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  #1  
Old 23rd March 2018, 05:19 PM
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Default A word regarding the Amoris Laetitia controversy

On Church's Authority decision of the prudential order on who may receive Communion.

First, we have to keep in mind that we are NOT the official interpreters of Sacred Tradition or Sacred Scripture. “The Church’s Magisterium is the authentic interpreter of the affirmations of Scripture and Tradition” (CCC # 1008 ), not us.

“85 "The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of the Church alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ."47 [47 Dei Verbum 10# 2.] This means that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with the successor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.” – CCC # 85
.

Jesus said to the Apostles:

[John]
{16:12} I still have many things to say to you, but you are not able to bear them now.
{16:13} But when the Spirit of truth has arrived, he will teach THE WHOLE truth to you. For he will not be speaking from himself. Instead, whatever he will hear, he will speak. And he will announce to you the things that are to come.


The Holy Spirit guides and protects the Church, that is Her Sacred Magisterium, from falling into errors to the extent of heresy, apostasy or schism.

And the Magisterium can ONLY be exercised by the Bishops in UNION with the Pope:

“881 The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the "rock" of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and instituted him shepherd of the whole flock.400 "The office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the college of apostles united to its head."401 This pastoral office of Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church's very foundation and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope.” – CCC.

Jesus Christ is the Rock (Acts 4:11) (Rom 9:33) (1 Peter 2:8 ) or Cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20), and the Catholic Church is His, that is He is the Owner of the Church. Jesus said “MY Church” (Matt 16:18 ). However, since He had to ascend to the Father and until His return, He commended one person, Simon, to be in His place while He is out, that’s why He changed this person’s name to “Rock” (Kepha in Aramaic (John 1:42), Peter in English) and gave the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven ONLY to this person, Peter, not to the twelve, only to Peter so that he is in charge because we form one mystical Body of Christ and Christ became man and a man has only one head, not two or three heads like a monster. Only one head. When God changes a person’s name, the name represents such persons’ new character or position in his/her life. We see the cases of Abram to Abraham “Father of many nations” (Gen 17:5), Sarai to Sarah “Mother of kings” (Gen 17: 15-16), Jacob to Israel “Strong with God” (Gen 32:28 ) among others. Similarly, when God changed the name of Simon to 'Rock' (Peter) signifies the position that he is acquiring from God, the firm Rock where the Church of Jesus on earth stands and is built (Matt 16:18 ).

St. Peter, our first Pope warned us of individual interpretations because if we rely on ourselves we can easily fall into grave error:

[2 Peter]
{3:16} just as he
[St. Paul] also spoke in all of his epistles about these things. In these, there are certain things which are difficult to understand, which the unlearned and the unsteady distort, as they also do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
{3:17} But since you, brothers, know these things beforehand, be cautious, lest by being drawn into the error of the foolish, you may fall away from your own steadfastness.


That’s why Jesus left us with His ‘official’ teachers here on earth (Matt 16:18-19) (Luke 22:31-32) (John 21:15-17). And since the beginning, Christians were subject to the teachings of the Apostles, not anyone else who came around (Acts 2:42).

So, these men with authority, the Pope, and the Bishops in communion with the Pope (as a body), who are the successors of the Apostles, are the official interpreters of Sacred Scripture (Acts 8:27-35).
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  #2  
Old 23rd March 2018, 05:24 PM
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That being said, what I find in common among the Amoris Laetitia critics is that they ignore, don’t know, or cannot clearly understand the difference between Objective sin and Actual sin.

The following is from Ron’s post (my emphasis added):

“A sin is an offense against God.

An actual sin is a sin of commission or a sin of omission, which is done with at least some knowledge that the act or omission was wrong, and with at least some intent.

An objective sin is an act or an omission that in and of itself offends God, apart from the intent and knowledge of the one who acts or who omits.

Actual sins are usually also objective sins, that is, they are acts that are objectively immoral. However, if one intentionally does a good act with the mistaken belief that the act is immoral, it is an actual sin, but not an objective sin. If one does an objectively immoral act, but in the sincere belief that it is moral, intending to do only good, then it is not an actual sin, but it is still an objective sin.”

http://www.catholicplanet.net/forum/...ead.php?t=2400

“An actual mortal sin is an act [or an omission of an act] committed with full knowledge of the grave immorality of the act and with full freedom of the choice. The refusal to repent from one or more actual mortal sins, through the last moment of life, is called final impenitence. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, properly so-called, is nothing more than final impenitence. It is the only sin for which anyone is sent to Hell, as Jesus taught (Mark 3:28-29)”. (Forgiveness and Salvation for Everyone, pg 61 – Kindle version – my emphasis and brackets added).

