Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources

‘Magisterial authority’ in Argentina but not in Rome?

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Dec 18, 2017

Credit Sandro Magister of L’Espresso with this observation:

  • According to a Vatican announcement earlier this month, the Argentine bishops’ interpretation of Amoris Laetitia has “magisterial authority,” by virtue of the Pope’s endorsement and the document’s publication in the official Vatican gazette, Acta Apostolicae Sedis.
  • But the Argentine bishops’ document itself is a set of guidelines for the implementation of the apostolic exhortation. And those guidelines do not match the guidelines that have been issued by—among other places—the Diocese of Rome. The difference between the Argentine and Roman documents is clearly evident in the handling of the much-debated question of Communion for divorced-and-remarried Catholics.
  • So is the Pope’s own diocese interpreting and/or implementing his teaching improperly? If so, then the Pope can easily make a correction. If not, then it’s awfully difficult to understand the Pope’s assertion: “There are no other interpretations.”

Phil Lawler has been a Catholic journalist for more than 30 years. He has edited several Catholic magazines and written eight books. Founder of Catholic World News, he is the news director and lead analyst at See full bio.

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