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Amoris Laetitia Criticism, Chapter & Verse

In a recent exchange about Amoris Laetitia on Twitter, Cardinal Wilfrid Fox Napier, OFM, of Durban, South Africa, leveled the charge that critics “misrepresent” and “vilify” Pope Francis by “ascribing errors to” AL “without actually identifying them.” He went on:

And while those who continued the conversation brought up the dubia, the really hard-hitting, chapter and verse analysis of AL happened in July of last year, when a list of theological censures against the exhortation was sent to the college of cardinals by a group of 45 theologians, pastors, and Catholic scholars from around the world. And so I responded to the cardinal, along with those in the discussion:

At the time of this writing, Cardinal Napier has not replied to my inquiry.

But this particular dodge isn’t the reason for my post. Something curious happened after this exchange. Frank Walker of picked up my original article on the censures document from July of 2016 and ran a headline linking to it as though it were a new story. I was subsequently contacted by some people who had never seen or read about this document before.

All of which got me wondering: was July of 2016 too soon? Had people missed the most in-depth analysis of AL to date because awareness of the exhortation as a “problem document” had not yet reached critical mass?

With this in mind, I wanted to bring this document again to the attention of our readers, for those interested in a much more robust look at the challenges AL presents to our faith than has been seen before or since. The original document, along with its explanatory cover letter, was intended to be kept secret, and only to be read by the intended recipients in the curia. Unsurprisingly, both were leaked and began to appear online shortly after they were distributed, exposing not just the analysis, but the list of signatories who bravely put their name to them. Both, having been made public, can be read in full at the links below:

Download the full cover letter here. Download the full theological analysis with censures here. Both links are to PDF files.

Please also see (below the line break) a lengthy excerpt of my original article which gives more context and a fuller explanation of why the censures were written — and a word of warning for those who intend to read them:

[T]he authors do not shy away from a strong statement about the effect of the exhortation, intentional or not:

When it comes to the document itself, however, there is no doubt that it constitutes a grave danger to Catholic faith and morals. It contains many statements whose vagueness or ambiguity permit interpretations that are contrary to faith or morals, or that suggest a claim that is contrary to faith and morals without actually stating it. It also contains statements whose natural meaning would seem to be contrary to faith or morals.


The problem with Amoris laetitia is not that it has imposed legally binding rules that are intrinsically unjust or authoritatively taught binding teachings that are false. The document does not have the authority to promulgate unjust laws or to require assent to false teachings, because the Pope does not have the power to do these things. The problem with the document is that it can mislead Catholics into believing what is false and doing what is forbidden by divine law.

In expressing their intent, the authors make clear what they are attempting to establish with this document, and it is here that we begin to see the technical nature of their work as theologians, and why it is critical that their analysis be understood properly, to avoid misinterpretation:

For the sake of theological clarity and justice, this criticism of the harmful parts of Amoris laetitia will take the form of a theological censure of the individual passages that are deficient. These censures are to be understood in the sense traditionally held by the Church,2 and are applied to the passages prout iacent, as they lie. The propositions censured are so damaging that a complete listing of the censures that apply to them is not attempted. Most if not all of them fall under the censures of aequivoca, ambigua, obscura, praesumptuosa, anxia, dubia, captiosa, male sonans, piarum aurium offensiva, as well as the ones listed. The censures list i) the censures that bear upon the content of the statements censured, and ii) those that bear upon the damaging effects of the statements. The censures are not intended to be an exhaustive list of the errors that Amoris laetitia on a plausible reading contains; they seek to identify the worst threats to Catholic faith and morals in the document. The propositions censured are divided into those that are heretical and those that fall under a lesser censure.

This is, in other words, a serious and scholarly undertaking. As Dr. Shaw has commented, “The censures are a detailed and technical theological document whose contents are not readily accessible to a non-specialist audience, and are easily misrepresented or misunderstood.” We must be careful then, now that the contents have been made public, to defer to those specialists in theology (including the signatories themselves) in the proper interpretation of the appeal.

There is no reasonable way to summarize here the list of ostensibly heretical propositions in AL and their applicable theological censures without leaving out language vital to a proper understanding of the analysis. The propositions include statements contained in the post-synodal apostolic exhortation about the death penalty, sexual submission, the nature of consecrated virginity, the supposed inability of the faithful to meet the demands of the divine law, the implied denial of the reality eternal damnation, certain questions of culpability for grave sin (and the possibility of obtaining sanctifying grace while in such sin), the notion that one can sin by obeying the divine law, and more. A total of 19 propositions are analyzed, interpreted, and, given the context of an obvious reading that would be contrary to divine teaching, assigned appropriate theological censures.

83 thoughts on “Amoris Laetitia Criticism, Chapter & Verse”

  1. AL is Vatican II squared. “They” are putting the final touches on the NWO and One World Religion. There is no doubt about this for anyone with eyes to see.