The Catholic Encyclopedia calls “Material” sin for Objective sin and “Formal” sin for Actual sin (my emphasis and brackets added for clarification):

“This distinction is based upon the difference between the objective elements (object itself, circumstances) and the subjective (advertence to the sinfulness of the act). An action which, as a matter of fact, is contrary to the Divine law but is not known to be such by the agent constitutes a material sin [Objective sin]; whereas formal sin [Actual sin] is committed when the agent freely transgresses the law as shown him by his conscience, whether such law really exists or is only thought to exist by him who acts. Thus, a person who takes the property of another while believing it to be his own commits a material sin; but the sin would be formal if he took the property in the belief that it belonged to another, whether his belief were correct or not.” - (Section: Material and formal sin)

http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14004b.htm

A person in the state of ACTUAL mortal sin cannot receive Communion and the Pope is NOT saying that such persons can receive Communion.

What makes a baptized person worthy to receive Communion is to be in the state of grace, period.

People need to differentiate between 'objective' mortal and ‘actual’ mortal sin. See also St. Pope John Paul II’s general audience October 29, 1986 on degrees of sins #4. The Vatican doesn't have an English version available now, it's in Italian and Spanish, so the following is my English translation from the Spanish version:

“… The personal sins committed after original sin are conditioned by the state of the hereditary inclination towards evil (“fomes pecatti”), in some sense since the starting point. Nevertheless, such situation of hereditary weakness does not eliminate man’s freedom, therefore, in all actual (personal) sins is contained in a true abuse of liberty against the will of God. The degree of this abuse, as it’s known, can vary, and from there also depends the diverse degree of guilt of the person who sins. In this sense, a diverse measure has to be applied for actual sins when it is in regards the weight of degree of the evil committed by them. From here comes the difference between “grave” and “venial” sins. If the grave sin is at the same time “mortal”, it is because it causes the loss of the state of sanctifying grace of the person who commits it.” # 4.

https://w2.vatican.va/content/john-p..._19861029.html

https://w2.vatican.va/content/john-p...986.index.html

Notice that in the last sentence of the above paragraph, the Holy Pontiff says that “If the grave sin is at the same time “mortal”” that is, that if a grave sin (objectively speaking) is also an actual mortal sin, it causes the loss of sanctifying grace. And this also implies that a grave sin (objectively speaking) cannot also be “mortal” because of the “IF” at the beginning of the sentence.

Now, critics usually refer to Bible verses such as Matthew 5:32, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 or 1 Corinthians 11:27 and the document by Pope St. John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor #’s 56 and 79 as if Pope Francis is contradicting them. Pope Francis is NOT saying that intrinsically evil acts become good with a good intention or with good conscience, they remain evil, but there are mitigating factors that can reduce culpability in an objective mortal sin to an actual venial sin. Example, lying is intrinsically evil (for it's contrary to Truth who is God (John 14:16) (CCC# 1753)); therefore, lying in order to save the lives of persons do not make lying good, it remains a sin, but due to mitigating factors, it may be an actual venial sin.

They conclude that since adultery is (objectively) a mortal sin, no one with this sin can receive Communion. Ok, but, in light of Church’s teaching and disciplinary authority, we must distinguish if persons committing objective mortal sins are also committing actual mortal sins (only actual mortal sins lead people to Hell if unrepentant and cannot receive Communion), or if due to mitigating factors, those *objective* mortal sins are for the person who commits them *actual* VENIAL sins (See also CCC# 1754).

Like I said above according to what the Catechism teaches, there are mitigating factors that can reduce an OBJECTIVE mortal sin to an ACTUAL venial sin, and persons with venial sin do not lose the state of grace (CCC# 1863) and therefore can receive Communion, and receiving Communion actually “increases the communicant's union with the Lord, forgives his venial sins, and preserves him from grave sins. Since receiving this sacrament strengthens the bonds of charity between the communicant and Christ, it also reinforces the unity of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ.” CCC# 1416. Now, for example, masturbation is intrinsically evil (CCC# 2352), but mitigating factors can reduce this objective mortal sin to an actual venial sin. This is what the Catechism teaches: “To form an equitable judgment about the subjects' moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability” (CCC# 2352).

