At Catholic World Report, Nick Bottom imagines what would happen if Pope Francis applied his moral standards — as laid out in Amoris Laetitia — to some of his own statements. The result is quite clever…I might even go so far as to say brilliant. The juxtaposition of the equivocations in AL in another context really create clarity by contrast:
Pope Francis: Good morning, everyone. Thank you for coming.
I have invited you today because I have had a change of heart that I must make public. Ina homily recently, I spoke rather forcefully about employers who refuse to pay their workers a just wage.
I have had a chance to reflect on that homily in the light of the principles I set forth in my Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. I brought a copy so I can refer to it as I take your questions. Please be patient with me as I find the appropriate passages, eh?
I believe I was too harsh in describing exploitative employers as “slave drivers” and “true bloodsuckers.” I too must remember that the name of God is Mercy! Amoris Laetitiarightly criticizes those who “hid[e] behind the Church’s teachings, sitting on the chair of Moses and judging at times with superiority and superficiality.” For “it is not enough simply to apply moral laws . . . as if they were stones to throw at people’s lives” (AL 305). As paragraph 308 of AL reminds us, “the Gospel itself tells us not to judge or condemn” (AL 308).
I also regret another remark I made in that homily. The pope must be humble, he must be honest, no? Somewhat precipitously, I said that cheating workers is “a mortal sin! This is a mortal sin!” I must now express that in a more nuanced way.
In Amoris Laetitia I made it clear that I was “speaking not only of the divorced and remarried, but of everyone, in whatever situation they find themselves” (AL 297). That of course includes employers who find themselves in the situation of slave-driving their workers.
For them too, we must keep in mind the distinction between objective sin and subjective guilt. Since there can be in employers’ lives many “mitigating factors . . . it can no longer simply be said that all those in any ‘irregular’ situation” – such as exploiting their employees – “are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace” (AL 301).
Read the rest — an imagined Q&A — here. It only gets better at showing the complete absurdity of AL.
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have eight children. You can find more of his writing at his Substack, The Skojec File.