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Like a Bomb in Slow Motion: More Insights from the Coccopalmerio Book

Yesterday, we told you about the new book from Cardinal Coccopalmerio, entitled, The Eighth Chapter of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Today was the Vatican press conference for the release of the book, but the author didn’t come. 1P5 contributor Oakes Spalding comments:

Cardinal Coccopalmerio failed to show up, pleading a “diary clash.” This was later explained as a conflict with a meeting at the Congregation for the Causes of Saints.

In his short work, published by the official Vatican publishing house on February 8, Coccopalmerio had argued that all the sacraments including communion should be open to those “living in situations not in line with traditional matrimonial canons” including the divorced and remarried and even cohabiting couples.

And the press conference had been anticipated by many as another move in the escalating cold war between the Pope and his opponents.

A short question and answer session occurred anyway in which Don Giuseppe Costa, the director of the publishing house, explained that the Cardinal’s book was not an official response from the Vatican and that on Amoris Laetitia, “the debate is still open, we encourage it.”

The theologian Maurizio Gronchi then made a joke about the “confusing” passages in the Gospels that homilists attempt to explain every Sunday.

It is virtually certain that Cardinal Coccopalmerio did not cancel because of an appointment clash. But it is a completely open question as to why he cancelled or indeed, why the quasi-official press conference was organized in the first place.

According to a CNS story on the event, one of the spokesmen for the book personally emphasized the commonalities between Coccopalmerio’s text and the most liberal interpretations of Amoris Laetitia already in the wild:

Father Maurizio Gronchi, a theologian and consultant to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, told reporters Feb. 14 Cardinal Coccopalmerio’s reading of “Amoris Laetitia” is the same as the bishops of Malta, Germany and the church region of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Those bishops have issued guidelines that include the possibility of eventually allowing divorced and civilly remarried Catholics access to the sacraments without first requiring an annulment of their sacramental marriage or a firm commitment to abstaining from sexual relations. [emphasis added]

In another excerpt from the book presented in the Italian journal FarodiRoma*, we are treated to the most blatantly compromised interpretation yet of AL Paragraph 301:

Gaudium et Spes in fact, affirms: “… where conjugal intimacy is interrupted (Latin text “abrumpitur ” [“is broken off”]) “, so the completion of conjugal acts is interrupted, “it is not uncommon that fidelity is imperiled and the good of the children may be endangered… their upbringing… the courage to accept new ones.”

Now the president of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts explains, “if the commitment to live as brother and sister proves possible without difficulty for the couple’s relationship, then the two cohabiting may accept it willingly; if, however, the commitment creates difficulties, the two partners seem to not be obligated in and of themselves, because they will meet the case of the subject spoken of in n. 301 with this clear expression: ‘[a subject] can be in a concrete situation which does not allow him or her to act differently and decide otherwise without further sin ‘. In his apostolic exhortation, Pope Francis also gives a reference to this passage of the Council: ” The Church possesses a solid body of reflection concerning mitigating factors and situations.”

Who, given the option of living in a sexual union or in continence with the person that they’ve chosen to “marry” would choose continence if there were no sin involved in the sexual union? The entire human race’s continued existence lo these thousands of years after Adam and Eve is living proof of our innate, instinctual preference for the former situation. If you tell people they can go ahead and share intimacy with their “new spouse” if it “creates difficulties” for them not to, who is going to choose to “live as brother and sister”?

Yesterday, I also said that this is the Church’s unofficial “official” response to the dubia. But little could I have known that the presenters would say virtually the same thing:

Father Costa told reporters the cardinal’s book is not “the Vatican response” to the challenges posed by U.S. Cardinal Raymond L. Burke and three retired cardinals to the supposed lack of clarity and potential misunderstanding of “Amoris Laetitia.” Rather, he said, it is an “authoritative” reading of the papal document and a contribution to the ongoing discussion.

Which is it? Is it “authoritative” or an invitation to discuss the issue? Because a settled matter invites no such debate. It is imperative here, I think, to return to Hilary White’s essay on positivism and the purposeful violation of the laws of rational thought as the policy of the present pontificate:

This is the pope who sees no difficulty proposing wildly divergent and logically opposed ideas from one day to the next. Who has no qualms about simply changing 2000 years of Catholic teaching and practice, of re-writing Scripture to suit this or that homiletic point (No, your holiness, the miracle of the loaves and fishes wasn’t about “sharing,” nor was it a “parable.”)

