Officially, or Actually?
On March 13, 2017, on the fourth anniversary of Pope Francis’ election, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, granted an interview to Vatican Radio. Among other remarks, he stated that the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia is “a great gift,” which “provides a real impetus to pastoral work with families.” He added, “It is truly producing fruits of renewal and accompaniment of fragile family situations.”
On January 17, 2017, three bishops from Kazakhstan including Bishop Athanasius Schneider stated that “the admission of so-called ‘remarried’ divorced persons to the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist without obliging them to live in continence, is a danger to the Faith and to the salvation of souls, and is moreover an offense against the holy will of God.” They added that “this pastoral practice can never be an expression of mercy, of the ‘via caritatis’ or of the maternal sense of the Church towards sinful souls.” For this reason they are launching “an urgent appeal for prayers that Pope Francis clearly and unambiguously revoke these pastoral guidelines already adopted in some chuches.”
Two different analyses; two different statements—and a rift widens between them from day to day. In Rome, the Secretary of State has his official reasons, dictated perhaps by an unofficial State reason. In Kazakhstan, three bishops are officially in the wrong, but actually in the right.
Father Alain Lorans