Any baptized person in the state of grace can receive Communion. But being in the state of grace doesn’t mean that we are free from all sin, we may have committed some actual venial sins and still be able to receive Communion; otherwise, none of us is able to receive Communion (1 John 1:8 ). We all must have the commitment not to sin anymore, but due to our weakness, we fall short and commit actual venial sins, and there can be the unfortunate case where a person may even commit an objective mortal sin but due to mitigating factors, that sin may be reduced to an actual venial sin, thus remaining in the state of sanctifying grace. And being in sanctifying grace, we are still able to receive Communion since we retain “friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal happiness” (CCC# 1863). IF only persons who have no sin whatsoever were worthy to receive Communion, who will be? “If you, O Lord, were to heed iniquities, who, O Lord, could persevere?” (Psalm 129 [130]: 3). Are you able to remain free from all actual venial sins for a good period of time like a week or two? – if you are, congratulations!, it should be our goal not to sin in the least!, but if you couldn't, as long as you remain in the state of grace, you can receive Communion. The bare minimum to receive Communion are baptism and the state of grace. The Church does possess the authority to permit reception of Communion to a baptized Catholic who is not conscious of actual mortal sin. There is nothing in Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture that teaches against it.

Again, what makes a baptized person worthy to receive Communion is to be in the state of grace.

“# 1863 … However venial sin does not break the covenant with God. With God's grace it is humanly reparable. "Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal happiness." – CCC.

Receiving Communion actually forgives venial sins and strengthens the person:

“1416 Communion with the Body and Blood of Christ increases the communicant's union with the Lord, forgives his venial sins, and preserves him from grave sins. Since receiving this sacrament strengthens the bonds of charity between the communicant and Christ, it also reinforces the unity of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ.”

With these teachings from the Catechism, it should be clear that being in the state of grace, with venial sins, does not forbid us from friendship/communion with God and thus, from receiving Communion.

Also, some seem to ignore that this is not a new doctrinal teaching, but a Pastoral decision of the prudential order (future Popes may or may not change this decision so that anyone in *objective* mortal sin cannot receive Communion – and this includes the many other objective mortal sins), so the faithful is free to respectfully disagree with this current pastoral decision (this is only a disciplinary decision) but we are still to be bound under the authority of the Vicar of Christ who holds the Keys of the Kingdom of Heaven.

One must understand that if a person does not have the willingness to amend his/her life and purposely commits an objective mortal sin making it also an actual mortal sin, then that person is NOT worthy of receiving Communion and Pope Francis is not saying that such persons can receive Communion. Only persons of good will who have the desire to amend their lives, but due to man’s weakness and mitigating factors, they fall short of that commitment, they may be able to receive Communion according to this temporary discipline of the prudential order that is stablished from Church’s authorities.

Pope Francis holds the Keys, not us, so it may be the case that during these times it is God’s will to “stretch His Mercy to the limit of Church’ authority” sort of speak, so that Pope Francis, licitly elected by the Providence and guidance of God to be Jesus’ Vicar, is permitting a discipline to the bare minimum of Church’s authority regarding who can receive Communion. It may be the case that in these times that, eschatologically speaking, we are at the threshold of the first part of the tribulation, God wills to strengthen sinners with His Body and Blood, so that they receive the grace to amend their lives for the good – so that they may even avoid future objective mortal sins. God has given Peter and each of his successors the authority to bind and loose (Matt 16:19), not just bind and bind.

We can just trust in Jesus’ Words, that He never abandons His Church.
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  #3  
Old 23rd March 2018, 07:33 PM
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“It arises from the necessity of salvation that all the faithful of Christ are to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” — Fifth Lateran Council

“This gift of truth and never-failing faith was therefore divinely conferred on Peter and his successors in this See so that they might discharge their exalted office for the salvation of all, and so that the whole flock of Christ might be kept away by them from the poisonous food of error and be nourished with the sustenance of heavenly doctrine.” — First Vatican Council

“But this authority, even though it may be given to a man, and may be exercised by a man, is not human, but rather divine [power], having been given by the divine mouth [of Christ] to Peter, and to him as well as to his successors, by [Christ] Himself, [that is, to him] whom He had disclosed to be the firm rock, just as the Lord said to Peter himself: “Whatever you shall bind,” [Matthew 16:19] etc. Therefore, whoever resists this authority, such as it has been ordain by God, resists the ordination of God. [Romans 13:2]”

Moreover, that every human creature is to be subject to the Roman pontiff, we declare, we state, we define, and we pronounce to be entirely from the necessity of salvation." – Unam Sanctam
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