What people who have decried these incomprehensible contradictions have failed to understand is that “meaning” is irrelevant. The purpose of these communications has not been to inform the Catholic faithful of the pope’s thought or reflections on Scripture. Content is irrelevant; only submission counts, only power. This means the more ambiguous, the more contradictory, the more vapid, the more illogical, the better.


Positivism, the denial of an objective reality, must lead ultimately to authoritarianism. If there is no objective reality, there is no need for any rules that regard it; any notion of a Rule of Law is meaningless. What have we seen happen throughout history when the Rule of Law breaks down? There can only be Rule of the Strongest, Rule of Power. This is why, now that the make-reality-up-as-you-go-along principle is firmly in place in the papal office, the pope must clamp down so furiously on “dissent,” even the softly diplomatic “dissent” of asking politely for a clarification.

What does Amoris Laetitia mean?

“It means what I say it means. It means shut up.”

“What is clear,” writes Oakes Spalding, “is that this growing crisis is in part now a farce.”

It most certainly is a farce – but a deadly and humorless one.

* Translated by Andrew Guernsey


79 thoughts on “Like a Bomb in Slow Motion: More Insights from the Coccopalmerio Book”

      • Unfortunately, Cardinal Pell has stated that certain same-sex sexual relationships are all well and good if they are not called marriage.

        • There’s hardly any high official in the Church today who is not in one way or another infected by Modernism. That’s the problem. And the root of this infection is the acceptance of Vatican II.

        • Either Pell genuinely holds that view or someone has something on him and he is being compliant. When it comes to the possibility that blackmail is an underlying current in all of what we are currently seeing, I’d suggest Pell might be in a particularly vulnerable position. He’s certainly been worryingly quiet of late.

          • Perhaps he did not think his response through; this does not change the fact that he has a fiduciary duty to make a public correction.

    • Supporting The Holy Father in AL and his work Food For Thought.
      The members of the Council of Cardinals are:
      Óscar Andrés Rodríguez Maradiaga, SDB, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras (coordinator)
      Marcello Semeraro, Bishop of Albano, Italy (Secretary)
      Giuseppe Bertello, President of the Pontifical Commission for the Vatican City State
      Francisco Javier Errázuriz Ossa, Archbishop-Emeritus of Santigo de Chile
      Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, India
      Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising, Germany
      Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, Archbishop of Kinshasa, Congo
      Seán Patrick O’Malley OFM Cap, Archbishop of Boston, USA

      George Pell, Prefect of the Secretariat for the Economy, Vatican

      Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, Vatican

  1. Farce is exactly, precisely the right word.
    I ask 1P5 to please update the article with a link to Vatican radio ( so that everyone can listen to the audio link of a Linda Bordoni, as she quotes Father Maurizio Gronchi, one of the two presenters of Cdl. Coccopalmerio’s book.
    “Coccopalmerio…( a top canonist) has used a pastoral approach in the writing of this book, effectively breaking down ANY barriers that MAY exist between doctrine and pastoral ministry.”
    Emphases mine.

  2. Its not just this crisis – this whole pontificate has been a farce from beginning to end. (Please, God, it will have an end!)

  3. Hi Oakes! How nice to see you. 🙂
    It is unraveling. It’s spinning out of control, I don’t know how, but it is. He’s losing ground, or the sycophants would not have felt the need to state publicly they are “with him”. Here is a man who does want one person opposed to him, that person must be eliminated, and now we are seeing more and more people waking up and seeing the situation for what it is. He can’t get rid of everybody. That’s going to rattle him, or make him even more unhinged.

  4. Cocopalmerio is a heretic. The Pope is a heretic and his cohorts are heretics.
    It is really that simple.

    We can wait and wait and wait for his answer to the Dubia but this is his answer. There is no doubting that.

    We are living in the end times when the devil is let loose and thus causes havoc in the Church right to the top.

  5. One day, the false humility of Pope Francis will be exposed for all the world to see. The world will see that instead of giving them bread, feeding the sheep as Our Lord commanded him three times to do, he has given them stones. These stones, though pretty and intriguing, choke and starve the life out of the souls that take them. Their souls and his will be lost, many because of his treachery. He will find no “encounter” then, only hopelessness.