    • “Why is it that so few realize the seriousness of our present crisis?
      Partly because men do not want to believe their own times are wicked,
      partly because it involves too much self-accusation and principally
      because they have no standards outside of themselves by which to measure
      their times. If there is no fixed concept of justice how shall men
      know it is violated? Only those who live by faith really know what is
      happening in the world. The great masses without faith are unconscious
      of the destructive processes going on.The tragedy is not that the hairs
      of our civilization are gray; it is rather our failure to see that they
      are. The very day Sodom was destroyed, Scripture describes the sun as
      bright; Balthasar’s realm came to an end in darkness; people saw Noah
      preparing for the flood one hundred and twenty years before it came, but
      men would not believe. In the midst of seeming prosperity, world-unity,
      the decree to the angels goes forth but the masses go on their sordid
      routines. As our Lord said: “For as in the days before the flood, they
      were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, even till
      that day in which Noah entered into the ark, and they knew not till the
      flood came, and took them all away; so also shall the coming of the Son
      of man be.” (Matthew 24:38, 39) Well may Our Saviour say to us what He
      said to the Saducees and Pharisees in His time: “When it is evening,
      you say: It will be fair weather, for the sky is red. And in the
      morning: Today there will be a storm, for the sky is red and lowering.
      You know then how to discern the face of the sky: and can you not know
      the signs of the times?” (Matthew 16:2, 3)

  2. In the covering letter, many of the signatories have some words redacted after their entry. Any clue as to why? Would these have been offices or positions lost as a result of them signing the letter?

  3. Thank you Steve for bringing this back to everyone’s attention.
    Maybe Cardinal Napier didn’t read it. Now he can.

  4. Steve:

    Brilliant observation and an humble admission.

    Yes, it WAS too soon, but you couldn’t have known that, then.

    I read that rag the first week it was puked out and I was utterly horrified. 260 pages best summarized by a citation from Scripture: “In the multitude of words there shall not want sin: but he that refraineth his lips is most wise.” I’d add a paraphrase replacing “lips” with “keystrokes”.

    PRAISE GOD for those theologians who unlike me have an audience and can comment on the obvious and not-so-obvious with respect of the masses.

    I’d send this note to Cdl Napier but a minutes-ago attempt revealed that he has blocked me from his Twitter account.

    I have to chuckle.

    So much for the “Africans are staunch supporters of the Magesterium” line….

    We need a new head of the Church who is willing to look at the names who have made themselves quite public, no doubt feeling so very cocksure of themselves and protected to-boot in spite of their willingness to cave in to heresy…AND FIRE THEM.

    • I had thought Cdl Napier was one of the few “good” bishops. Nothing surprises me any more with the “Catholic” church.

    • “We need a new head of the Church who is willing to look at the names
      who have made themselves quite public, no doubt feeling so very cocksure
      of themselves and protected to-boot in spite of their willingness to
      cave in to heresy…”

      People in my circle of friends who are now traditional Catholics now recognize many clerics as wolves, but at one time they admired them. Cd. Schoenborn was in my top three of who I wanted to follow John Paul II. People at my church were ecstatic when Dolan was named a cardinal. My old pastor, who is excellent, had Bp. Barron as a teacher and thought very highly of him. Pope Francis is useful in separating the politicians from the faithful shepherds. When a more traditional pope comes along, be it 10, 20 years or more, heads will roll. The careerists, having long accustomed themselves to sticking out their necks, won’t be difficult or time-consuming to find.

      • “When a more traditional pope comes along, be it 10, 20 years or more, heads will roll.” It’ll never happen because the Progressives will have organized, plotted, and politicked their way to prevent a Trad pope from happening. In fact, I don’t think there’ll be “a Church” by then. It is said the Anglican Church will extinct in another generation (will it take that long?), But the “Official” Catholic Church will be following hard on its demise. We wouldn’t recognize that dismal “NGO” institution (we can hardly recognize it now!) and it will be most certainly divided along linguistic lines into “national” churches, like the Big “O” Orthodox are, but they’ll be getting along with each other about as well as the Orthodox get along with each other now. Which is a sort of perpetual “get off my lawn!” sort of relationship.

        However, I have no doubt that there will be (for want of a better way to say it) a Traditional Catholic Church, much smaller than the mainline one, but obviously and clearly Catholic, and truly international, using of course the TLM everywhere. The Progressive Modernist Church will mock us, calling us “Tradistan” and so on. But we’ll be doing all right. In fact, we’ll be thriving.

        Honestly, though, unless Our Most Blessed Lord Himself takes a hand, what other outcome can the future hold? Anything can happen, in terms of miracles, and I pray for miracles, but does anyone see how else this ends?


        • From a worldly perspective, divorced from some sort of revival and/or a miracle of some sort, and in the absence of any indications to the contrary, which I admit I cannot see at this point, I believe you have well-outlined the reality not that will exist only, but that exists right now.

          I grew up Methodist but also attended Anglican and Reformed and Lutheran groups along the way, and NOTHING I see in the Catholic Church strikes me as unique. It is all Old Hat liberal mainline Protestant rot.

