We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, He draws us to Himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Bishop Lopes: A Pledged Troth. A pastoral letter on Amoris Laetitia.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

What the... ? Synod Mid Term Report

Family synod: excerpt from the full text of the mid-term report.
As regards the possibility of partaking of the sacraments of Penance and the Eucharist, some argued in favor of the present regulations because of their theological foundation, others were in favor of a greater opening on very precise conditions when dealing with situations that cannot be resolved without creating new injustices and suffering. For some, partaking of the sacraments might occur were it preceded by a penitential path – under the responsibility of the diocesan bishop –, and with a clear undertaking in favor of the children. This would not be a general possibility, but the fruit of a discernment applied on a case-by-case basis, according to a law of gradualness, that takes into consideration the distinction between state of sin, state of grace and the attenuating circumstances.
The Good
"... some argued in favor of the present regulations because of their theological foundation...". Ain't broke. Don't fix it!
The Bad
Having one's cake and eating it too: "... partaking of the sacraments might occur were it preceded by a penitential path...". Translation: "I'm sorry for my sins... kinda sorta. I have no intention of leaving my adulterous union."
Confused: "... others were in favor of a greater opening on very precise conditions when dealing with situations that cannot be resolved without creating new injustices and suffering." Jesus says: Go and sin no more. Some Synod bishops say: "Go and do your best... if you can... but if you can't, that's ok. We don't want you to feel bad about yourself or further complicate your life. So, just live in sin and don't worry. Have a nice day."
Utter nonsense: "the fruit of a discernment applied on a case-by-case basis". Translation: "In your case, adultery is not really adultery because you have children, or something or other." Children have a difficult time as it is, given the state of the family. What message does it say to innocent children if their parents' sins are simply overlooked? "Hey, Christ's teaching doesn't really matter. So, do what you will." That's not Catholicism, that's paganism.
A Risk of Confusion
"... a law of gradualness, that takes into consideration the distinction between state of sin, state of grace and the attenuating circumstances." The law of gradualness is not the gradualness of the law. Pope St. John Paul II rejected the latter as mere permissiveness.
H/T Jimmy Akin: The Law of Gradualness: 12 things to know and share
6. In 1997 the Pontifical Council for the Family issued a vademecum (i.e., handbook) for confessors in which it gave guidance to those hearing confessions about how to handle certain situations. 
In particular, it warned confessors against the idea of thinking that repentance does not require a decisive break with sin, saying:
The pastoral "law of gradualness", not to be confused with the "gradualness of the law" which would tend to diminish the demands it places on us, consists of requiring a decisive break with sin together with a progressive path towards total union with the will of God and with his loving demands [Vademecum for Confessors 3:9].
Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/the-law-of-gradualness-12-things-to-know-and-share/

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