1

On June 29, 2016, 45 theologians from all over the world presented a critical study of Amoris Lætitia to the Dean of the College of Cardinals, Cardinal Angelo Sodano. (source)
cf. "Filial Correction of Pope Francis for the Propagation of Heresies," issued August 11, 2017, and signed by 40 clerics and academics

What theological censures did they issue against Amoris Lætitia?

2

The 45 theologians found 12 heretical propositions and 8 propositions falling under lesser censures:

Theological censures of propositions drawn from the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia


A - HERETICAL PROPOSITIONS


1) AL 83 : ‘The Church ... firmly rejects the death penalty’.

If understood as meaning that the death penalty is always and everywhere unjust in itself and therefore cannot ever be rightly inflicted by the state:

  1. Haeretica, sacrae Scripturae contraria.
  2. Perniciosa.

Gen. 9:63:

Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed; for God made man in his own image.

See also: Lev. 20-1; Deut. 13, 21-22; Matt. 15:4; Mk. 7:10; Jn. 19:11; Rom. 13:4; Heb. 10:28; Innocent I, Letter to Exsuperius, PL 120: 499A-B; Innocent III, Profession of Faith prescribed for the Waldensians, DH 7954; Pius V, Catechism of the Council of Trent, commentary on the 5th commandment; Pope Pius XII, Address to the First International Congress of Histopathology of the Nervous System, AAS 44 (1952): 787; John Paul II, Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2267.

2) AL 156 : 'Every form of sexual submission must be clearly rejected.’

If understood not simply as denying that a wife owes servile obedience to her husband or that the husband has authority over his wife that is the same as parental authority, but as also denying that the husband has any form of authority over his wife, or as denying that the wife has any duty to obey the legitimate commands of her husband in virtue of his authority as husband:

  1. Haeretica, sacrae Scripturae contraria.
  2. Prava, perniciosa.

Eph. 5:24:

As the Church is subject to Christ, so also let wives be to their husbands in all things.

See also: 1 Cor. 11:3; Col. 3:18; Tit. 2:3-5; 1 Pet. 3:1-5; Pius V, Catechism of the Council of Trent, commentary on the sacrament of matrimony; Leo XIII, Arcanum, ASS 12 (1879): 389; Pius XI, Casti connubii, AAS 22 (1930): 549 (DH 3708-09); John XXIII, Ad Petri cathedram, AAS 51 (1959): 509-10.

3) AL 159 : 'Saint Paul recommended virginity because he expected Jesus’ imminent return and he wanted everyone to concentrate only on spreading the Gospel: “the appointed time has grown very short” (1 Cor 7:29). . . . 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.'

Understood as denying that a virginal state of life consecrated to Christ is superior considered in itself to the state of Christian marriage:

  1. Haeretica, sacrae Scripturae contraria.
  2. Perniciosa, suspensiva gravis resolutionis.

Council of Trent, Session 24, canon 10:

If anyone says that the married state surpasses that of virginity or celibacy, and that it is not better and more blessed to remain in virginity or celibacy than to be united in matrimony, let him be anathema” (DH 1810).

See also: Mt. 19: 12, 21; 1 Cor. 7:7-8, 38; 2 Thess. 2:1-2; Apoc. 14:4; Council of Florence, Decree for the Jacobites, DH 1353; Pius X, Response of the Biblical Commission, DH 3629; Pius XII Sacra virginitas, AAS 46 (1954): 174; 2nd Vatican Council, Decree Optatam totius, 10.

4) AL 295 : ‘Saint John Paul II proposed the so-called “law of gradualness” in the knowledge that the human being “knows, loves and accomplishes moral good by different stages of growth”. This is not a “gradualness of law” but rather a gradualness in the prudential exercise of free acts on the part of subjects who are not in a position to understand, appreciate, or fully carry out the objective demands of the law.’

5) AL 301: ‘It is [sic] can no longer simply be said that all those in any “irregular” situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace. More is involved here than mere ignorance of the rule. A subject may know full well the rule, yet have great difficulty in understanding “its inherent values”, or be in a concrete situation which does not allow him or her to act differently and decide otherwise without further sin.’

Understood as meaning that a justified person has not the strength with God’s grace to carry out the objective demands of the divine law, as though any of the commandments of God are impossible for the justified; or as meaning that God’s grace, when it produces justification in an individual, does not invariably and of its nature produce conversion from all serious sin, or is not sufficient for conversion from all serious sin:

  1. Haeretica, sacrae Scripturae contraria.
  2. Impia, blasphema.

Council of Trent, session 6, canon 18:

If anyone says that the commandments of God are impossible to observe even for a man who is justified and established in grace, let him be anathema” (DH 1568).