          It is my contention that “conservative” prelates have hidden behind the “gates of hell” and in effect, sat back and watched the Church go right down a godless, Freemasonic rathole, all the while proclaiming that what is or did happen “can’t happen’ as the “Holy spirit protects the Church”.

          I keep saying that God never promised to step in and do what He called US to do. Look at North Africa after Islam got done with it, England and most of northern Europe after the “Reformers” got done with it and now, in spite of the “Church in Name Only” Latin America and Italy after the Freemasons got done with it.

          Is there still a Catholic Church?

          Sure, but one simply cannot say “no teachings has changed” in the practical sense when we see constant change everywhere.

          If this is not the apostasy, the “religious deception” noted in the words of Jesus and st Paul and paragraph 675 of the CCC, I cannot imagine WHAT it would be.

          Pope Francis is not “THE” problem. If your body is sound, you can fight off a head cold. But the body of the catholic Church IS NOT SOUND. It is sick with the disease of Protestantitus. That disease has swept the “Christian” world and has infected the catholic prelature and “faithful” everywhere now. In addition, many Catholics pretend there is no illness or that the illness is not life threatening, because, you know…the “gates of hell shall not prevail”. Such an interpretation of that passage is pathetic and bankrupt. It leads to all sorts of malaise and apathy in the face of the constant attacks by the forces of faggotry and religious indifference.

          A New Religion exists within the Catholic Church. It is Protestantism and many don’t even know they believe it and live it.

          The problem in the Catholic Church is simple; We are led by deadbeat “fathers”, fathers who will not discipline their children. Yes, it is that simple. Very likely hundreds if not thousands of priests should be laicized and dozens or maybe hundreds of bishops defrocked. I have actually heard a “conservative” Catholic berate me for saying that as his contention is that if such happened they would continue to administer the Sacraments privately or in groups and declare themselves the “Church” and cause chaos. REALLY?
          So it is better to leave the cancer INSIDE the body where it can, AND DOES AND HAS AND WILL metastasize?

          I also don’t demand a miracle from God. Some wait for the Blessed Virgin to appear, or Christ to return or something grand and glorious to happen. Why? NOTHING that is attacking the Church from within cannot be solved by simple manly, Christian courage.

          And that the Church lacked at all levels of the priesthood and prelature. And now the situation is a runaway train.

          Indeed, many put their faith in Funny Fat men and the like and now we see just how reliable such men are. Face it, the “corporate culture” of Catholicism demanded overt “orthodoxy” for so long and now it doesn’t.

          So the names are out there.

          Things have been bad before. Maybe not “as bad”, I don’t know, but who then would have guessed that an elected Alexander VI would be followed decades later by a Pius V?

          Nope, we must keep following Jesus in our private lives and embarrass, shame, humiliate AND encourage, empower and support the prelates as needed.

          May God save the Catholic Church.

          • Thanks for so long and eloquent and HEARTFELT response! Fine wine, sir, fine wine.

            I’d only point out two things: I grew Catholic up among Protestants (mainly Methodists and Lutherans, rural farmer types), but “the old ones” are long gone now. Yet if you and I, who have been on the ecumenical front lines (in a sense) can see what the Church is doing itself by imitating the mainline Protestants, why can’t they? The evidence is NO secret. From a PJ Media article from May of this year:
            In the landmark book The Churching of America 1776-1990: Winners and Losers in Our Religious Economy, Roger Finke and Rodney Stark explain in no uncertain terms that whenever churches and/or denominations embrace liberal theology, they lose members and begin the path to eventual irrelevancy. In their book, Finke and Stark write that “to the degree that denominations rejected traditional doctrines and ceased to make serious demands on their followers, they ceased to prosper.”

            Raghn again: so the evidence is there, published, plain. But they simply seem to be illiterate. Do they:
            A: Have no Faith at all?
            B: Have been blinded by God as Pharaoh had been in not letting Moses go, so that God can show some “Great Sign” to the world?
            C: Or are they like the doomed at the ill-fated Banquet at Belsbury (sp?) in That Hideous Strength, in that they have the mocked the Word of God so much in their own lives that the Curse of Babel is now on them? I always remember Ezekiel 8:8 and following, what was going on behind the wall, what the Elders were REALLY worshipping. Horrifying.

            The other think I’d note is that all the bishops of England, except John Fisher, bent down before Fat Harry 8. Had even three or four stood up and cried, “God save Queen Katherine! To arms, oh Christian faithful!” He’d have had to back down. He probabIy would have been deposed.

            I suspect such situations as then and now are what Our Lord meant when He asked if, when He returns, He’d find faith on the Earth?

          • Right on.

            My father was a Methodist minister. A wonderful man, not knowledgeable of the Catholic faith but I can assure anyone who wonders, the many ecumenical gatherings he was involved with for nearly 50 years from 1950 to the end of his life were not opportunities for the spreading of the Catholic faith. Rather, quite the opposite, and I’m afraid the Catholic priests were complicit in this.