    Pray for Pope Francis, and for the souls he leads astray, that they may repent before it is too late for them. Pray for the Church, that we may be sent a holy pope with a Christlike heart, who will chase away the wolves and lead the souls entrusted to him to salvation.

    • As I’ve mentioned before, the only way the crisis in the Church will end is when 1) the Third Secret of Fatima is revealed (I.e. the exact words of Our Lady which follow In Portugal , the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved…”) and 2) when the Holy Father and all the bishops of the world make the Collegial Consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

      Yesterday, Feb. 13th, was 8 years since the Servant of God Sister Lucia passed away. May she continue to pray for the Holy Father as she once did on earth. Eternal memory!

    • PF and his minions who are in high places have been teaching false doctrines, betraying the teachings of Jesus Christ. They’re filled with demonic intellectual pride which is granted from their “Supreme Grand Master,” Lucifer; therefore they completely reject the assistance from Holy Spirit. They’re lying more and more, using their sanctimonious power to cover up their misery and wretchedness.
      Worst, they intentionally continue spreading the errors of modernism in leading more people to the path of destruction. They think with the hell’s power they can abolish the Catholic Church which is established by The Son of God. It’s so wrong that they all will end up in chain with their “Father of Lies” in hell.
      God is more merciful to their poor followers than PF and his gang who badly violated the Eucharist (Body and Blood of Jesus Christ) by especially allowing the adulterers sacrilegiously receive the Holy Communions. God stop them.

    • But,… how about the souls who are misguided with that crap of together-praying-with-infidels?
      And the souls who are misguided by call to hate proselytism, but instead of that which is the real missionary work, the real evangelizing, they are called to enjoy the ‘ecumenism’? That kind of stones and the snakes (instead of living bread) was given to the faithful ones before this FPF.

  6. Monday the “Bollettino” records the obeisance of Cardinal Maradiaga and the Council of Cardinals toward the figure of the Pope and his Magisterium “in relation to recent events.” Tuesday we have Cardinal Coccopalmerio’s pamphlet endorsing a papal magisterium that contradicts the perennial Magisterium of the Church and the papal magisterium of Francis’ 265 predecessors. Should Francis answer the dubia he will either expose himself as a heretic, or contradict what he proposes in “Amoris Laetitia.”
    The episcopate, to the degree it articulates support of this madness, to the degree it is not somehow working to dismantle it, is in either active or passive connivance with evil.
    “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Matthew 9:36-38
    “Hagan lio!” was a nothing less than a diminutive and disingenuous rendering of a call to enthusiastically embrace ecclesiastical anarchy for the sole purpose of disestablishing classical Roman Catholic theological reflection based on Holy Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the perennial Magisterium of the Church. It is subterfuge cloaked in the repute of its source, the Chair of Saint Peter and it cannot be long endured. It is obviously and without question the abandonment of reason and a gross exhibition of institutional self-contempt. It is a form of madness.
    This disorientation, in place for far longer than we would like to admit, is in no small way largely responsible for the lack of vocations, the abortion of vocations in the priesthood and the religious life. Where is the remnant of ecclesiastics ready and willing to stand up and proclaim the grave fault of those responsible for this sacrilege?

  7. I want to start by saying that I know God is in control.

    With that said though I am surprised (and grow in my concern) with each step of this drift into the abyss.

    I’ve served on Christian boards that have gone astray in the past and it was HORRIBLE but the cardinals in Rome right now have to be in a state of total disbelief as this unfolds.

    It must be heartbreaking to see some of their once faithful colleagues expressing allegiance to what looks like a heretical pope at this point.

  8. Of course they are misrepresenting, in the same manner that AL does, the passage from Gaudium et Spes when they say: “Gaudium et Spes in fact, affirms: “… where conjugal intimacy is interrupted (Latin text “abrumpitur ” [“is broken off”]) “, so the completion of conjugal acts is interrupted, “it is not uncommon that fidelity is imperiled and the good of the children may be endangered… their upbringing… the courage to accept new ones.”

    People in an adulterous relationship do not have Conjugal relations. Those are what people who are married have, not adulterers or fornicators. Gaudium et Spes is not speaking of people having sexual relations outside of marriage, it is speaking of temporary abstinence from conjugal relations in the way that St. Paul does and they know that!

    Conjugal always refers to the sexual relations between husband and wife, not fornication or adulterous relations.

