"authoritative interpreter" of 'Amoris Laetitia' embraces relativism

So Pope Francis has has declared Cardinal Christoph Schönborn of Vienna to be the "authoritative interpreter" of 'Amoris Laetitia,'.

Speaking in Ireland at the weekend, Schönborn revealed that when he met the Pope shortly after the presentation of Amoris, Francis thanked him, and asked him if the document was orthodox.
“I said, ‘Holy Father, it is fully orthodox’,” Schönborn told us he told the pope, adding that a few days later he received from Francis a little note that said: “Thank you for that word. That gave me comfort.”
Talk about the blind leading the blind! The pope, after the publication of a document which the CDF lodged a large number of corrections of before its publication “not one of the corrections was accepted.”, then considers that a nod from one of his yes men is sufficient to guarantee orthodoxy. It makes you wonder if Pope Francis even read the document himself (let alone wrote it) given that he explicitly stated himself that he couldn't remember the most controversial elements

Is Schönborn more competent than the CDF?

In fact, Schönborn could be best characterised as the eponymous Vicar of Bray, perfectly happy to bend whatever way the wind blows in order to maintain position. He was a longstanding confidant of Pope Benedict XVI and the general editor of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which came out 25 years ago under the then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger’s supervision. This is often cited as lending his reputation some veneer of orthodoxy when, given numerous deeply problematic statements he has made over the years since, it would seem to clearly indicate that the Cardinal is quite happy to follow the power in the Vatican and the world.

Now Schönborn is saying that, moral theology needs both principles and prudence. In other words, theoretically the Church has principles, in practice do whatever you want.


  1. I was in Austria at a conference the day after the publucation of AL. Cardinal Schonborn, as Grand Chancellor of the ITC (organisers of the conference), gave us the same presentation he had given in Rome the day before. He pronounced himself delighted that the Holy Father had given the go-ahead for what had been the practice in the Archdiocese of Vienna for many years. A veritable mutual validation society.

    1. That says it all really doesn't it Patti? They teach us these things, but have little or no intention of actually upholding the moral norms or protecting the principles. And yet they can't understand why people think they are liars and hypocrites?

  2. Yes, Mark... the blind leading the blind...

    ...and surely as one of the leading neocon commentators in this country Cardinal Schönborn is 'your' man. After all, by supporting all these post-conciliar parish evangelisation efforts through things like the SoTA Guild you yourself are propping up this man who is actively pushing these sort of flawed initiatives which keep Catholics trapped in the kerygma stage (at worst), and trapped in the early stages of spiritual childhood (at best). Even Caroline Farey herself has now said that Forming Intentional Catholics and it's associated programs are "barely Catholic".

    I understand that you can not manage to get to the FSSP ot ICKSP, but I would try traditional Catholicism (and the Latin Mass) which always strives (and mostly succeeds) in moving Catholics beyond the early stages of spiritual childhood without the need for Schönborn style initiatives (and all the other failed post-conciliar projects and programs); and avoids the confusion within the Church about what Catholicism actually is.

    I am afraid that the moment that SoTA allowed the promotion of flawed charismatic based programs, that it was obvious that the neo-Catholic and neo-conservative movements were doomed to failure. Only Catholic tradition could pick up the pieces, as can now be seen happening in the North of England with the Institute and Fraternity.

    After all, when you observe St. Elizabeth's of Portugal, and how all this FiD and parish evangelisation ended up, we had prominent Catholics sending unsuspecting teenage Catholics off to HTB conferences, and allowing their Catholic teens to attend Pentecostal services after going to Sunday morning Mass. We then had FiD Catholic leaders at St. Elizabeths saying how Catholics could learn from Rick Warren.

    The writing is on the wall, and all this neo-conservatism you follow (and to be honest often lead) is failing around you, as it creates confusion in the faith i.e. confusion concerning NFP, LCP and its replacements, pro-life incrementalism, assisted suicide, analyzing tradition through the lens of V2. It is all based on confusion...

    We have to redress the reality that the progressives and liberals - who know that they are not orthodox - are not the problem...

    ....It's the Neocons who have convinced themselves that they are orthodox, when in fact it is neocons who are destroying the Church from within by brain washing unsuspecting Catholics through flawed post-conciliar moral theology, apologetics, and catechesis.....

    At the Institute and Fraternity we are led by highly trained and skilled priest who lead the faithful to ultimate truth. None of this 'dictatorship of confusion'.

    1. Notwithstanding the large amount of neocon nonsense in this post, if there was anything remotely resembling an ICKSP or FSSP parish anywhere around here I would attend. You're lucky to be able to!

    2. Also, what "flawed charismatic based programs" has SoTA "allowed the promotion of"?

    3. My understanding is that Intentional Disciples, which the Guild supports openly through the SoTA guild newsletters, (even though they do not say it in the original book itself) is based on ideas from CCR/evangelical churches. In fact Sherry Wedell admits that she clashed initially with the other founder.

    4. Yes the Guild (not SoTA) has had Sherry over. She has some hugely important insights into why people are leaving the Catholic Church and problems she has identified. Her book is recommended by Bishop Egan!

    5. You make Mark sound as though he's from ACTA. The description of SoTA makes LMS Lincolnshire sound like SSPX Lincolnshire!

  3. Given reference to the Guild in the above thread, I feel compelled to weigh into this discussion. As President of the Guild of Our Lady & Saint Joseph (‘the Guild”) since its inception, I would like to make clear that the Guild is a separate entity from the School of the Annunciation (‘SotA) open to all who are interested in fellowship and formation in the fullness of the faith of the Catholic Church. The overarching aim of the Guild is to promote and support SotA’s mission through our prayers and at our various events.

    While SotA offers its students an opportunity to delve into our Catholic faith by means of its excellent 18 -month Foundations in the Faith for the New Evangelisation course, the Guild looks to offer ‘stepping stones’ to this and the various other courses offered by SotA.

    Given that catechesis is a moment in the whole process of evangelisation (General Directory of Catechesis), the Guild has looked at its various elements including: pre-evangelisation and initial proclamation of the kergyma. Last September, we were delighted to have Sherry Weddell unfold the thresholds of evangelisation and we clearly understand that this model as set forth in Weddell’s book, Forming Intentional Disciples has its roots in the evangelical world in the US. Nevertheless, it clearly underscores our Catholic faith as an encounter with the person of Jesus Christ. Moreover, the Second Vatican Council Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation (Dei Verbum) explains that “by faith man freely commits his entire self to God, making the full submission of his intellect and will to God who reveals’ (DV 5). Undoubtedly, this is intentional discipleship!

    Each person is unique and on their own journey of faith. Therefore, it follows that there is not just one way to help others to begin that journey that will lead them closer to Christ. In our minds, it is very helpful to understand both the stages of evangelisation (i.e. one who is curious yet still passively interested vs a seeker who is actively seeking/hungering for formation/catechesis) and the role of transcendentals (truth, beauty and goodness- as explored in Michael Dopp’s relit programme) in order to respond to God’s call to each one of us to go forth and proclaim the Gospel.


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