            Modern ecumenism is religious indifferentism and the wholesale denial of the teachings of Mortalium Animos.

          • In ancient times, if a city withstood an enemy siege, it was said that the gates “prevailed” against the enemy. This means that we have to go on the offensive and take the fight to the forces of Hell. We are guaranteed victory…but we must fight!

          • This is exactly the correct interpretation.

            One of our priests entered a discussion at a gathering of our parish and dropped that very “bomb” on those who were parroting the line as it so often means “we don’t have to do anything, God will take care of it” or “The Holy Spirit won’t allow anything bad to happen to the Church”.

            He said: “Gates don’t attack. Gates sit there. We must bring the fight to the devil in evangelisation and holiness. The real meaning is that the CHURCH will always penetrate the gates of Hell and save souls. WE must fight and we must be at the vanguard of the attack. Those are our orders.”

          • The “gates of Hell shall not prevail” passage has an interesting history of interpretation.
            The original meaning , in its very earliest interpretations, all say the passage is a promise of the Resurrection. Jesus was the Resurrection, your only hope to escape from the clutches of death, and the righteous in His Church would enjoy it.
            John 11: 23-27
            Jesus saith to her: Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith to him: I know that he shall rise again, in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said to her:
            “ I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, although he be dead, shall live. And every one that liveth, and believeth in me, shall not die for ever. Believest thou this?”
            She saith to him: “ Yea, Lord, I have believed that thou art Christ the Son of the living God, who art come into this world.”
            The idea of Death as a prison, “Sheol” was held at the time of Jesus and before.
            Hosea 13:14 I will deliver them out of the hand of death. I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy death; O hell, I will be thy bite: comfort is hidden from my eyes.
            Job 38:17 Have the gates of death been opened to thee, and hast thou seen the darksome doors?
            Psalm 9:15 Thou that liftest me up from the gates of death, that I may declare all thy praises in the gates of the daughter of Sion.
            Wisdom of Solomon 16:12 For it was neither herb, nor mollifying plaister, that restored them to health: but thy word, O Lord, which healeth all things. 13 For thou hast power of life and death: thou leadest to the gates of hell, and bringest up again.

            The Old Testament scriptures use the figure of speech “the gates of death”, “the gates of Sheol”, or “the gates of Hades” to reference the imprisonment of the dead in the abode called Sheol or Hades .
            The righteous had hope that they would be rescued from beyond the very gates of death itself, pulled out of the pit.
            The “ gates of Hell will not prevail” meant that the very power of death to hold its captives would be broken as Christ led the captives from within the gates of death into life everlasting.
            Revelation 1:17-18 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

            St Paul writes in Ephesians 4:8-10 that Jesus “led a host of captives” It is fair to ask: from whence did the captives come from? From the prison of Death! Paul directly links this passage with Christ’s descent into Hades the abode of the Dead and leading the dead souls there up to Heaven because he has in mind the Old Testament Psalm 68, verses 17-20 in particular.

            Early Church Saints and doctors , hymn writers and commenters preached this aspect when commenting on Matthew’s “gates of Hell shall not prevail” :
            “Thou hast shown us the way of resurrection, having broken the gates of hell, and brought to nought him who had the power of death-the devil.” – St. Gregory of Nyssa
            St. Hilary of Poitiers, in his commentary on Matthew 16:18 wrote “But in this bestowing of a new name is a happy foundation of the Church, and a rock worthy of that building, which should break up the laws of hell … and all the shackles of death.”
            St Leo the Great Sermon 62 On the Passion writes:
            ” You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. The strength, therefore, of the Christian Faith, which, built upon an impregnable rock, fears not the gates of death,…”
            Eusebius of Caesarea: Praeparatio Evangelica (Preparation for the Gospel). Tr. E.H. Gifford (1903) — Book 1 we read : “The Church also which He foretold by name stands strongly rooted, and lifted up as high as the vaults of heaven by prayers of holy men beloved of God, and day by day is glorified, flashing forth unto all men the intellectual and divine light of the religion announced by Him, and is in no way vanquished or subjected by His enemies, nay, yields not even to the gates of death, because of that one speech uttered by Himself, saying: ‘Upon the rock will I build my Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.’ “
            In the Life of St Macrina – St Gregory wrote:
            “…Thou hast saved us from the curse and from sin, having become both for our sakes. Thou hast broken the heads of the dragon who had seized us with his jaws, in the yawning gulf of disobedience. Thou hast shown us the way of resurrection, having broken the gates of hell, and brought to nought him who had the power of death – the devil. Thou hast given a sign to those that fear Thee in the symbol of the Holy Cross, to destroy the adversary and save our life. … ”
            It was Origen, for one, who misinterpreted the gates of hell not as the prison of death, but as sins , particularly heresy, that would provide entrance INTO Hell:
            “…in like manner each one of those who are the authors of any evil opinion has become the architect of a certain gate of Hades; but those who co-operate with the teaching of the architect of such things are servants and stewards, who are the bond-servants of the evil doctrine which goes to build up impiety.” – Origen, Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew, 12, 12
            Origen’s assumption has echoed down the centuries, unchallenged, until his teaching all but replaced the earlier teaching that the “gates of Hell shall not prevail” passage referred to the Resurrection.
            The idea that the sin of heresy would not prevail was picked up by the saints in their writings.
            “the gates of hell are the belief or rather the misbelief of heretics.” – St. John Cassian, The Seven Books on the Incarnation of the Lord (Against Nestorius), 3, 14
            “all the sects are truly ‘gates of hell,’ but ‘They will not prevail against the rock,’ that is, the truth.” – St. Epiphanius of Salamis
            Pope Adrian I, Apostolic Letter Pastoralibus Curis; Denz. 298 seems to indicate the power of the Pope would keep heretics and falsehoods at bay.
            “the foundation of the Church should prevail against all heresies. The day will fail me sooner than the names of heretics and the different sects, yet against all is this general faith-that Christ is the Son of God, and eternal from the Father, and born of the Virgin Mary.” – St. Ambrose of Milan
            “I suppose the gates of hell to mean vice and sin, or at least the doctrines of heretics by which men are ensnared and drawn into hell.” – St. Jerome
            “These things therefore being settled with all accuracy, we, bearing in remembrance the promises made respecting the holy Church, and who it was that said that the gates of hell should not prevail against her, that is, the deadly tongues of heretics…” – Fourth Ecumenical Council
            It was Pope Vigilius who approved the decrees of Constantinople II in 553, and we find him identifying the gates of hell explicitly with the “death-dealing tongues of heretics” as if this were so obvious as to be assumed, and it is sometimes quoted parenthetically.
            Modern apologists have jumped all over Pope Vigilius’ statement as their “ proof” of the original and definitive meaning of Matthew’s gospel.
            Today the original Resurrection interpretation of “the gates of Hell shall not prevail” passage has thoroughly been forgotten , and supplanted by the apologetic for the indefectibility of the Church.

