was moved to expose their nefarious operations in his magnificent encyclical, Pascendi; only to be followed by his Syllabus and then the Oath.
With this in mind, the only question that one needs to ask is whether or not Francis disseminated false doctrines, and the answer to this couldn’t possibly be clearer; at least not to those with eyes to see.
Peters, by contrast, continues:
“I still regard Amoris (or at least its eighth chapter) as seriously flawed, not because of doctrinal changes it never attempted and not because of disciplinary changes it never effected, but because of the ambiguity and incompleteness with which it discusses certain key, doctrinal and/or disciplinary factors that go into making real world, concrete, Yes-you-can or No-you-can’t decisions regarding Penance and holy Communion.”
Never attempted doctrinal changes? Amazing!
What exactly does it mean to attempt doctrinal changes if not presenting opposing errors (in an “official papal document” no less) as if they were now suddenly true; the “old” manner of thinking heretofore consigned to the dustbin of Church history?
Perhaps Peters could tell us what he finds ambiguous and incomplete about the following:
– AL 301 wherein Francis states that it can no longer be said that adultery and fornication are mortal sins, and this in spite of full knowledge of “the rule”?
– The same paragraph wherein Francis insists that Divine Law is impossible for some persons to keep?
– AL 303 wherein Francis states that persistence in adultery and fornication is at times God’s will?
These are heresies, folks, plain and simple – not because I say so, but because the Council of Trent and Sacred Scripture say so.
Then there is Peters’ incredible conclusion that Amoris Laetitia never effected disciplinary changes.
Seriously? Francis only approved of the norms for its implementation established by the Buenos Aires bishops – the same that every cogent Catholic observer recognizes as a drastic change relative to the immemorial practice of the Church – saying, “there are no other interpretations” of his Love Letter to Satan (aka Amoris Laetitia).
Peters’ argument in this case rests on a similar “technicality” as his appeal concerning doctrine:
“Pope Francis has neither ‘abrogated’ Canon 915 (that prohibits ministers of holy Communion from giving that sacrament to Catholics who ‘obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin’) nor ‘interpreted’ it out of existence.”
Peters even goes so far as to say that Canon 915 “remains in full force.”
And precisely who does he think is going to enforce Canon 915 now that the supposed Sovereign and Head of the Church on earth – he who “possesses supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church” (Can. 331) – has given his blessing to a practice that directly contravenes it?
In order for Canon 915 to remain in “full force” under such circumstances, one must believe (in this case, very deep down) that the pontificate of Francis is not in full force; i.e., it is invalid.
Needless to say, Edward Peters isn’t about to connect those dots; rather, he concluded his commentary on Amoris Laetitia by decrying what he insists is its chief failing:
“Bishops such as Chaput and the Western Canadians can also invoke Amoris to justify their sacramental polices even though their policies are the polar opposite of those being pushed by the Maltese et al. (Germans, Argentinians, and Cardinal Coccopalmerio).”
Chaput and the Western Canadian bishops are not invoking Amoris in order to substantiate their policies, but rather the immemorial practice of the Church as “based upon Sacred Scripture” (cf Familiaris Consortio 84).
This is where the only “polar opposition” that truly matters exists; between Amoris Laetitia and its author, and Sacred Scripture and sacred Tradition, and their Author.
The present situation is at once simple and tragic: Francis vs Almighty God.
Unfortunately, this is a truth too bitter, and in some (earthly) ways too costly, for many in the Church to accept; much less address head-on in a public forum.
As for those who are willing to do so, as I said at the conclusion to the previous post, there is a price to be paid. Believe me.
For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his own soul? (Mt. 16:26)
Even as I take great comfort in these words of Our Lord, at this I must humbly make an appeal (more urgent than I am willing to specify) for your kind support in order to continue this effort at aka Catholic. Thank you in advance for your generosity.
We must face the fact that the schism has not only started but is in full swing. Those who six months ago would have claimed to be firm & faithful Traditional Catholics are now swaying in the foul-smelling air-borne fumes emanating from the Vatican. Even those who have been consecrated to very high positions in the CC are having their mouths duck-taped. Seminarians have been told where the door is if they don’t fully accept AL. Other priests suspended for stating they will not administer Holy Communion to the divorced & remarried or cohabiting couples & another for informing the police of an active sodomite.
