In a previous study, we analyzed a reference that Francis presented in number 159 of Amoris Laetitia. Taken from a catechesis of Pope John Paul II, July 14, 1982, this reference was truncated in its essential theological dimension. Consequently, having silenced what Pope John Paul II had affirmed in recalling that virginity and celibacy are based on an option for the sake of the “kingdom of Heaven” (Mt 19:12), Francis prompts a one-sided interpretation.
In synthesis, Francis wishes to defend the theory that matrimony, virginity and celibacy are on an equal footing:
“Rather than speak absolutely of the superiority of virginity, it should be enough to point out that the different states of life complement one another, and consequently that some can be more perfect in one way and others in another (Amoris Laetitia, 159).
A doctrinal confusion emerges with this Bergoglian stance, namely through its unclear definition of what “way” matrimony can be considered superior to virginity. As demonstrated, this position does not coincide with the teachings of Pope John Paul II, who, following the doctrinal and pastoral tradition of the Holy Church, had put this matter in its just equilibrium by affirming:
“The evangelical and authentically Christian superiority of virginity and continence is dictated by the motive of the kingdom of heaven. In Christ’s words recorded in Matthew (Mt 19:11-12) we find a solid basis for admitting only this superiority, while we do not find any basis whatever for any disparagement of matrimony which, however, could have been present in the recognition of that superiority.” (John Paul II. Audience, April 7, 1982)
Moreover, this superiority of celibacy and virginity over matrimony was dogmatically declared by the Council of Trent when it condemned the Protestant error that denied this superiority: Denzinger-Hünermann 1810: Council of Trent, The Sacrament of Marriage, Session XXIV, Canon X
“The heresy of Jovinian asserted that the merit of consecrated virgins was equaled by conjugal chastity. Hence, it is said that in Rome, certain nuns who had not hitherto been suspected of immorality, contracted marriage. […] In the book De ecclesiasticis dogmatibus we find the following declaration: “To set virginity on a level with matrimony is not Christian but Jovinian”. (Saint Thomas Aquinas. The perfection of the spiritual life, Ch. XII)
In face of these observations, each reader may draw his own conclusions. More here…