Since being issued in April, Amoris Laetitia has generated several conflicting interpretations. In particular, it has been claimed that the document signalled Pope Francis’s openness to allowing some divorced and remarried people to receive Communion even if they are not living “as brother and sister”.
John Paul II and Benedict XVI had taught that the Church’s existing discipline – that the remarried can only receive Communion if they undertake to live “in complete continence” – cannot change.
The Pope’s latest comments echo those of the recently-appointed Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago. Cardinal Cupich said last month that the document was “the fruit of two synods, and the fruit of propositions that were voted on by two-thirds of the bishops who were there”. He added: “this isn’t just a document out of just the Pope by himself, it stands as part of a synodal process that has been going on for a number of years.” (The last time this Catholic blogger checked, Roman pope's are not bound by synods. Unless we've adopted a model foreign to the Gospel, which is to say a way of doing things contrary to the constant Tradition of the Catholic Church, synods are consultative bodies whereby the pope can affirm or reject the content of discussions. The pope is not bound by or to councils and/or synods, save those that have already been affirmed as orthodox by a Roman pontiff. The pope is bound by and to Sacred Tradition. cf. St. Peter at the Council of Jerusalem and at Antioch)
Cardinal Cupich is one of the bishops who believe the document authorizes Communion for the remarried. Others, such as Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, have said that Amoris Laetitia upholds Church teaching. (Chaput would be the one to whom a faithful Catholic should listen.)
The journalist Edward Pentin, author of a book on the synod, rejected Cardinal Cupich’s (erroneous) claim. He said that while the synod organizers had tried “to manipulate and jostle the synod fathers into accepting the most controversial propositions”, including Communion for the remarried, these proposals had not passed the first vote.
As Catholics, we are by nature conservatives. I.e., we are or should be conservers of Tradition. The hallmark of being Catholic is an unfailing obedience to the Magisterium protected by the Holy Spirit according to the promise of Jesus Christ to Saint Peter upon whom Jesus established His Church. We are not innovators like Luther or