          • Excellent analysis.

            Unfortunately, there’s a terrible divide between us today and the hebrew roots of our Church and so often times anacronisti interpretatilns tend to bury the hebraisms that underline many of Our Lord’s sayings.

            Just to add a thought to your post, however, the resurrection of the dead was supposed to acommpany the Messiah’s kingdom as part of the Messianic age, which would take the form of, as St. Peter put it, “times of refreshment” which links us to the book of Revelation’s promise of a “new earth and a new heavens”.

            The Messianic era would herald Israel’s/Zion’s (the Church) reclaiming the status of God’s son and worldly primacy as in the days of David and Solomon and the end of suffering and sin.

            A somber picture may emerge if we accept and realize that “The Great Apostasy” was supposed to preceed the Messianic Era as the last rebellion of the old snake/dragon/evil before he and his angels are cast into the Gehenna or lake of fire.

            This ties into directly into the Cathechism’s articles 675 to 677 as well as Our Lord’s forewarning “When the Son of Man comes, think ye, will he find Faith on Earth?”

            I don’t mean to get all alocalyptic here but I believe our and the Church’s woes have just began.

            Is it just me or does someone else see God’s providential ordaining of history fulfilling right before our own eyes.

          • Interesting tie in to Revelation…
            I agree many Hebrew idioms have been lost in translation over tIme. Meanings in scripture certainly can be both/and, as you say. St Hilary actually preached both interpretations. As far as what did Jesus mean to convey to His Apostles, one has to ask: ” how would these men, steeped in the Hebrew Scriptures, have understood the phrase as Jesus spoke it to them?”
            Part of the reason I researched this subject was that many people in the Church are angry, confused and upset and in despair because they hear heresies being taught by the people who are supposed to be their shepherds. Many of them write things like “it looks like the gates of hell have prevailed!” not realizing there was another interpretation that used to be taught long ago, and now isn’t taught at all.

          • “Gate of Hell shall not prevail against it.” I read somewhere that until the early 20th Century, it was well known that that phrase meant “death”. Hell being the Old English name for the realm of the Dead. So that in modern usage would be that Death would not defeat the Church as death did not defeat Christ,

          • “We must not demand a miracle from God. Some wait for the Blessed Virgin to appear, or Christ to return or something grand and glorious to happen. Why? NOTHING that is attacking the Church from within cannot be solved by simple manly, Christian courage.”

            Excellent observation. Many Catholics especially traditionalists are constantly waiting for something big to happen. Such notion is especially common among so called “fatimists”. My question is where in the message of Fatima we find a statement: “In one hundred years (in 2017) there’s going to be a great chastisement or direct intervention from God”. There is none. The Church don’t work that way. God always used his people during the course of history. First forefathers and prophets then apostles, fathers of the Church and saints. Saints of old didn’t sit on their hands waiting for something big to happen. Apostles eventually came out from the Upper Room. Saint Paul didn’t wait for others do fulfil his mission. They were brave. They were courageous men of action. They fought heretics with bravery during different historical tribulations. They weren’t afraid to call a spade a spade. They were especially “unmerciful” in bashing: the Gnostics, the Arians, the Monophists, the Nestorians and later on the Protestants. They didn’t wait for direct intervention from Heaven. They did what they had to do. Sometimes I think that this constant talking about direct intervention from God is a kind of a mask that covers our weakness or lack of faith.


