Cardinal Burke, seen by many as lead prelate of the traditionalist or ultra conservative faction of the Church has condemned critics of the Apostolic Exhortation ‘Amoris Laetitia.’
The Cardinal emphasizes as I did in my own post (see: http://www.sacerdotus.com/2016/04/amoris-laetitia-joy-of-love.html) that the document has no binding affect on doctrine or even practice. He writes:
“Pope Francis makes clear, from the beginning, that the post-synodal apostolic exhortation is not an act of the magisterium” and that “it is written as a reflection of the Holy Father on the work of the last two sessions of the Synod of Bishops (on the family).”
“A post-synodal apostolic exhortation, by its very nature, does not propose new doctrine and discipline but applies the perennial doctrine and discipline to the situation of the world at the time,”
He stresses that the purpose of the document is for,
“pastors and other teachers of the faith is to present it within the context of the Church’s teaching and discipline, so that it serves to build up the Body of Christ in its first cell of life, which is marriage and the family. In other words, the post-synodal apostolic exhortation can only be correctly interpreted, as a non-magisterial document, using the key of the Magisterium as it is described in the Catechism of the Catholic Church.”
Many so-called traditionalists or ultra conservative bloggers have taken to the keyboard to attack Pope Francis and Amoris Laetitia. Some have describe it as a “revolution” within the Catholic Church. Others have claimed that it is an attempt to turn the Catholic Church into Protestatism. Cardinal Burke refutes that stating:
“In other words, the Holy Father is proposing what he personally believes is the will of Christ for His Church, but he does not intend to impose his point of view, nor to condemn those who insist on what he calls “a more rigorous pastoral care.”
The Cardinal attacks the media and Catholic bloggers who have been slandering the Pope and the document:
“The secular media and even some Catholic media are describing the recently issued post-synodal apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia, “Love in the Family,” as a revolution in the Church, as a radical departure from the teaching and practice of the Church, up to now, regarding marriage and the family.
Such a view of the document is both a source of wonder and confusion to the faithful, and potentially a source of scandal, not only for the faithful but for others of goodwill who look to Christ and his Church to teach and reflect in practice the truth regarding marriage and its fruit, family life, the first cell of the life of the Church and of every society.”
Fr. Longenecker also agreed with the Cardinal, even calling these Catholics, ‘fundamentalists.’
“He says clearly that those who set themselves up as critics of the Holy Father and the exhortation are wrong and are causing scandal. The behavior of the Catholic fundamentalists over the weekend has been scandalous. Some who believe themselves to be such good Catholics have used vile and obscene language about the Pope, trumpeted their prognostications of doom and gloom and in doing so have declared themselves not to be the best Catholics of all, but the worst.
Cardinal Burke is right to say they have caused scandal because their self righteous, ignorant and arrogant writings have caused others to stumble, lose faith in the church and to question the authority of the Holy Father and the church they say they love.”
I agree with both. The attacks against the Pope, the slander against him and the misinterpretation of ‘Amoris Laetitia’ is getting out of hand. There is a faction out there who is abusing the gift of the blog to voice their diatribe against the Pope. They filter things related to him via a cognitive bias that only lets them interpret things via their point of voice forcing them to see what is not there. This shows their ignorance of how the Church and her documents work. I think the Vatican should do more to control so-called ‘Catholic’ blogs and sites. Perhaps a form of online imprimataur is needed. These blogs are confusing many Catholics and causing hatred and distrust of the Roman Pontiff.
Cardinal Burke clearly liked the Apostolic Exhortation and defended it. He did not voice his criticism publicly as he has done so in the past indicating that he liked the document and had no issue with it.