Canon lawyer Fr. Gerald E. Murray: Despite claims to the contrary, the pope’s views on divorced and remarried Catholics did not get Synodal approval.
The now famous dubia sent to Pope Francis by Cardinal Burke and three of his fellow cardinals is a sincere effort to clear up what has become a crisis in the Church concerning marriage, adultery and the requirements for the worthy reception of the Holy Eucharist. They have every right to ask Pope Francis to make clarify that the teaching of the Church has not, and cannot, change. This is the heart of the matter. The Lord’s words are clear and unchangeable. “Every one who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery.” (Lk 16:18) The Church’s pastoral concern for people in marital difficulties is rooted and grounded in the truth of these words. “The truth will set you free.” (Jn 8:32) Anything else leads into error and sadness.
Critics are dismissing this effort as opposing the Synod Fathers, and even the Holy Spirit. Austen Ivereigh, for instance, argued recently: “Francis cannot answer the cardinals directly – although he has done indirectly countless times – without undermining that action of the Holy Spirit present in the most thorough process of ecclesial discernment since Vatican II. . . . everything in Amoris Laetitia – including the controversial Chapter 8 – received a two-thirds majority in a synod that was notoriously frank, open, and drawn out.”
Ivereigh is referring to a similar statement by the pope:
There all the bishops of the world were heard, during preparation; all the Churches of the world, the dioceses, worked. . . .It is interesting to see the rich variety of nuances, typical of the Church. It is unity in diversity. This is synodality. Do not descend from high to low, but listen to the Churches, harmonize them, discern. And so there is a post-Synodal exhortation, which is Amoris Laetitia, which is the result of two Synods, in which all the Church worked, and which the Pope made his own. . . .all that [Amoris Laetitia] contains, in the Synod it was approved by more than two-thirds of the fathers. And this is a guarantee.
Is this an accurate description of what happened at the two synods? No.
Click here to read the rest of Father Murray’s column . . .