    • “So much for the “Africans are staunch supporters of the Magesterium”—– that statement should never be taken to mean every single African Catholic. Yet, I do personally think the continent is the future of the Faith imho. In regards to Cardinal Napier, he needs to read the 45 censures and have an honest discussion with himself, with all due respect to him. Further it would be a great delight to follow the developing story in Cameroon regarding the death and eulogy of Bishop Bala. Trust me, it’s well worth the time

      • I have heard that so much – that Africa is the hope of the Church. What this means is that we have given up and are seeking others to fight for us. We must fight where we are to change things. Africa is changing so much, so fast how can we say we can rely on them? The Demons never sleep and are working in Africa as we doze. Many millions of Africans are deep in Novus Ordo land, and inculturation is rampant – some of their Masses are horrible! And Napier comes from there, does he not? Salvation of the Faith will be fought parish by parish all over the world. Let’s start with ours.

        • Kaboom!!

          Right on target.

          “Africans” are not the cavalry riding to the rescue.

          It cannot be said better than what you say here: “Salvation of the Faith will be fought parish by parish all over the world. Let’s start with ours.”

        • Whether my opinion about the future of the faith is true or false time will tell. My gut tells me that it is correct, yet, as with many things, I can be wrong. I’ve never viewed Catholics in other parts of the world as others so I dont see it as us giving up hope. And, by the term us Im not sure who you are specifically referring to. If it is one faith, in which it is, then every Catholic’s prayer has the power to help and aid any other Catholic in the world…one faith one Chuch. From what I understand, the Faith has grown the fastest in Africa….i think this is a sign they are doing something right…while in many parts of the EU and U.S and Canada the numbers are anemic or declining. All is not perfect on the continent thats for sure. But that is true everywhere. Cardinal Napier is simply wrong. And please know he comes from South Africa which is in many aspects very different in history and culture then compared to W. Africa (where the faith is growing rapidly).

          • You are right but the point is many of us have heard the line that Africa is going to save the rest of the world because it is so soundly Catholic. The point being made is that we cannot simply rest on someone else’s laurels. We must, as Barbara says, defend the faith at home, in our businesses and sadly, sometimes, most difficultly, in our parishes.

          • And that is a true and valid point. From my perspective, what is happening in Africa isnt a reason to stop fighting…its inspiration to continue to fight. So ive never heard that statement, used in a way that coaxes one not to continue to fight for the faith.

          • For some, this may very well be the case. Im personally excited about it like I am with Poland. I pray that God continues to bless them in ways that keep them strong in the Faith. And I pray that God grants me and many others the grace needed to fight our current struggle

        • Amen, like the missionaries of long ago who came to the New World, to bring the faith, is our mission as well.
          It is not about popes or prelates.
          We must live our faith as God has commanded, and defend it, no matter the cost.
          Thank you Barbara. Your words ring so true to this Catholic heart.

  5. Looks like they got to Napier. He was one of the few voices of sanity at the 2014 Extraordinary Synod on the Family but he’s pulling for Team Francis now, it appears.

    The line that Francis is completely in step with his predecessors, is so lame. That ship sailed looooong ago. Nobody believes it now. Anyone with a grain of intelligence can see that Francis is the problem and is using crooks like Kasper, Marx, Schoenborn, Spadaro et al, to push his anti-Catholic agenda.

    Looks like the evil empire was able to “turn” Napier, to use an espionage term common during the Cold War.

    • Napier has always been a Francis man. From memory, it seems the Germans have promised to give a generous donation to his diocese so he has been following their piping.

    • Cardinal Napier made a few little pseudo-conservative peeps at the Synods and that has had the dumb neo-cons barking after him to save us ever since. The fact that he has backpedalled away from his little chirps as fast as his bike could carry him – and that he has taken to Twitter to abuse those who are concerned about it, seems not to have filtered into their brains yet.

  6. So, they have yet to open the cave in which Cardinal Napier dwells?

    Only the avowedly, persistently, wilfully ignorant can say that chapter and verse of false teaching has not be quoted.

    Let us determine which cave he has been hiding so that we can extract him from there.

  7. That us laymen did not see it is understandable, but a man like Cdl Napier who was one of which it was addressed to? He didn’t give a flip a read it obviously. Or maybe believes no one else did. Either way it is a bad situation.

    Time for the formal correction by the remaining “Dubia Brothers”

  8. Thanks for a very helpful reminder, Steve. This invaluable document was issued three months after Amoris Laetitiae was published, so you can hardly say it was too early. The longer you fail to correct a misleading document, the more people will be confused and mislead. Perhaps there was too much else going on at that time, such as the gruesome murder of Father Hamel in Rouen and Pope Francis helpfully explaining that such sad events did not prove Islam is a religion of violence.