See also: Gen. 4:7; Deut. 30:11-19; Ecclesiasticus 15: 11-22; Mk. 8:38; Lk. 9:26; Heb. 10:26-29; 1 Jn. 5:17; Zosimus, 15th (or 16th) Synod of Carthage, canon 3 on grace, DH 225; Felix III, 2nd Synod of Orange, DH 397; Council of Trent, Session 5, canon 5; Session 6, canons 18-20, 22, 27 and 29; Pius V, Bull Ex omnibus afflictionibus, On the errors of Michael du Bay, 54, (DH 1954); Innocent X, Constitution Cum occasione, On the errors of Cornelius Jansen, 1 (DH 2001); Clement XI, Constitution Unigenitus, On the errors of Pasquier Quesnel, 71 (DH 2471); John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et paenitentia 17: AAS 77 (1985): 222; Veritatis splendor 65-70: AAS 85 (1993): 1185-89 (DH 4964-67).

6) AL 297 : ‘No one can be condemned for ever, because that is not the logic of the Gospel!’

If understood as meaning that no human being can or will be condemned to eternal punishment in hell:

  1. Haeretica, sacrae Scripturae contraria.
  2. Scandalosa, perniciosa.

Matt. 25: 46:

These shall go into everlasting punishment: but the just, into life everlasting”

See also: Mt. 7:22-23; Lk. 16: 26; Jn. 17:12; Apoc. 20:10; 16th Synod of Toledo (DH 574); 4th Lateran Council, DH 801; Benedict XII, Constitution Benedictus Deus, DH 1002; Council of Florence, decree Laetentur caeli, DH 1306; John Paul II, Letter of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Recentiores episcoporum, AAS 71 (1979): 941; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1033-37.

7) AL 299 : ‘I am in agreement with the many Synod Fathers who observed that “the baptized who are divorced and civilly remarried need to be more fully integrated into Christian communities in the variety of ways possible, while avoiding any occasion of scandal. The logic of integration is the key to their pastoral care, a care which would allow them not only to realize that they belong to the Church as the body of Christ, but also to know that they can have a joyful and fruitful experience in it. They are baptized; they are brothers and sisters; the Holy Spirit pours into their hearts gifts and talents for the good of all. ... Such persons need to feel not as excommunicated members of the Church, but instead as living members, able to live and grow in the Church and experience her as a mother who welcomes them always, who takes care of them with affection and encourages them along the path of life and the Gospel”.’

If understood as meaning that the divorced and civilly remarried who choose their situation with full knowledge and full consent of the will are not in a state of serious sin, and that they can receive sanctifying grace and grow in charity:

  1. Haeretica, sacrae Scripturae contraria.
  2. Scandalosa, prava, perversa.

Mk. 10:11-12:

Whosoever shall put away his wife and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if the wife shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery”.

See also: Ex. 20:14; Mt. 5:32, 19:9; Lk. 16:18; 1 Cor. 7: 10-11; Heb. 10:26-29; Council of Trent, Session 6, canons 19-21, 27 (DH 1569-71, 1577); Session 24, canons 5 and 7 (DH 1805, 1807); Innocent XI, Condemned propositions of the ‘Laxists’, 62-63 (DH 2162-63); Alexander VIII, Decree of the Holy Office on ‘Philosophical Sin’, DH 2291; John Paul II, Veritatis splendor, 65-70: AAS 85 (1993): 1185-89 (DH 4964-67).

8) AL 301 : ‘It is [sic] can no longer simply be said that all those in any “irregular” situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace. More is involved here than mere ignorance of the rule. A subject may know full well the rule, yet have great difficulty in understanding “its inherent values”, or be in a concrete situation which does not allow him or her to act differently and decide otherwise without further sin.’

Understood as meaning that a Catholic believer can have full knowledge of a divine law and voluntarily choose to break it in a serious matter, but not be in a state of mortal sin as a result of this action:

  1. Haeretica, sacrae Scripturae contraria.
  2. Prava, perversa.

Council of Trent, session 6, canon 20:

If anyone says that a justified man, however perfect he may be, is not bound to observe the commandments of God and of the Church but is bound only to believe, as if the Gospel were merely an absolute promise of eternal life without the condition that the commandments be observed, let him be anathema” (DH 1570).

See also: Mk. 8:38; Lk. 9:26; Heb. 10:26-29; 1 Jn. 5:17; Council of Trent, session 6, canons 19 and 27; Clement XI, Constitution Unigenitus, On the errors of Pasquier Quesnel, 71 (DH 2471); John Paul II, Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et paenitentia 17: AAS 77 (1985): 222; Veritatis splendor, 65-70: AAS 85 (1993): 1185-89 (DH 4964-67).

9) AL 301 : ‘It is [sic] can no longer simply be said that all those in any “irregular” situation are living in a state of mortal sin and are deprived of sanctifying grace. More is involved here than mere ignorance of the rule. A subject may know full well the rule, yet have great difficulty in understanding its inherent values, or be in a concrete situation which does not allow him or her to act differently and decide otherwise without further sin.’

