An important Conference has been announced today by the Italian website La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana. On 22 April, there will be an international group of theologians and other Catholic specialists coming together in Rome — at the Columbus Hotel — in order to discuss publicly once more the troubling and confusing parts that are to be found in the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, especially in its chapter 8. The Italian publications La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana and Il Timone are hosting this event which seems to be meant to be a form of public fraternal correction. It is to be lauded because it gives Pope Francis a charitable occasion to make a correction of the scandalous path that he himself has entered, namely: to admit some of the “remarried” and divorced couples to the Sacraments. So far, we have abundant evidence that Pope Francis encourages such a path. The latest proofs of this papal attitude are Cardinal Reinhard Marx’ own testimony that Pope Franicis rejoiced over the liberalizing German pastoral guidelines permitting access to the Sacraments for some of the “remarried” divorcees, as well as the fact that Pope Francis has now chosen Professor Marie-Anne Pelletier — an ardent defender of the “remarried” divorcees — as the author of this year’s Via Crucis Meditations on Good Friday in Rome.
In the following text, we present the translation of an article which was published today by La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana. We wonder whether or not some of the Four Dubia Cardinals themselves will be present in attendance at that meeting, even if they do not appear on the conference schedule itself.
Translation courtesy of Mr. Andrew Guernsey
Witnesses From All Over the World With One Request: “Bring Clarity” Immediately on Amoris Laetitia
April 1, 2017
On Saturday, April 22, 2017, in Rome at the Hotel Columbus in Via Della Conciliazione, an international conference will be held, organized by La Nuova Bussola Quotidiana and the monthly magazine Il Timone, entitled “Bringing Clarity One Year after Amoris Laetitia”. Why this title? It has been almost a year since the publication of the Post Synodal Exhortation Amoris Laetitia, a definitely very rich and vast document. But the focus has been primarily on Chapter 8, or rather the one [part] devoted to irregular situations, with particular emphasis on Communion for the divorced and remarried. It is clear that the interpretations in this year have been very different and even diametrically opposed, given also the objective ambiguity of the language used in this chapter. On the one hand, there are those who interpret the text in continuity with the previous magisterium: with utmost attention and care for divorced and remarried persons, but with the impossibility of receiving the Sacrament of Communion for those who live in an objective situation of adultery. On the other hand, there are, instead, those who think that one can receive Communion anyway under certain not well defined conditions and after a not well specified penitential journey. Therefore, there is a situation of evident confusion and disorientation, a completely new situation in the Catholic Church. This is why four cardinals have raised questions so that the Pope might make a clarifying intervention. It is a traditional procedure, called Dubia, in this case there are five questions to which the Pope ought to answer with a ‘yes’ or with a ‘no’. Questions that do not concern only Communion for the divorced and remarried, but concern the whole concept of Catholic morality. Because we must not forget that the stakes are very high and involve three Sacraments: Penance, the Eucharist and Matrimony. We are therefore touching upon the foundations of the Catholic Church. What happened? The Pope did not answer, so the Dubia were made public to facilitate the debate. And debate there was, even insults and threats to the cardinals of Dubia were not lacking, but the Pope’s answer has still not yet arrived. We believe an answer is more necessary and urgent than ever, and it is not just a few elderly cardinals demanding it, as some would have you believe, but rather it is a widespread need in the Church around the world.
Update, 2 April: Mr. Riccardo Cascioli has told OnePeterFive that he will send us further information and the program within the next few days. We will inform our readers about it as soon as we receive that information. So far, we know that Anna Silvas (Australia), Douglas Farrow (Canada), Jean Paul Messina (Camerun), Thibaud Collin (France), Claudio Pierantoni (Chile) will be among the speakers, as well as Juergen Liminski (Germany). Edward Pentin speaks on his Twitter account about a “major conference of lay people.”
Update, 4 April: The program for the conference has now been released, including speaker names and topics.
Dr. Maike Hickson, born and raised in Germany, studied History and French Literature at the University of Hannover and lived for several years in Switzerland where she wrote her doctoral dissertation. She is married to Dr. Robert Hickson, and they have been blessed with two beautiful children. She is a happy housewife who likes to write articles when time permits.
Her articles have appeared in American and European journals such as Catholicism.org, LifeSiteNews, The Wanderer, Culture Wars, Catholic Family News, Christian Order, Apropos, and Zeit-Fragen.