There is no doubt that the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia is principally surprising in the field of matrimonial morality, in its veiled contradiction to the principles always defended by the Church. But readers may find many other worrisome points for reflection within this document; they perhaps appear inoffensive, at first sight, but are very decisive points, in reality.
In our day, marked by the welcoming of migrants and the ‘collaborating with people who think differently,’ many may be shocked at the words of the Angelic Doctor: ‘Man’s relations with foreigners are twofold: peaceful, and hostile’ (I-II, 105, a.3)
Through the centuries, the Church has moved from triumph to triumph, though it continually endures attacks, persecutions and hatred from all quarters, all promoted by one leader: the infernal enemy who has the illusion of one day destroying it.
Catherine of Aragon – the Spanish princess married to Henry VIII, King of England – after having been repudiated by him, could well have exclaimed: “our division is nothing less than a scandal,” and the Catholic world, upon discovering this monarch’s concubinage with Anne Boleyn could well exclaim: “Your union is nothing less than a scandal!”
When Pilate, with reverential fear, asked Christ about his sovereignty, he answered: ‘You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice’ (Jn 18:37) Was Our Lord perhaps being a fundamentalist in making this affirmation with so much conviction and resolve? Since he is God, made man, the Truth in substance, he could not have acted differently.
After the death of Our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross, a soldier pierced his side with a lance, and blood and water flowed forth – a symbol of the sacraments that he would institute for the edification of his Church, the only true Church.
To pardon and show mercy are characteristic attitudes of every good Christian. However, it happens that at times we do not know what, or who, to pardon.
The Church has always faithfully exercised her mission of caring for those in need. The times have changed, but the same difficulties always present themselves with new aspects. Vice has always degraded human beings, earlier gambling and alcohol were key problems, today having lost none of their detrimental character, they have had to yield the first place to drugs… And an unending list of other vices plague us.
It is very pleasing, and above all, we feel love and admiration when, on going through the pages of the Gospel, we observe how Jesus ‘went about doing good’ (Acts 10: 38) – He cured all, pardoned sins, multiplied loaves, resurrected the dead, blessed children, etc. But, there is a truth that is often forgotten in our days, and even ends up being despised by those who would prefer to tear away the memory of it from their consciences: in the inseparable unity of merciful Jesus, there also exists justice, severity and integrity that does not tolerate the abominations or the errors of those who obstinately persist in sin. Both are the same Jesus…in both ways, Jesus is good, rather He is Goodness itself!
In the previous parts of our study, we have clearly observed that peace is a work of justice and a fruit of charity. It results from the practice of what is good, which is taught by the natural and divine law and accomplished with the help of grace. We now arrive at the point where we might ask – especially considering the declarations of Francis that we are analyzing: Is peace possible in Islam without the concept of an objective good or the natural law and above all without the indispensable aid of supernatural grace?