I had not noticed this before in reading the synod’s working document

But after seeing Fr. Raymond de Souza mention this article in First Things in a hard-hitting column in the Catholic Register (can’t find it online yet), I see this particular text is highly problematic.

Fr. de Souza’s comment refers to this article at First Things magazine which explains why at least one problematic paragraph in the synod’s working document is in opposition to the magisterial teaching of both Blessed Pope Paul VI and St. John Paul II.

David S Crawford and Stephan Kampowki write over at First Things:

An Instrumentum laboris (working paper) was prepared for the XIV Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops and published on June 23, 2015. It covers a range of topics germane to the Synod’s theme of the family. Paragraph 137 addresses a key document of the modern Magisterium, Humanae Vitae, in a way that both calls the force of that teaching into question and proposes a method of moral discernment that is decidedly not Catholic. This approach to discernment contradicts what has hitherto been taught by the Magisterium of the Church about moral norms, conscience, and moral judgment, by suggesting that a well-formed conscience may be in conflict with objective moral norms.

As Catholic moral theologians and philosophers, we feel morally obligated to speak out against the distortion of Catholic teaching implicit in paragraph 137. If endorsed by the Synod, the defective text of the Instrumentumlaboris would lead to confusion among the faithful. Paragraph 137 should be removed and replaced by a paragraph that speaks of the conscience in a more precise fashion, that celebrates the wisdom and beauty of Humanae Vitae, and that helps spouses to appreciate that the graces are available to them to live out God’s plan for the gift of sexuality.

Go see their in depth explanation.

Interesting that it seems to me some Catholics seem to think the moral law or natural law or the objective moral reality written in our hearts or the Ten Commandments or however you want to put it is too heavy a burden and impossible for people to live up to.

Of course it is impossible for people to live up to if they try to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps!   But God’s divine power has given us every grace, every supernatural power we need to lead holy lives in accord with these moral demands to say nothing of the supernatural power of the sacraments to help us at every stage.  Such a shame that belief in the supernatural seems to be lacking among some of them.

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3 Responses to I had not noticed this before in reading the synod’s working document

  1. GregK says:

    Paragraph 137 reveals that some Synod hierarchy have essentially lost the meaning of the Christan spiritual life, the primacy of Grace and most importantly faith in the Church’s economy of salvation. Put succinctly they have lost faith in the centrality of Christ as the meritorious cause, the efficient cause of Grace, and as the head of the Body, the Church who communicates this grace and life to her members.

  2. Macy says:

    It’s time for an anthropology of grace.

  3. Rev22:17 says:

    Deborah,

    From your quotation: An Instrumentum laboris (working paper) was prepared for the XIV Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops and published on June 23, 2015.

    It must be remembered that this document is just what it’s called — a working paper intended to raise and identify issues for the bishops to consider in the synod. It is far from a finished product.

    I also am very skeptical that this is the actual working document. In the Catholic Church, working documents are normally kept in strict confidence and not released to the public.

    From your quotation: Paragraph 137 addresses a key document of the modern Magisterium, Humanae Vitae, in a way that both calls the force of that teaching into question and proposes a method of moral discernment that is decidedly not Catholic.

    This suggests a fundamental, but very widespread, misunderstanding. Humanae vitae is an encyclical and thus, by definition, expresses the pope’s personal theological opinion. It is NOT a magisterial document, and thus cannot establish infallible teaching in its own right. An encyclical can reiterate infallible doctrine, but it cannot create it.

    Now, I am not in any way suggesting that one should take such a document lightly, or even ignore it completely. The pope, and indeed all of our bishops, are very intelligent men who are very learned in spiritual and moral matters, so their personal opinions deserve due respect and consideration. Nevertheless, there is nothing to stop the magisterium from reforming something that rests solely upon such a document.

    Norm.

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