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.
Imagine someone who becomes seriously ill, and after many attempts for a cure, finally finds a doctor who prescribes an efficacious remedy. After some days of treatment, he finds himself cured. Naturally, gratitude will bring him to transmit to as many as possible the competence of the doctor and efficacious medicine prescribed, emphasizing the gravity of the illness he was saved from. His testimony, besides praising the doctor, will serve for posterior experiences regarding this illness and encourage all of those who suffer from it to hope for a cure. Evidently, no one would think that this propaganda entails an apology of the sad condition of the sick person…
Ever since the beginning of Christianity, certain men and women have been called to offer themselves entirely to God: they leave the world to dedicate themselves exclusively to prayer, fasting and penance in intimacy with the Lord. Many obtained such a fame of sanctity that they ended up attracting multitudes – their example awakened in many others the desire of imitating their lives of perfection. Small communities thus originated; and these became the starting point for the great religious orders of the future.
To really get to know somebody, it’s necessary to observe different aspects of their character. We Catholics reveal our moral worth in diverse circumstances: for example, during times of physical and spiritual suffering, when we need to pardon our neighbor, when we detach ourselves from material goods – it is in these and so many other trials, that charity is really proven.
Jesus tells us in the Gospel that, ‘A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit’ (Mt 7: 18). Evidently, any botanist who claims a tree to be defective, even though it visibly produces appetizing and nutritious fruit, would be considered mad. He would be taken as a liar or a charlatan for making such an unfounded affirmation.