Might one ask where are the four Cardinal & their supporters? Have they done what they said they’d do & issued the formal correction yet? If not, why not? We deserve an answer. We also need to know where Cardinal Müller really stands – fence sitting has to stop. A clear & firm public resolution to stand with Christ is absolutely necessary from all members of the Hierarchy. They can no longer hope for PF to change his attitude as it is this agenda he was elected to carry out & is doing so with dedication. Does anyone still not see the likeness in him to the False Prophet? Are we all to stand back & allow ourselves to be hoodwinked into false obedience to a man who clearly never was a card carrying Catholic just because we live in the age of political correctness & ‘niceness’?
Dr Peters sees the glass half full, I on the other hand must be seeing it completely EMPTY..oh and let me add that I’m a bit confused , I was under the impression that the Pope was infallible where faith and morals were concerned( I know, I know, it’s only when he speaks Ex Cathedra )if he isn’t speaking for the Church in Amoris Gargbagia then what is it called..the sections of Amoris Letitia that are in question are clearly changes in how the True Church has always taught the faithful…are they not issues of faith and morals?How is it possible that Jorge Bergoglio can put forth such evil where faith and morals are concerned and be the Pontiff?…where is the protection of infallibility ?…hmm maybe Jorge let Pope Benedict borrow it and due to his being feeble minded he forgot to return it. I sincerely hope Our Lady steps in soon! I shudder to think of the massive loss of souls as this debaucle continues on.
Paul VI abolished the Oath Against Modernism.
Luckily he left everything else as it was and didn’t do any further harm to the Church.
Theresa, you will have to ask people like A Catholic Thinker those questions. But be forewarned, you won’t understand any of the answer, it will be very long and taken from a book he is promoting, and you will be told that its dogmatic.
The Papal Subject, are you being sarcastic? Pope Paul VI did irreparable harm when he introduced the man-centered Novus Ordo “mass” and, for all intents and purposes, abrogated the ancient and venerable God-centered Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Surely, you jest!
Yes, we’re long past time for action by bishops in respect of this evil man daily attacking God, the Holy Faith and the moral law and those who uphold same. How can they bear to watch him lead souls into such iniquity. Constantly mocking Our Lord God and diabolically pursuing evil and destroying good . . . Where is the love for God and protection of souls from eternal damnation? Where is the extreme urgency in the face of the heresies, the apostasy, the extreme evil?
I do not have the words to express the desolate horror.
Well put, Lynda. Every day a new horror. Today fornication was enshrined and lovingly caressed.
Our only recourse is prayer. Never ever give up.
The inaction of the Four Cardinals is stunning, no? I feel so abandoned by earthly shepherds.
Edward Peters in my opinion is no theologian but more like an opportunist who thinks his so called expertise on Canon Law actually make him a credible theologian. I would be very wary of any of his so called theological interpretations. He has made a career out of the ‘out of control annulment crisis’ which has been greatly accelerated due to the new loose 1983 Code of Canon law concerning marriage and validity. He has worked tirelessly educating people on what makes an annulment and what doesn’t make an annulment according to these new loose parameters. He is fully aware, I beleive, that John Paul’s wording on the new code of canon law for marriage has made it much easier to grant annulments. Does he care? Not from what I see. I get the impression that he thinks it is not his problem but his opportunity if the new Canons are loose and leave much room for maneuvering ones way with them to circumvent doctrines. He has even ironically written a paper that was published on proving that continence is required by Canon Law, even with the New tampered with 1983 Code of Canon Law, for all clergy, married deacons and all. Does it matter that Canon Law is not used to defend the doctrines? Yes of course it does matter but it appears to matter not that much to people like him who are unable to see the obligation of not only Canon Law to uphold with integrity of the doctrines of the Catholic Church but that their pastoral applications must also be in sinc with the doctrines. His grasp of the theology of marriage and continence for the priesthood is seriously lacking.
Hi Anastasia thanks a lot for your post. Because I have serious concern after reading Peter’s book (Questions and Answers) on the annulment process. I feel something is wrong but can’t quite tell because he is the Canon Law expert. Never in the whole book he pointed out the abuses in U.S. that even Benedict XVI pointed out. Could you share if it is possible what exactly is wrong with his understanding of Catholic marriage? I also I want to ask a question which I got no answers from the Fatima Center (usually they are very helpful) because they said Fr. Gruner never shared his opinion. That is if a priest should look into an annulment’s validity before he perform a marriage (1st marriage was annulled). I know the SSPX position is they would do that and I was told the overturn rate is close to 100%. But an independent traditional priest (non Sedevacantist) told me he doesn’t do that because he has no authority (which is true but if you know most annulments that are not due to lack of form are invalid wouldn’t be a priest concern to avoid the situation of a couple live in public adultery?). I know Dr. Peters has problems with the New Canon of Francis on annulment. Does he advocate the position to not recognize any annulments as a result of the New Canon of Francis? I know SSPX does not have authority but the Supreme Law of the Church is salvation of souls, it seems to me their policy is correct. Do you know if Sedevacantist priest would recognize any annulments? or that matter any marriage at all that are not performed by a Sedevacantist priest? We need to know before the crazy thing of AL folks were expecting the Synod would address the abuse of the annulment process which more or less like a “Catholic divorce”. Thanks and God Bless!