      • Here is the definition and etymology of Conjugal:

        “con·ju·gal: relating to marriage or the relationship of a married couple.”conjugal loyalty”

        synonyms: marital, matrimonial, nuptial, marriage, bridal; More spousal;

        Origin: early 16th century: from Latin conjugalis, from conjux, conjug- ‘spouse,’ from con- ‘together’ + jugum ‘a yoke.’”

        Notice it is from with or together with spouse? Therefore, by it’s very definition and etymology it cannot ever refer to any sexual activity outside of the Marriage, which includes solo sexual activity, fornication and extramarital sexual relations.

        Even Google knows what Conjugal means, how is it that the Pope and many Cardinal’s and Bishops and Priests do not? Answer: They do…(ok, maybe some of them don’t, but that simply makes them incompetent idiots, which is not itself a good thing to be.)

        Also, from the online etymological dictionary: conjugal (adj.) 1540s, from Middle French conjugal (13c.), from Latin coniugalis “relating to marriage,” from coniunx (genitive coniugis) “spouse,” related to coniugare “to join together,” from com “with, together” (see com-) + iugare “to join,” from iugum “yoke” (see jugular).

        *edited out what Margaret refers to below, as it might give offense to some, and that is not my desire.

        • WOW! Your professor used that kind of language in the seminary???

          My late father would have disowned me if I ever used language like that.

          Otherwise, your post is fantastic.

          P.S. Didn’t St. Paul say something about being unequally yoked in marriage?

          • Yes, he did, but only once. And he used it in it’s appropriate context and to good effect. Some of the guys were romantics who had little understanding of what people do and Fr. Z (not that Fr. Z) knew that they needed to be broken of that. They needed to understand the evil of sexual sin for what it was, so that they would not be duped by false ideas, ideas that are being spread by PF now.

            By the way, vulgarity isn’t a mortal sin, and depending on the context, it isn’t even necessarily a venial sin. Cursing and vulgar speech are not the same thing, consider that the term Vulgate, is from Vulgus=vulgar as in low, or common speech of common people.

            And Yes, in 2nd Corinthians, St. Paul speaks against being unequally yoked with unbelievers, it can mean more than just marriage, as in referring to any partnership with an unbeliever (this is a source of temptation against the faith.)

        • *edited out what Margaret refers to below”. You shouldn’t have. I think Margret is up there with the best and love to read her thoughts, however, if one wishes to get really in your face truth, that gives no quarter and leaves nothing to the imagination, one need go no further than the bible. We are all grown ups, and with the greatest respect, a little more in your face truth is needed more now than ever before.

        • It’s ok Father RP. I understand what had to be said and how to these young men, who, I am afraid,……and I speak from a bit of experience.(haha), have become so sentimentalized in a way. The plain Truth sometimes needs to be expressed as ugly as it may seem.
          Sometimes, if not…..much beauty created by our Lord is missed. Sweet of you though to edit however.

          You’re a good egg!

          God love you

          cheryl s

    • Amen! This is an excellent post. In fact, despite its other flaws, the passage on marriage in Gaudium et Spes (which references pre-Vatican II encyclicals) is very well written, and I’ve found it useful in discussing Catholic teachings on marriage with Protestants. Leave it to the modernists to twist it in this devilish fashion. =(

    • Yes, true. Wrongly, I believe, they would say, this is a mis-presentation of what they are saying. They would say there is a marriage, simply not just sacramental matrimony. Two, adultery is granted, but further infidelity must be avoided with all its harms (impossible to be otherwise they would say…). Three, they would say they are not making an univocal or equivocal but analogous analogy with GS 51, and that others, wrongly respond as if they were not making the analogous, but the univocal or equivocal analogy. They would say your right arguments are for the other categories but not relevant to the analagous.

      Besides not acknowledging what truly “makes it impossible”, they make a conclusion that GS 51 does not make – nor does it aim at, I would proffer.

      GS 51, paragraph 1, ends with sentence 3 (GS 51.1.3): [Vatican website translation] : But where the intimacy of married life is broken off, its faithfulness can sometimes be imperiled and its quality of fruitfulness ruined, for then the upbringing of the children and the courage to accept new ones are both endangered.

