English Summary – 1-2/2018 Amoris laetitia

Petr Štica
Love in the Family between Ideal, Joy and Fragility
A Brief Introduction into the Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia

The article leads us into Pope Frances’ apostolic exhortation on love in the family. At first the document is put in the context of the synodal way. We are introduced into the process of the document’s formation and shown the synodality as a constructive dimension of the ecclesiological thinking of Pope Frances. We are provided with documentary that the message of Amoris Laetitia is necessary to be read in the context of Frances’ ecclesiology and displays what implications it has. Further on the contribution introduces us the structure of a papal document, that is built in accordance with the three steps “see – judge – act” and is cut to the bone with the pastoral theology of  the Second Vatican Council. Also the connections with the previous Frances’ documents, especially the apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium are reflected here. The attention is then focused on the general features of the document Amoris Laetitia and the main theological cathegories Pope Frances based this exhortation on.

Anne-Marie Pelletier
Amoris Laetitia – Inspired by God’s Word

The French linguist and professor of biblical studies, the Ratzinger Prize laureate, shows how the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia is anchored in Scripture, and how Pope Frantisek allows God’s Word to inspire him and to lead him to original solutions. The author observes the frequency and diversity of biblical quotations taking into account the whole breadth of the Scripture, the new contexts revealed by the Pope, including the “places” of God, where God actualises himself with a special liking and often confuses human expectations. Inspiration by the Scripture and the fidelity to its claims is also evident in Pope’s dealing with the issue of law and mercy. Frances in the exhortation does nothing else than purposely applies the fundamental statements of the Constitution Dei Verbum concerning the central and life-giving role of the Scripture for the understanding of the Christian mystery and for the authentic sequela Christi.

Benedikt Mohelník OP
The Concept of the Sacrament of Marriage in the Exhortation Amoris Laetitia

In order to understand the post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia on its pastoral level is necessary – according to the author – to pay close attention to the theological fundaments of the practical conclusions of the Pope Frances. Therefore, in his study, the author focuses on the theology of the sacrament of marriage as formulated by Pope Frances in the exhortation, and presents a systematically structured view of important issues concerning marriage in the light of sacramental theology. The author shows that the concept of marriage in Amoris Laetitia is based on two basic pillars: trinitarian and christological. The Pope emphasizes the essential relationship between the mystery of the Trinity and the marriage, the rooting of the sacramental marriage in the baptismal grace, and the connection between marriage and the sacrament of the Eucharist. According to the Pope, from the creation of the world marriage constitutes a picture of the Holy Trinity and the participation in the Trinitarian love, as well as the image and presentation of the unifying love of Christ to his Church.

Endure the Tension between the Ideal and the Particular Situation
Interview with Aleš Opatrný about Amoris Laetitia

The priest of the Prague Archdiocese with long-term experience in pastoral care of divorced in the interview with editors of the review Salve explains new assets of the exhortation Amoris Laetitia to the theology of marriage, the specific possibilities of its application in the conditions of the local Church, and how the Church should respond to the problems of today’s people. He points out not only the issue of incorporating divorced into the wider life of the Church, but also the need to de­vel­op the pastoral care of engaged and newly married couples and to deepen the formation of priests.

Lukáš Nosek
Status Quaestionis – Doubts on the 8th Chapter

The study summarises the objections of some critical voices against the post-synodal exhortation Amoris Laetitia, especially against its 8th chapter. It is neither a complete list of critical voices nor a complete list of their arguments; it is limited to the two loudest and apparently the most radical ones. These voices summarise precisely the arguments and objections of the other critics. Firstly, the author looks at the exhortation as a whole and observes the role of the 8th chapter. He focuses on – for the critics – the most crucial passage in article 305, and especially in footnote 351. Then he deals with the so-called four cardinals’ Dubia from November 2016 and with the comprehensive letter from summer 2017 titled Correctio filialis de haeresibus propagatis. Finally, he answers the questions asked in Dubia and Correctio, namely whether AL is contrarious to the traditional doctrine, to sacramentology, anthropology, or to the doctrine on the grace of God.

Rocco Buttiglione
A Guide for Uncertain Christians
Questions and Answers

The Italian philosopher in his study gathered a number of dubieties that arose after the publica­tion of the exhortation Amoris Laetitia. He expressed these ambiguities in the form of 29 questions to which he offers to give an answer. There are questions as: Is it allowed, in certain cases, to grant absolution a person bound by a previous marriage and yet living more uxorio and having a sexual relationship? Is still valid the teaching of John Paul II (Veritatis Splendor, 79) about intrinsically evil acts which can never be good under any circumstances? Can be claimed that people living more uxorio find themselves in situation of grave habitual sin? Etc. Finally the author states that the two basic interpretative keys to Amoris Laetitia are mercy and historicity.

Epistula Apostolica
The edition presents a letter on the interpretation of the document Amoris Laetitia, the Apostolic Letter of Pope Frances to Bishop Sergio Alfred Fenoy of San Miguel, the Delegate of the Buenos Aires Pastoral Region, and the Basic Criteria for Using the 8th Chapter of Amoris Laetitia written by the Bishops of the Buenos Aires Pastoral Region.