Yes, Akita, we faithful Catholics have been abandoned to our secular persecutors with whom our spiritual fathers collude; whilst the baptised that they’ve led into iniquity, heresies, apostasy have been abandoned (whether they know it or not) to the Devil. We need to try to find some other true Catholics locally to help each other, as they are shutting down communication by and information from the independent truth exposers, to leave nothing but the NWO globalist tyrants’ propaganda arm, as per the so-called “mainstream” Media. God bless and protect us.
Yes, Dr Peters can be good at the reasoning to a point, but I think he is affected by a certain modernism, a certain secularism or worldliness (Americanism?). It puts me in mind of some “conservative” judges who often arrive at the correct judgment but whose reasoning can ignore the fundamental unchangeable truths of the Natural (and Divine) Law, limiting themselves to manmade law, which can lead one to the false and pervasive NWO globalist government philosophy of positivism. Dr Peters, in my opinion, tries too hard to make excuses for, or accommodate that which is illicit regarding marriage. Marriage is not something difficult to understand, it is understandable and can be entered into by the average person of 18 years (traditionally 16). It is only since society has become defiant of God and His Laws such as marriage being for life, that a cynical pseudo-intellectual analysis has been developed to justify a man or woman repudiating a valid marriage.
Magicians expertly use slight of hand, clever devices, cunning distractions etc. to convince their astonished audience that they are changing the laws of nature when, in fact, what is taking place is nothing more than deception for the sake of amusement. Modernism uses these same techniques to change dogma without really “changing dogma”. The Catholic faithful are being deceived and there is nothing amusing about it. For more than 50 years, the Modernists in the Church have been using “magic” to change the way Catholics believe without officially and authoritatively changing one word of dogma. They don’t have to–perception is reality especially when behavior rules over the unchangeable truths of the Holy, Roman Catholic Church. Bergoglio is brainwashing the Catholic world because he, himself, has been brainwashed.
Hi Danielpan. Your welcome. If I had only one book to recommend to you it would be from the author Robert Vasoli “What God Has Joined Together The Annulment crisis in American Catholicism”. Mr. Vasoli passed away several years ago but he was an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Notre Dame. It was said that he was frequently consulted by the media and laypersons on the issue of annulment. As his book titled suggests he was certainly not a fan of the annulment crisis.
To answer your question as to what is wrong with Edward Peters Catholic understanding of marriage I would have to say that in my opinion he doesn’t really care to understand the theological meaning of marriage but that he is more interested in how can he use the open ended loose Canon Code 1095 to keep him busy in the annulment business. This is why I wholeheartedly believe that laymen who are poorly formed Catholics and lack a solid traditional Catholic theological formation,as a well formed priest once had the chance of having way back when, should not be considered experts on interpreting Canon law and pastoral applications of these laws. They tend toward the weakness of careerism than Catholicism.
I know I am going to sound like a broken record once again but the whole inversion of the hierarchy of the primary purpose of marriage, the procreation and education of children for God’s glory for that of the secondary purpose of unity of the couple, which this secondary purpose can never be separated from but ALWAYS subordinate to and gets its meaning from the primary purpose of procreation and education of children for God’s glory, is what has allowed for the tampering of loosie goosie new codes of canon law regarding marriage and the obligation of continence for married clergy.