      Here is the movement and context of the Holy Spirit and His Magisterium that directly follows in GS 51.2.1:

      To these problems there are those who presume to offer dishonorable solutions indeed; they do not recoil even from the taking of life. But the Church issues the reminder that a true contradiction cannot exist between the divine laws pertaining to the transmission of life and those pertaining to authentic conjugal love.

      AL then should conclude and read GS 51.1.3-51.2.1, in this way:

      To these problems there are those who presume to offer dishonorable solutions indeed; they do not recoil even from advocating cases of continuous and sinful adultery. But the Church issues the reminder that a true contradiction cannot exist between the divine laws pertaining to the presence and transmission of sacramental life, faithfulness and fruitfulness and to those pertaining to authentic conjugal love, chaste always, sometimes continent.

      Ave Maria Maris Stella!

  9. I hardly think the second vatican council presents a “solid body” of anything, least of all reflection. By its own admission the council claims itself to be a ‘non doctrinal council’. Where then is the issue. When it stands in the presence of doctrinal councils, and clear magisterial statements, the ambiguities and nonsense it proclaims, shows it as a distractive talk fest at best. Why are we even quoting this absurdity as having any bearing on ‘Catholic’ thought. It was a substantial waste of time!

    • It’s having a lot of bearing on Catholic thought in the minds of the people who make all the decisions. Because since V2, almost the only documents quoted by Congregations in their official magisterial documents are V2 documents. Admittedly, that’s changed just at the moment, and there are just a few recent documents which are mostly being quoted.

  10. Would be interesting to know what C. Kasper thinks of all this. Didn’t he suggest that remarried divorcees in certain circumstances could receive communion? Now the guy’s starting to look like a hard headed conservative compared to these jokers!

    • Kasper planned for this widening of the application all along. He was just speaking circumspectly before to try to appear as if he was a compassionate moderate. But he was nothing more than a heretical modernist all along.

  11. It is obvious that Cardinal Coccopalmerio did not turn up because he was ashamed at what he had written and could not face answering awkward questions.

  12. “Let Us Make man to Our Image and Likeness.”

    God Is Love. Love exists in relationship. Love is trinitarian. (Filioque)

    God Exists in an Ordered Communion of Perfect Complementary Love thus we can know through both Faith and reason that Catholics and Muslims do not worship the same God.

    Love does not divide, it multiplies, as in The Loaves and Fishes.

    At the end of the day, it is still a Great Mystery, but it is no mystery that we exist because Perfect Love exists.

  13. I wish that Pope emeritus Benedict would say something, but it might be suppressed. I’m totally discombobulated right now. All I can do is focus on the Truth, as the Church has always taught it, and pray for those who are being led astray, as well as leading astray, intentionally or not. Now I know how Catholics must have felt during the Aryan heresy, or during the great Schism. (There were saints on both sides of the schism.) The Holy Spirit will not abandon us.

  14. So does this count as the Roman Catholic Church giving a false teaching then? Or is there some hidden Church in a box that is still giving the correct teaching?

    • Jesus Christ gave His Church the correct teaching two thousand years ago. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Catholics have no intention of being led astray by all sorts of strange teaching that seeks to undermine or overturn what Jesus taught.

  15. >Positivism, the denial of an objective reality, must lead ultimately to authoritarianism. If there is no objective reality, there is no need for any rules that regard it; any notion of a Rule of Law is meaningless.

    This is the key to modernity and modernism, Positivism and it’s philosophical counterpart nominalism are the ultimate evil. For if everything is only what we say it is, then the person with the power to influence people into thinking something is the way he think it is, can reconstruct reality to fit his wishes.

  16. Cardinal Wolsey on his deathbed at Leicester is reputed to have said:

    “But if I had served God as diligently as I have done the King, he would not have given me over in my grey hairs.”

    I wonder if Cocco, the clown, will be saying on his deathbed:

    “But if I had served God as diligently as I have done the Pope, he would not have given me over in my grey hairs.”

  17. The good Cardinal’s argument would, of course, have applied equally to Henry VIII. His refraining from adultery would have risked the greater evil of leaving the English nation with no male heir and devolving back into the carnage of the Wars of the Roses. So, though he really may have wanted to remain chaste, in fact he was justified in his ongoing adultery and should have been permitted to get on with it.


  18. Yes, the Church does possess a solid body of reflection concerning mitigating factors and situations–not one facet of which could honestly be cited in support of the sacrilege for which Amoris Laetitia is allegedly providing cover.


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