|You too can be Henry VIII and|
annul your own marriage!
"Rescripts are responses of the pope or a Sacred Congregation, in writing, to queries or petitions of individuals. Some rescripts concern the granting of favours; others the administration of justice, e.g. the interpretation of a law, the appointment of a judge." Rescipts generally have the force of particular law, however, as in this case, only "when they interpret or promulgate a general law, are they of universal application." Since papal rescripts answer an inquiry - could this rescript be a direct reply to the dubia of the Four Cardinals?Rorate goes on:
Under Canon 8 § 1 of the 1983 Code of Canon Law, the AAS is the regular method by which "universal ecclesiastical laws" are to be promulgated: “Universal ecclesiastical laws are promulgated by publication in the official commentary Acta Apostolicae Sedis, unless some other manner of promulgation has been prescribed in particular cases.” While most papal documents appearing in AAS lack canonical or disciplinary force, the Pope's rescript at the hand of Cardinal Parolin is clearly intended to give the Buenos Aires Guidelines a significant level of Magisterial authority in the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia.Put simply, the pope has given a level of official status to the Buenos Aires position that some couples in on-going adulterous relationships may return to Communion without repentance or amendment of life (i.e., living as brother and sister).
The pope's use of the term "authentic magisterium" is especially disturbing because it appears intended to trigger Canon 752, to purportedly require "religious submission of the intellect and will" to the Buenos Aires guidelines' overturning of the traditional teaching of the Church.
This is more than troubling. It is a further direct assault on the indissolubility of marriage! Not only that, but this act of papal mercy in many cases ignores and abandons the spouses who remain faithful to the union. No mercy for them! Or for the children who often become ping-pong balls bounced back and forth between the parents. Just throw them all under the bus.
I'll share a personal story here. My husband and I were engaged in a Catholic marriage apostolate with another couple. We attended their renewal of vows on their 23rd wedding anniversary. A few years later my husband and I were at Denny's having breakfast when we saw the husband (I'll call him Bill) holding hands with another woman. My heart skipped a beat and I said to Larry, "I hope that's his sister."
Fast forward another few years and I was sitting with the wife (I'll call her Sally) at a meeting. I knew by then that the marriage had been annulled and Bill was remarried. Sally was not. We renewed our friendship and chatted awhile. Then I said. "Look, Sally, you can tell me it's none of my business, but I don't understand how you and Bill could get an annulment when you renewed your vows years later." (My understanding is that, under canon law, not only the original union has to be declared null, but the commitment made at the renewal.) She looked at me and replied, with what I interpreted as a tone of betrayal, "I don't get it either."
Well, that's a slightly different issue since, whether the annulment was valid or not, at least Bill made the effort to make his betrayal officially okay. (Of course, if the first marriage was valid, and Sally believed it was hence she had NO intention of remarrying, no diocesan tribunal can separate what God has joined together.
But now, according to Pope Francis, a couple doesn't even need to go through the process of getting a declaration of nullity. Hey, like Henry VIII, if you believe the marriage was invalid, just be your own internal tribunal, declare yourself head of the Church, and go back to Communion. God wouldn't be so mean as to want you to be deprived of either Communion or your sin, right? So let's all sing out!