David Peroutka
Amoris Laetitia and Discernment

The study offers an interpretation of the eighth chapter of the papal document Amoris Laetitia concerning the situation of divorced and remarried Christians. Firstly, we pay attention to the distinction between objective and subjective aspects of morally significant action. The opinion that the bondage and cohabitation of the remarried is the objective wrongdoing does not in itself preclude the possibility that in certain cases it does not constitute a personal guilt – and therefore a sacramental life is possible. Further considerations are inspired by the Orthodox solution. In cases where it is not right to demand a separation, it is not possible to insist on a legally required claim of asexual living together, but it is necessary to be consequent and recognize the relation as a marriage.

Thomas Michelet OP
Amoris Laetitia: A remark of sacramental theology on the Eucharistic communion for the divorced and remarried

After holding the front of the media scene in the two years of the synod on the family, the delicate question of Eucharistic communion for divorced and remarried continues to feed most of the discussions on Pope Francis’s post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia. Commentators, focussing on chapter 8 and in particular on the note 351, are very divided as to whether the note has changed or not the discipline established by Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio. The article seeks to promote the reception of the text by showing that it can and should be interpreted in accordance with the previous magisterium. A new light is given, which determines a real pastoral and disciplinary change, but under a homogeneous doctrinal progress. The distinction made in terms of moral theology between objective situation of sin and subjective liability depending on the circumstances is resituated in the traditional framework of the science of the confessional. But the sacramental regime can not depend only on the internal forum, because sacraments are also public acts. Thus Familiaris Consortio, reread in the light of Amoris Laetitia, enlightens it in return.

Alain Mattheeuws SJ
Pastoral Discernment after Amoris Laetitia: the Manifestation of the Kairos

Since the publication of the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, which urges the Church to “accompany, discern, and integrate weakness”, the horizon of pastoral accompaniment has widened. The author offers several criteria for priests and laymen confronted with new sensitive pastoral situations, or let us say with situations described as “irregular”. He observes the role of the time in the process of discernment, the importance of circumstances in the assessment of the situation, the spiritual dynamics, and presents several rules for discernment. He focuses on benefits of the Ignatian spirituality, especially on the dynamics of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Marie Kolářová
Amoris Laetitia – Changes in the Unchangeable Teaching of the Church?

The contribution of the chancellor of the Prague Archbishopric, the instructor of the tribunal for the examination of papal dispensation requests for annulment of the marriage, and the advocate of the Metropolitan ecclesiastical court of the Archdiocese of Prague, deals with one of the objections against Amoris Laetitia, namely that it breaks the uncrossable boundaries given by the law of God. There is a connection to the idea that marriage has always been seen by the Church in a constant way. Kolářová refers to some important changes, or more precisely specifications of the essence of marriages, that have taken place over the last hundred years. She focuses in this connection on some important contexts of law, theology and moral teachings of the Church, in order to make it clear that criticism of AL is the result of a narrow one-sided view, neglecting the wider context of the issue.

Martin Staněk
Converts, Irregular Situations and the Joy of Love

The text includes records of observations gathered in the course of accompanying converts – undergraduates at the Prague Academic Parish against the background of the papal exhortation Amoris Laetitia and documents specifically adapting the status of catechumens in the Church. The author draws attention to the new contexts of belief in today’s pluralistic society and maps the situation of today’s converts who are struggling with specific problems during their conversion. He shows the conversion and accompaniment of converts in the Church as a gradual process in which plays an important role the principle of gradualism, allowing proceed step-by-step towards the holiness. He emphasizes a sensitive approach to the so-called irregular situations of converts and also discusses the specific situation of catechumens.

Josef Prokeš
Living Veracity as a Criterion for the Life of the Church

The author considers the question: why people of today’s world do not actually need the Church and do not seek her? He indicates that it is not because they do not seek spiritual things, or have not spiritual needs, or have no problems in their lives with which faith could help them. More likely, in their observation of the Church, they do not see anything that resonates with their real life. On the contrary applies – wherever in the Church pulsates life, the true life inspired by the Truth, which means also a real life of human being, there are people spontaneously attracted to the Church and asking for her. The author observes this characteristic specifically in the pontificate of Pope Frances. An example of which is also the exhortation Amoris Laetitia, where can be seen an interest in a real life inspired and encouraged by the Truth.

Caption for the picture accompaniment
Lent art intervention by Veronika Šimůnková

This issue of Salve is accompanied by photography series mapping the graduation project of Veronika Šimůnková at Faculty of Art and Design of J. E. Purkyně University in Ústí nad Labem. The young artist decided to implement her lent art intervention in her birthplace of Rokytnice nad Jizerou in the Giant Mountains, in a church that is her spiritual home. Thanks to the helpfullness of the local priest she installed  three three-dimensional “twine” objects made of taut pieces of thread in front of the retabulum of the high and both the side altars during the Lent period 2018. Šimůnková also coated the main church crucifix on the side of the triumphal arch with white elastic fabric. At Easter she then revealed the Corpus Christi by cutting the fabric. The whole at intervention was followingly presented at Emil Filla Gallery in Ústí nad Labem in June 2018.