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In my thread earlier asking about exceptions to contraception, someone here pointed out the “primacy of conscience” that Pope Francis writes about in Amoris Laetitia. Pretty much everyone here denounced that statement and Francis’s words as being heretical and contrary to Church teaching. 

So this begs the question: how do we have the authority to decide whether or not a Pope’s encyclical is heretical? Is he not the Pope? Aren’t we supposed to respect and follow his teachings? Why can we say that Humanae Vitae is legit but Amoris is not? Who decides this? 

I’m not being sarcastic here; I’m genuinely confused. It seems like we’re saying some popes write good stuff and others write stuff that we can toss out the window. What’s the deciding factor? And are Catholics who do follow the “primacy of conscience” as laid out in Amoris condemned? They are just following what the pope says after all.
Others can answer better (and hopefully will - MM?), but remember that there are conditions to fulfill should the holy father want to teach us something ex cathedra. He can express private opinion, as can we all. It seems this Pope may wish to blur those lines, and chooses to make the attempt. In Humanae Vitae, Pope Paul was addressing to whole church on a matter of faith and morals, in line with the constant teaching of the church, and specifically (IIRC) invoking as infallible. If some of those qualifications are followed, but not all, it may seem that the holy father is invoking infallibility, but isn't. I've stayed largely away from AL, as it made my head hurt too much.
(06-04-2020, 12:09 PM)SacraCor714 Wrote: [ -> ]In my thread earlier asking about exceptions to contraception, someone here pointed out the “primacy of conscience” that Pope Francis writes about in Amoris Laetitia. Pretty much everyone here denounced that statement and Francis’s words as being heretical and contrary to Church teaching. 

So this begs the question: how do we have the authority to decide whether or not a Pope’s encyclical is heretical? Is he not the Pope? Aren’t we supposed to respect and follow his teachings? Why can we say that Humanae Vitae is legit but Amoris is not? Who decides this? 

I’m not being sarcastic here; I’m genuinely confused. It seems like we’re saying some popes write good stuff and others write stuff that we can toss out the window. What’s the deciding factor? And are Catholics who do follow the “primacy of conscience” as laid out in Amoris condemned? They are just following what the pope says after all.

Yeah, welcome to my world. It's not fun and it's scary. This is what I have been saying for weeks as I grow disillusioned with the Recognize & Resist crowd.
(06-04-2020, 12:09 PM)SacraCor714 Wrote: [ -> ]I’m not being sarcastic here; I’m genuinely confused. It seems like we’re saying some popes write good stuff and others write stuff that we can toss out the window. What’s the deciding factor? And are Catholics who do follow the “primacy of conscience” as laid out in Amoris condemned? They are just following what the pope says after all.

The deciding factor isn't "what the Pope says", it's "what the Church says". The Church never taught that artificial contraception was moral. The Church has taught that those in mortal sin cannot receive Communion. If the job of the Pope is to teach, what sort of teacher refuses to explain how "X" and "not X" can both be true?

But, as I've said here multiple times before, Amoris lætitia isn't that hard to figure out. Objectively, adultery is a mortal sin. Subjectively, one who is threatened may not be guilty of a mortal sin and could therefore receive Communion. Figuring that out is for the person and his or her priest to determine privately. Nothing heretical there, so nothing to reject.
https://www.fisheaters.com/papolatry.html

Somewhat related

I don't know if you've read these or not, but the first one at least definitely cleared things up for me.  (and helped me on a religion paper haha)
A lot could be said, but that's probably not helpful.

In short, the Pope does not engage infallibility or even his teaching authority by every statement or encyclical letter, and what he teaches has to be given a degree of assent depending on several factors. If what he teaches is defined doctrine, then it has to be accepted without doubt and by Faith. If he teaches what is theologically certain, then also it has to be accepted as true, but not by Faith, since it is a conclusion of reason. When the Pope merely give a theological opinion or pious exhortation this need to be given a deference depending on the degree to which it reflects the Catholic doctrine and dogma.

It should be noted that this is nothing new, nor is the problem new. When John XXII taught in several sermons that those who died in the State of Grace did not see the Beatific Vision until the Last Judgement, various theologians, and in fact the whole University of Paris (a main center of theological training and experts) called him a heretic for this after warning him several times through filial corrections. We know his statement was heretical because his successor declared it infallible to be so.

That said, in the realm of practical conclusions and application of principles, Popes can certainly differ on approaches. 

And so when there is question, we look to compare what seems wrong (e.g. provisions in AL), with what has previously be taught as dogma or certain doctrine.

On Amoris Lætitia in particular, these both provide a good reason to consider it contrary to the Faith, and not merely on whims or like, but solid theological grounds :

https://sspx.org/en/amoris-laetitia-critical-analysis (which is based on the objections of 45 theologians: https://sspx.org/en/news-events/news/45-...itia-17347 none of whom are from the SSPX)

On the other hand, no theologians of any repute have called Humanæ Vitæ wrong on theologian grounds, to my knowledge, but only object on practical or "pastoral" grounds, and while there are flaws in the theological foundation on the document (due to a reliance on the New Theology's personalism) the essential conclusions concur with previous teachings of the Magisterium. Those who object must not only deny Humanæ Vitæ's value, but also consistent moral teachings from the Magisterium for centuries.
(06-04-2020, 04:13 PM)Paul Wrote: [ -> ]But, as I've said here multiple times before, Amoris lætitia isn't that hard to figure out. Objectively, adultery is a mortal sin. Subjectively, one who is threatened may not be guilty of a mortal sin and could therefore receive Communion. Figuring that out is for the person and his or her priest to determine privately. Nothing heretical there, so nothing to reject.

