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Buttiglione backs Amoris Laetitia in L'Osservatore Romano article

July 20, 2016

The Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano has published a front-page essay by Rocco Buttiglione, the Italian political leader and adviser to St. John Paul II, supporting the argument of Amoris Laetitia that Catholics who are divorced and remarried might, under some circumstances, be allowed to receive Communion.

Buttiglione argues that the Catholic Church has always recognized the possibility that individual circumstances determine whether or not someone is in a state of sin. He writes: 

The path that the Pope proposes to divorced and remarried is exactly the same that the Church proposes to all sinners: Go to confession, and your confessor, after evaluating all the circumstances, will decide whether to absolve you and admit you to the Eucharist or not.

Buttiglione's argument matches a previous statement by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, making the case that Pope Francis intended his apostolic exhortation to be interpreted as allowing for Communion for divorce-and-remarried couples on a case-by-case basis. The prominence given to Buttiglione's essay in the Vatican's official newspaper suggests a concerted effort to promote that interpretation of the papal document. 

 
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  • Posted by: rjbennett1294 - Jul. 22, 2016 5:59 PM ET USA

    "(A)llowing for Communion for divorce-and-remarried couples on a case-by-case basis"? Please. The pope and everyone else know that a case-by-case basis quickly becomes the norm. This is especially true when "freedom of conscience" and "the internal forum" will allow people to do whatever they want, not what God wants and not what is good for their souls and their happiness. You have to wonder how long God will permit His Church to be punished with this catastrophic pontificate.

  • Posted by: ILM - Jul. 21, 2016 7:42 PM ET USA

    Do you think for conservative Catholics living in these times will count against our time in purgatory?

  • Posted by: Jim Hanink - Jul. 20, 2016 8:43 PM ET USA

    I ask my confessor, after evaluating all the circumstances, to absolve me. But suppose both I and my confessor know that I torture people on the order of the state and plan to continue to do so. Or suppose that I and my confessor know that I am an abortionist and plan to continue as such. Or suppose that both I and my confessor know that I am having marital relations with someone other than my spouse. How might further considerations change my basic wrongdoing in any of these cases? Explain!

  • Posted by: filioque - Jul. 20, 2016 6:47 PM ET USA

    Of course circumstances can affect the degree of guilt, but absolution always requires the firm purpose of amendment, not to continue committing the sin. That is why, in the case of adultery, separation or at least sexual continence is required. This is so simple that it is difficult to see how any honest mind can find a way around it. The problem with Amoris Laetitia and apparently with Mr. Buttiglione is that continence is not being required. The discussion about prior guilt is irrelevant.

  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Jul. 20, 2016 5:03 PM ET USA

    If determination of moral guilt is an "internal forum" issue only, then why is it plastered over every newspaper, newsfeed, internet site, etc. on earth? Why are such sensitive guidelines that most likely affect the very, very few not transmitted by confidential means to those whose duty it is to act on them? Why broadcast such delicate instructions to the masses who are neither trained nor tasked to render judgment about when and how to properly apply them? Why not keep them in the confessional

  • Posted by: 1Jn416 - Jul. 20, 2016 11:44 AM ET USA

    This is unfortunate. That it is published in L'Osservatore Romano suggests this is how Pope Francis wants Amoris Laetitia interpreted. But that quote isn't really how it works, is it?