Most Catholics are seriously confused as to what marriage is and ordered to be by the supreme author our Lord Himself. All laws that protect marriage and its sacredness and responsibilities were established and formed from the fact that the sex act between one woman and one man is itself primarily ordered toward by nature and God Himself ( regardless of whether one is infertile or not through no fault of their own) to the potentiality to bring a soul into the world which is of the highest value to God and which should be of the highest value to man but as we clearly see is not with the onslaught of divorce, contraception and abortion. The laws that are enacted for marriage and its protection were certainly NOT conceived or enacted because the sex act alone is so great in and of itself and or that that the sex act is seen as nothing but an exchange of sexual favors which should be enacted and protected by laws similar to marriage. This is prostitution Not marriage. The potentiality to bring a soul into the world also creates a vulnerability for those people involved especially the child and the woman who are most vulnerable which demands the protection of marriage laws. The laws protecting marriage or the conjugal act are not and were not made from sexual activity alone between two people of the same sex because their sexual activity has absolutely no POTENTIAL to bring a soul into the world. Their sexual activity is far from the level pertaining to a sacrament and their activity is indeed an abomination and they are absolutely not entitled to be considered as married or entitled to laws that protect marriage. They would have been locked up for this kind of activity in the days of old. Once again it does not matter that a man or a woman who are infertile due to defects of nature or old age can’t have children. They are still entitled to the laws that protect marriage and define marriage because their conjugal act is ordered by God and nature itself from THE BEGINNING to be ordered toward procreation and to reflect ONE God ,male, and the ONE Church, female and to be permanent and faithful to God and His commandments.
Peter and many Catholics of his like thinking suffer from the effects of separation of Church and state theory applied to the Church Herself. At Vatican II the goal was to separate doctrine from practice (which is impossible and those of us here know this) because the modernist knew they could’t change doctrine therefore if you change the practice then over time you’ll have those believing such, demanding a change in Doctrine to suit their fallen practice and as a result you get Pope Francis’ Amoris Latitiae. Peter unfortunately thinks that since Pope Francis hasn’t made Amoris Latitiae Ex Cathedra then no doctrine has changed and all is good. Absolute Hogwash! When you change the practice to undermine the doctrine your change the doctrine at the same time. Addition and subtraction are inseparable from one another. If you add to one side of the equation you take from the other. Faith is a gift that many “in” the Catholic Church, not only no longer have, but reject!
Thanks Anastasia and everyone’s replies. For practical purpose should validity of annulments be examined like SSPX does? Should any annulments that are not “lack of form” but approved under Francis’ New Canon be rejected wholesale? These “Francis annulments” are coming out already.
Actually like Louie pointed out before Francis with AL did change at least two Divine Laws 1) Remarriage is public adultery(established by Christ) 2) It is Sacrilege to receive the Holy Eucharist with mortal sin in the soul. There are many blasphemies in AL too. Like Fr. Isaac Relyea with Fatima Center said AL is a document from hell and gift from Satan.
We can thank Pius XII for allowing “natural family planning” or in reality, a form of contraception and a placing into the mind the idea that man has a right to control God’s gift of new life, for the eventual hierarchical inversion of the primary purpose of marriage.
I think this has already been discussed before but I believe the groundwork for NFP started all way back in 1853 with Pope Pius IX, at least according to this article but I have also read this information through other sources too.
Oops, forgot to post the article. http://www.cmri.org/03-nfp.html
Exactly! That’s THE problem. No zeal for souls, no real faith! They are fast asleep. Pray the Rosary, fast, and don’t worry. Seek to save souls in the sphere where you are.
johnjobilbee: Thanks for the link. How easy it has been for the demons to get in through the back door.
Do you think the average Catholic married couple were told of the restrictions Pius XII placed upon the use of NFP if they even consulted a priest in the matter?
I think all rubber stamped annulments should be questioned. Do we as lay faithful have the authority to publicly profess they are fraudulent just because we suspect it? I don’t think so but we can encourage others who are being the victims of suspected annulment fraud to bring their grievances to the higher court of the Rome Rota. Nonetheless I need to admit that this of course all sounds fine and dandy but in reality most couples who are being thwarted in all this give up out of sheer dread of the work and the battle ahead of them. Save for Mrs. Kennedy and Robert Vasoli few have the strength or the stamina to fight these modernist tribunals and supporters of annulments for many easy reasons that do not in fact not make a marriage invalid.
As for the SSPX rejecting wholesale all annulments from the new Canon under Francis I would say no but yes to them absolutely scrutinizing the reasons given for the annulment and it’s procedure and going from there.
Meant to say “… easy reasons that do not in fact make a marriage invalid.”
Well there are those annulments (not lack of form) before Francis’ New Canon they should have SSPX to take a second look. But there are those annulments that based on the Francis’ New Canon that even a laity should reject it wholesale.
Set aside the Dubia for a moment. Why haven’t any Novus Ordo Bishops joined the SSPX? That would send the message to Rome that needs to be sent.
Because they are modernist bishops who were appointed by modernist “popes.” Do not look for a solution to this crisis from anyone who says the NO or even tolerates the NO. That is how you tell who is and isnt a modernist. Modernists pray the NO, Carholics pray the Mass of the Ages.