I do think that this is a bit of a over-simplification.

It would be rare that a couple would be invincibly ignorant of their living in an adulterous union. It's one thing if they received a declaration of nullity on false grounds and that's only discovered later, and so in the meantime their new marriage was only an apparent marriage and objectively they were committing adultery. In fact, in such a situation, it might be more prudent that the couple not be informed of this because of the damage to the family and children, and the couple be allowed to think they are married (so tolerate the material sin of adultery) so that the family is not destroyed over this. That is absolutely a matter for a priest to help a couple to determine.

It's quite another if they have just divorced and remarried outside of the Church (because the Church would not let them enter an adulterous union), and now they want to live publicly as if they are just a Catholic married couple. Rare if even possible is the case of invincible ignorance there, and so rare if not impossible that the adultery is not also subjectively imputable. If you need to leave the Church to marry, because the Church says that this is adultery, then I don't see how there is any situation where one could claim ignorance.

Are there situation where because of a civil marriage and then return to the Church, a couple cannot separate because of the good of the children, but must refrain from Communion in public to avoid scandal, but because living as brother and sister, could privately receive the Sacraments? Absolutely ...

... but that's nothing new, and certainly not what AL is trying to describe. It is very clearly trying to allow those who are objective living in sin to publicly receive the Sacraments, which is to encourage the grave sin of scandal.
(06-04-2020, 05:51 PM)MagisterMusicae Wrote: [ -> ]It would be rare that a couple would be invincibly ignorant of their living in an adulterous union. It's one thing if they received a declaration of nullity on false grounds and that's only discovered later, and so in the meantime their new marriage was only an apparent marriage and objectively they were committing adultery. In fact, in such a situation, it might be more prudent that the couple not be informed of this because of the damage to the family and children, and the couple be allowed to think they are married (so tolerate the material sin of adultery) so that the family is not destroyed over this. That is absolutely a matter for a priest to help a couple to determine.

It's quite another if they have just divorced and remarried outside of the Church (because the Church would not let them enter an adulterous union), and now they want to live publicly as if they are just a Catholic married couple. Rare if even possible is the case of invincible ignorance there, and so rare if not impossible that the adultery is not also subjectively imputable. If you need to leave the Church to marry, because the Church says that this is adultery, then I don't see how there is any situation where one could claim ignorance.

I don't disagree at all that this would be rare, possibly even non-existent, but if theoretically possible, it's not heresy. Saying 'those who are subjectively not guilty of mortal sin can receive Communion' is fine; the fact that the number of such people might be zero doesn't change that.

What about the situation where one spouse insists on sex despite the other believing it's adultery, and gets violent if refused, or threatens to take the children away, or kick the Catholic spouse out of the house and she doesn't have anywhere else to go? Seems like most Catholics think that lessens culpability, but I wouldn't think those things justify mortal sin. If it did, then the early martyrs should have just offered the incense.
Yes SacraCor, I replied to your original thread by saying that I thought the Church, using Amoris Laetitia as guidance, could open up the question of allowing an exception under certain situations such as yours. I was not suggesting that you go ahead and just do so on your own, as many were eager to accuse me of. And I was not referring to "primacy of conscience" as a type of free-for-all, where people could just go ahead and go against Church teaching whenever they felt like it - not at all.

I refer to what Pope Francis calls "concrete situations" and "lived realities" - such as yours - where sometimes a blanket application of teaching may not be the most effective approach. So for your situation, where one cannot realistically deny the importance of unity between husband and wife expressed in intimate relations, but there is a high possibility of endangering one's health in doing so, the question can perhaps be opened. Your primary intention is not to contracept, but to be able to have relations with your spouse; as you have a child, and are open to more in the future, you have proven that. Furthermore, NFP is already approved, but simply does not offer the comfort in your situation. On the other hand, if another couple wanted to claim "primacy of conscience" simply because they did not desire children, then that would not be a valid application of the guidance laid out in Amoris Laetitia. Again, I am only suggesting that I do not see a problem with the Church opening up this question.

From what I have seen, many folks exercise their self-ordained primacy of conscience when they badmouth the Pope and accuse him of heresy, with seemingly no sense of wrong, remorse, or guilt. They even go so far, without any proper authority or training, to claim that he is not even the Pope, as if these are not sins of the tongue and of slander. But when someone merely poses a question to ask about an exception to one of the Church's sexual teachings, they call God's angels to swoop down from heaven to stop the discussion in its tracks. Because apparently, a woman trying to find a way to have sex with her husband without seriously risking her health is somehow a bigger threat to the Faith than a group of Catholics who are disobedient to the Holy Father and accuse him of heresy.
(06-04-2020, 09:59 PM)LionHippo Wrote: [ -> ]From what I have seen, many folks exercise their self-ordained primacy of conscience when they badmouth the Pope and accuse him of heresy, with seemingly no sense of wrong, remorse, or guilt.  They even go so far, without any proper authority or training, to claim that he is not even the Pope, as if these are not sins of the tongue and of slander.  But when someone merely poses a question to ask about an exception to one of the Church's sexual teachings, they call God's angels to swoop down from heaven to stop the discussion in its tracks.  Because apparently, a woman trying to find a way to have sex with her husband without seriously risking her health is somehow a bigger threat to the Faith than a group of Catholics who are disobedient to the Holy Father and accuse him of heresy.

I have to ask LionHippo. Was it wrong for my wife and I to remain chaste during our courtship and engagement? Or should we have had sex because our "lived reality?"
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