Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary
Catholic Culture Trusted Commentary

Vatican follies, continued

By Phil Lawler ( bio - articles - email ) | Feb 15, 2017

First the Vatican calls a press conference to announce the publication of a book by Cardinal Coccopalmerio. With their ears to the rumor mill, journalists covering the Vatican report that this book will be a response to the dubia—thus the excitement.

But then Cardinal Coccopalmerio does not show up for the press conference, causing observers to wonder whether it’s really that important.

Nevertheless in his book the cardinal says that the Pope’s teaching in Amoris Laetitia is perfectly clear, which would seem to mean that there’s no ambiguity.

But the publisher of the book—the director of the Vatican press—says that regarding the interpretation of Amoris Laetitia, “the debate is still open.

To summarize: The book is the most authoritative statement to date on a vexed question, but the author doesn’t think it’s more important than his other appointments and the publisher doesn’t think it’s definitive. The book answers all possible questions, except that there can be no possible questions. The book closes the debate, except insofar as the debate remains wide open.

All clear now?

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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