    It is helpful to see the reminders that AL is not just misleading on sexual morality. To quote:

    “The propositions include statements contained in the post-synodal apostolic exhortation about the death penalty…..”

    Plainly the statement in AL about the death penalty is a flat contradiction of long established Scriptural and Catholic teaching. If you follow the references which support that ludicrous statement, they take you back to the CCC 2258 statement on the protection of innocent life – not the life of a convicted criminal. If you took the AL argument too literally, you would abolish the right to legitimate self defence. And wouldn’t the followers of The Religion of Peace love that!

  9. When you look at the previous 60 years, everyone has to admit that brightness and clarity are KEYWORDS in this world and especially in the Church. Christ Himself was utterly clear and no one has to have any doubt about what He teaches about the Holy Sacraments of Marriage and Eucharist, really no one!!
    Vat II was a kneefall (in the name of oecumene but I fear it was mostly economical) to protestantism, everyone who has read a little bit about it knows that. And what is the only way to get closer to the protestant? Decreasing the reverence for Holy Communion. So liturgy was “humanized” and the hearts of the faithful were infected with this disease.
    Now, amoris laetitia is the same kind of problem. When you want more members and more money, you should not have a real message. Than people run away…. So now Marriage is under attack, againg a kneefall to the world and the mammon.
    It is heartbreaking, Jesus Christ’ words are so clear and He has spoken with such a power and gave us so many warnings! Unbelievable that so many of the clergy and even led by the pope, are betraying Christ.

  10. What is our take-away here?
    —Cardinal Napier is a shill for Pope Francis doctrinal problematic document Amoris Laetitia.
    —Cardinal Napier is misrepresenting the truth about criticism of Amoris Laetitia.
    —That a theological review of the errors of Amoris Laetitia was made by 45 scholars that Cardinal Napier should have been aware.
    —That the truth about Amoris Laetitia continues to be concealed by most Cardinals and the Vatican.

    • And that the cardinals are unable to defend Francis in the face of his errors. They try but come off sounding petty and unconvincing. I confess to a certain satisfaction seeing them squirm. Contemptible, they are.

    • — Cardinal Napier is novusordoist neo-modernist bishop who doesn’t know as much about the faith – or even the laws of rational thought – as a 6th grade catechism student in a parochial school 60 years ago. In other words, Cardinal Napier is a completely normal modern bishop, whose intellectual training has rendered him incapable of understanding what is going on, or even of understanding that he doesn’t know anything.

      • Yes. To not know that you don’t know is a terrible block towards understanding that the answers lie in our Catholic past, in Tradition. If poor Napier could only hold up AL to the template of Catholic Tradition and perennial teaching he would see how it just does not match up. If something doesn’t match our Catholic past it’s got to go.

      • “Company man. As they all are.” Correct. A year ago a visiting priest at our NO parish gave a fairly reasonable sermon I thought, so I caught up with him after Mass and quizzed him on his thoughts about A.L. He said he had no problems with it – and when I replied that I did he because very defensive and went on to describe the NO Church as “The Firm” – which has no equal. I replied that I knew a bigger Firm than his. Surprised he asked me who would that be then. I replied: It goes by the name Trinity – it’s CEO is He Who Is – and He’s rather annoyed about the way your ‘Firm’ has treated his only Son.

        I then told him that his ‘Firm’ was similar to an aircraft that has run out of fuel – all it’s doing at the moment is gliding and losing altitude – and if it’s pilot doesn’t learn how to fly and find a safe airfield to land on, it’s going to crash and burn – and most of the passengers will be lost.

        • Reminds me of the story of the American priest who rejected homosexual advances from a bishop. He was then firmly advised that, if he wanted to get on in the organisation, he needed friends. Plainly for many priests the Church is just another huge corporation like IBM or Microsoft, though without the downside of being judged on performance.

          Pope Benedict lamented a similar mentality among the vast number of lay employees of the Church in Germany.

    • “That a theological review of the errors of Amoris Laetitia was made by 45 scholars that Cardinal Napier should have been aware.”
      Interesting point about this one… those censures were sent to all the Cardinals… so… he got those censures back in July of last year.

  11. In Cardinal Napier’s case surely, “…we need not listen too much to the Africans…”
    The “lying game” continues.
    What round is it?

    • Did Cardinal Kasper ever apologize for that comment? Although he lied and said he didn’t say it…yet we are to listen to Germans such as himself regarding mercy and love

      • As I recall he did not apologize, but he did attempt to reframe the statement once the film was in evidence.
        The broad swath of left wing heterodox ecclesiastics of any rank are liars. They are engaged in self-deception, and that self-deception is then replated and served out to those of similar moral weakness to console them and bolster them in their erroneous notions, positions and activities.
        The are liars.

