Comment on the blog Vox Cantoris : Christopher Ferrara's "devastating critique" of Amoris Laetitia
Christopher Ferrara who knows Italian may have watched the Press Conference for Amoris Laetitia when Cardinal Schonborn referred to 1) the hermeneutic of continuity of Pope Benedict and 2) the development of doctrine.
He was referring to a specific moral theology which has a particular form of reasoning.
There is no reference to this in this article by Ferrara.
Cardinal Schonborn was drawing upon the same error in salvation theology, which is accepted by the traditionalists and conservative Catholics, including Chris Ferrara.
So Ferrara may have not noticed the new theology which the liberals use and is the basis of the new doctrines in Amoris Laetitia.
In the new moral theology, which is part of Amoris Laetitia it is assumed that we humans can judge when a Catholic living in adultery ( concubinage) will not go to Hell, if they die immediately.So there are known exceptions to the traditional teaching on mortal sin.
Similarly for Chris Ferrara and Cardinal Schonborn the baptism of desire and being saved in invincible ignorance refer to known exceptions to the 16th century missionaries interpretation of the dogma extra ecclesiam nulla salus(EENS).
Ferrara has not said that if a Catholic priest assumes we cannot know of any case of a couple living in mortal sin,who would be an exception, who would not go to Hell,this would be the end of the new moral theology,it would not apply any more.
HERMENEUTIC OF CONTINUITY
1.Since in the new moral theology it is assumed that there are known exceptions, to Catholics living in mortal sin( concubinage, adultery) there is a hermeneutic of rupture with the traditional teaching on mortal sin, which did not mention any personally known exceptions.This point is omitted by Ferrara.
DEVELOPMENT OF DOCTRINE
Since there are known exceptions to traditional mortal sin there is a development of doctrine on mortal sin.Theoretically mortal sin is accepted but in practise it is believed we cannot always judge any case, because of subjective factors, which are always known exceptions, to saying someone in particular is in mortal sin.This point is covered in the article.However it is not seen by Chris Ferrara that the real problem is with known exceptions.
Theoretically we can postulate that there are exceptions but in reality, pastorally we cannot say that any couple is an exception according to the new theology.
In the new salvation theology the baptism of desire is theoretical.However when the Letter of the Holy Office (1949) considered it an exception to EENS it became explicit and personally known. It would have to be personally known to be an exception to EENS.
Similarly in the new moral theology the exceptions to mortal sin mentioned in the Catechism of the Catholic Church are theoretical.However when Amoris Laeitia considers them as being exceptions to the traditional teachings on mortal sin, they become explicit.They are assumed to be explicit.
But how can the conditions for mortal sin or actual baptism of desire be explicit for us human beings?
This is the flaw in the new theology, in faith and morals. This point is omitted in Ferrara's critique.
So if Cardinal Schonborn did not assume that there were 'subjectively visible exceptions', i.e you could see through the mind and heart of someone,as if you were God, then there would not be any known-to-you-exceptions to mortal sin?
Amoris Laetitia (301) is based on personally knowing exceptions to the traditional teaching on mortal sin and this point has not been noticed by Chris Ferrara.-Lionel Andrades