|Is there a halo under that zucchetto?|
It is no wonder the Orthodox are not too eager about reuniting with the Roman Catholic Church.considering the fact that the pastoral theology of the Western Church is so badly infected with a number of secularly transmitted diseases such as moral relativism, Darwinian evolution, and the capitulation to sexual perversion as “respect for freedom of conscience”, what good pastor would want to risk infecting his flock with such highly contagious diseases? It seems that many in the Western Church do not accept the fact that eternal damnation is a real danger for any who do not take the whole truth of God seriously.Now the question: Do you and I "take the whole truth of God seriously?" Or do we pick and choose in the cafeteria of moral beliefs? I"m currently reading Chapter Seven of Amoris Laetitia on the education of children and it seems to me that it promotes moral relativism and situation ethics. Over and over, the document addresses "concrete situations" as if no general principles can be applied to love and the family. The language often reminded me of Joseph Fletcher's Situation Ethics. It was particularly troubling in Chapter Seven when the pope urges parents to teach their children "inductively" rather than "imposing"... "certain values, principles and norms...as absolute and unquestionable truth."
What a strange pedagogical method! If I want to teach my children any subject, don't I start with principles and facts and "absolute truths?
- Two and two make four.
- We learn through our five senses.
- Water is essential to life on the planet.
- The Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776.
When I do that am I "imposing" these facts or am giving the children a foundation on which to build? And isn't that foundation fundamental to learning? Teaching morality is no different. There are fundamental principles on which to base moral decision making, and they are essential to becoming a morally upright person! When I teach the Ten Commandments am I not to stress them as "absolute and unquestionable truth?" Or are they just part of the body of knowledge that one can accept or dismiss in the process of clarifying values?
Amoris Laetitia is likely, as Fr. Tom points out, to be a further impediment to the reunion of all Christians. In my opinion it is even an impediment to the union of all Catholics. Let us see whether we have a situation as some have suggested where the German Church allows those in invalid marriage to receive Communion while, across the border, the Polish Church maintains doctrinal orthodoxy recognizing that receiving the Eucharist unworthily endangers the souls of those who do it.
We live in a time best described as confusing and, as Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia said of the Extraordinary Synod, “I think confusion is of the devil, and I think the public image that came across was one of confusion.” He said something even more troubling when he pointed out that, “People who uphold a traditional moral architecture for sexuality, marriage and family have gone in the space of just 20 years from mainstream conviction to the media equivalent of racists and bigots....“This is impressive. It’s also profoundly dishonest and evil, but we need to acknowledge the professional excellence of the marketing that made it happen.” One is tempted to point out that among the marketeers were many in the Catholic hierarchy.
Chaput also expressed concern over failure of Church leader to uphold moral teaching. Quoting French theologian Henri De Lubac, he said, “When the world worms its way into the life of the Church, the Church becomes not just a caricature of the world, but even worse than the world in her mediocrity and ugliness.” Is that not what we are seeing particularly with Rome essentially adopting the language of moral relativism and situation ethics?
Pray for Holy Mother Church and all her children. And make it your duty to study the authentic faith and share it with family and friends. And remember, not everyone in a Roman collar, or even a papal zucchetto, is telling you the truth.