  12. Just recently located my copy of Amoris Laetitia, given to me by a friend (who is a Dominican brother studying for the priesthood) the summer after the exhortation was released. I was going to read it (to quell the naysaying and head wagging of those who say “You haven’t even read it!”) but wanted to locate the theological censures in order to read along with them.

    Thanks for making it easy!

    • You won’t need a copy of the theological censures.

      Just reading the thing you’ll find they jump right off the page and smack you upside the head…

    • I started reading it only to be completely numbed by the fluff all over… so I read only the infamous Chapter 8. And it’s bad.

        • I’m an old theology reader, so I admit, I staggered my way through the whole gross tome in the first week of its hatching, but in truth, if you want to read the minimal amount to determine the orthodoxy of the document, you need read no further than paragraph 3:

          “3. Since “time is greater than space”, I would
          make it clear that not all discussions of doctrinal,
          moral or pastoral issues need to be settled by
          interventions of the magisterium. ”

          So, I need to ask the Pope if “not all doctrinal, moral or pastoral issues need to be settled by
          interventions of the magisterium”, just exactly how, pray tell ARE they supposed to be settled?

          By reference to Mein Kampf, to the Bhagavad Gita, to whim and fancy of individual interpretation, to back issues of Pravda, or WHAT?

          Is this REALLY the nadir to which Catholic theologizing has stooped?

          Why, yes, I guess, yes, it is.

  13. “captiosa”

    In English, “captious”.

    Now there’s an adjective that doesn’t get used nearly enough anymore.

    From Middle English capcious, from Middle French captieux, or its source, Latin captiōsus, from captiō.

    IPA(key): /ˈkæpʃəs/
    captious (comparative more captious, superlative most captious)

    (obsolete) That captures; especially, (of an argument, words etc.) designed to capture or entrap in misleading arguments; sophistical.  
    Having a disposition to find fault unreasonably or to raise petty objections; cavilling, nitpicky.  


    Now, can’t we just think of about a thousand completely perfect applications of it on the internet?

    • I guess we could say Napier was being captious when he asked where were the specific objections. It’s hard to call a man a liar so perhaps he has not read the document in question, and genuinely does not know the specific objections. Should he know? Of course, it’s his duty to know about this controversy. I’m afraid we can write Napier off.

  14. I believe Francis has no intention of answering this or the dubia by the 3 living cardinals. He will continue to appoint new cardinals that agree with his thinking. So the clock is ticking, slowly but surely. At some point the Church will need to act. The question is when. If they are worried about schism, they are too late. The schism, though latent, is already here.

    • It’seems hardly latent. Last year I walked across the River Neisse on the Polish-German border. On the west bank, the German bishops follow the modern interpretation of AL, all accompaniment, mercy and discernment. On the east bank 100 yards away, as you might guess, the Poles uphold traditional teaching. What an unholy mess.

        • I am not sure about the hydrology of the Neisse. But an irreverent co-parishioner and I had much ribald fun discussing if it was a mortal sin if you and your adulterous partner did the deed with one foot either side of the border (preferably in summer, given the local climate).

  15. It’s good to be reminded of this fine document.

    However, there are no 45 theologians anymore. At least one of the signatories, Father Edmund Waldstein, S.O.Cist., has withdrawn his signature in the meantime (after being asked to do so by his abbot).

    Further, why does the hyperlink titled “my original article on the censures” point to some book on Amazon promoting anti-realist economical theories? One would expect something less classical-liberal (and more integralist?) after an article on keeping hope for a restored Christendom.

    Yours faithfully,

    • The link mixup was on my part. I had been involved in a discussion about CST with some libertarians, and I mentioned that book as one traditionalist’s attempt to reconcile the two. I won’t be nearly so dismissive of it. But I also wouldn’t use “coprophage” as a pseudonym.

  16. Hands up if you think Cardinal Napier, after studying the theological censures letter, will agree with its observations (if only privately).

    No. Me neither.

    In fact, forget the above.

    Hands up if you think Cardinal Napier will even read the theological censures letter.

    No. Me neither.

    (With suitable apologies to Cardinal Napier if he intends to dictate a letter to his secretary first thing tomorrow morning in which he asks his brother cardinals responsible for the dubia if he can bring their number back up to a whopping four).

  17. Unless the Bishops do something to prevent it, Amoris Laetitia will be seen in the future as the founding document of triumphant Anglico-Lutheranism over the Catholic faith, allowing, as in those false faiths, ANYTHING to be considered “Christian”.

  18. The Lord Jesus has withdrawn grace from His institutional church and the sodomites/pedophiles rushed to fill the vacuum.

    Our Lady of Fatima, Pray for us…

      • Not much it seems, anymore.

        I merely confronted him over his wishywashy stands on AL and then subsequently found I was blocked. Not sure even when it happened. There wasn’t even any head to head between me and him.

        • I give you credit RodH.
          For a while now, I waste little time on all of them.

          Many of them are trained monkeys. They are told and taught to look upon Traditional Catholics as the enemy, as mean spirited and divisive.

          Actually, it is my husband who offers me and our children the greatest religious guidance.

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