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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Plenty of "Gongs Clanging and Cymbals Clashing" in the Pope's Exhortation

Fr. George Rutler has a way with words and his insights are always worth reading or listening to. Here's an excerpt from a recent article on Amoris Laetitia:
there are a lot of gongs clanging and cymbals clashing in the contradictions and redundancies of much of the exhortation’s diction. Parts like the affirmation of Humanae Vitae settle the text in the sacred tradition, but there is also the muddled treatment of moral culpability that almost nods to the neuralgic interpretation of the “fundamental option” theory rejected by St. John Paul II (Veritatis Splendor, nn.65, 67)....
A lack of clarity in the text might endorse the conceit already expounded in some media interviews, which says contrition is not a necessary element in petitioning for mercy. Any parish priest should wonder at the description of the confessional as a torture chamber. While it is only human when conflicted by guilt and uncertainty to approach the Sacrament of Reconciliation with trepidation, the radiance of that sacrament is inestimable in the life of the typical priest and penitent alike, and the agony of many souls and of the Church in our day can be traced in great measure to neglect of the gracious confessional. Speaking only of my own parish, in my confessional is a picture of the Prodigal Son and not the Grand Inquisitor.
Fr. Rutler calls the allusion to "torture" a "straw horse." I certainly have never found the confessional a "torture chamber" and it certainly seems to illustrate a low opinion of his spiritual sons. But then, who am I to judge?

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