- Jan 22, 2021
“We’re under a lot of pressure in the contemporary world, we Christians and Catholics, and it’s critical to find the right position for our backbone,” said the founder of a new institute devoted to John Paul II and Culture. “John Paul II shows us how to be in such a position.”
Two Vatican developments have occurred over the last week, neither of which on its own amounts to a thunderclap, but each of which, in its own way, is still noteworthy.
The Second Vatican Council’s document on the Church in the modern world was the culmination of the council’s efforts “to descend from the icy heights of abstraction to respond to human lives as they really are being lived,” said Jesuit Father John O’Malley, a leading historian.
Although some accounts have framed the Sept. 6 death of Italian Cardinal Carlo Caffarra almost entirely in terms of his final act as one of the “dubia cardinals” challenging Pope Francis’s document “Amoris Laetita,” he was a much bigger figure than that, and he illustrated Catholicism’s perennial genius for embracing strong and divergent views on important questions all at once.
Three professors from the John Paul II Institute in Rome have produced a handbook explaining how to apply ‘Amoris Laetitia,’ which was just published in English. They argue discernment should help find ways to live spousal fidelity, and not ways to be excused from the Church’s moral law.
In a pastoral handbook for the implementation of “Amoris Laetitia,” three professors from Rome’s John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family say the document does not permit Communion for the divorced and civilly remarried, only a less complete participation in the sacraments.