Understood as saying that a person with full knowledge of a divine law can sin by choosing to obey that law:

  1. Haeretica, sacrae Scripturae contraria.
  2. Prava, perversa.

Ps. 18:8:

The law of the Lord is unspotted, converting souls.”

See also: Ecclesiasticus 15:21; Council of Trent, session 6, canon 20; Clement XI, Constitution Unigenitus, On the errors of Pasquier Quesnel, 71 (DH 2471); Leo XIII, Libertas praestantissimum, ASS 20 (1887-88): 598 (DH 3248); John Paul II, Veritatis splendor, 40: AAS 85 (1993): 1165 (DH 4953).

10) AL 303 : ‘Conscience can do more than recognize that a given situation does not correspond objectively to the overall demands of the Gospel. It can also recognize with sincerity and honesty what for now is the most generous response which can be given to God, and come to see with a certain moral security that it is what God himself is asking amid the concrete complexity of one’s limits, while yet not fully the objective ideal.’

Understood as meaning that conscience can truly judge that actions condemned by the Gospel, and in particular, sexual acts between Catholics who have civilly remarried following divorce, can sometimes be morally right or requested or commanded by God:

  1. Haeretica, sacrae Scripturae contraria.
  2. Scandalosa, prava, perversa, perniciosa, impia, blasphema.

Council of Trent, session 6, canon 21:

If anyone says that Jesus Christ was given by God to men as a redeemer in whom they are to trust but not also as a lawgiver whom they are bound to obey, let him be anathema” (DH 1571).

Council of Trent, session 24, canon 2:

If anyone says that it is lawful for Christians to have several wives at the same time, and that this is not forbidden by any divine law, let him be anathema” (DH 1802).

Council of Trent, session 24, canon 5:

If anyone says that the marriage bond can be dissolved because of heresy or difficulties in cohabitation or because of the wilful absence of one of the spouses, let him be anathema” (DH 1805)

Council of Trent, session 24, canon 7:

If anyone says that the Church is in error for having taught and for still teaching that in accordance with the evangelical and apostolic doctrine, the marriage bond cannot be dissolved because of adultery on the part of one of the spouses and that neither of the two, not even the innocent one who has given no cause for infidelity, can contract another marriage during the lifetime of the other, and that the husband who dismisses an adulterous wife and marries again and the wife who dismisses and adulterous husband and married again are both guilty of adultery, let him be anathema” (DH 1807).

See also: Ps. 5:5; Ps. 18:8-9; Ecclesiasticus 15:21; Heb. 10:26-29; Jas. 1:13; 1 Jn. 3:7; Innocent XI, Condemned propositions of the ‘Laxists’, 62-63 (DH 2162-63); Clement XI, Constitution Unigenitus, On the errors of Pasquier Quesnel, 71 (DH 2471); Leo XIII, encyclical letter Libertas praestantissimum, ASS 20 (1887-88): 598 (DH 3248); Pius XII, Decree of the Holy Office on situation ethics, DH 3918; 2nd Vatican Council, Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et spes, 16; John Paul II, Veritatis splendor, 54: AAS 85 (1993): 1177; Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1786-87.

11) AL 304 : ‘I earnestly ask that we always recall a teaching of Saint Thomas Aquinas and learn to incorporate it in our pastoral discernment: “Although there is necessity in the general principles, the more we descend to matters of detail, the more frequently we encounter defects... In matters of action, truth or practical rectitude is not the same for all, as to matters of detail, but only as to the general principles; and where there is the same rectitude in matters of detail, it is not equally known to all... The principle will be found to fail, according as we descend further into detail”. It is true that general rules set forth a good which can never be disregarded or neglected, but in their formulation they cannot provide absolutely for all particular situations.’

Understood as meaning that moral principles and moral truths contained in divine revelation and in the natural law do not include negative prohibitions that absolutely forbid particular kinds of action under any and all circumstances:

  1. Haeretica, sacrae Scripturae contraria.
  2. Scandalosa, prava, perversa.

John Paul II, Veritatis splendor 115:

Each of us knows how important is the teaching which represents the central theme of this Encyclical and which is today being restated with the authority of the Successor of Peter. Each of us can see the seriousness of what is involved, not only for individuals but also for the whole of society, with the reaffirmation of the universality and immutability of the moral commandments, particularly those which prohibit always and without exception intrinsically evil acts” (DH 4971).

See also: Rom. 3:8; 1 Cor. 6: 9-10; Gal. 5: 19-21; Apoc. 22:15; 4th Lateran Council, chapter 22 (DH 815); Council of Constance, Bull Inter cunctas, 14 (DH 1254); Paul VI, Humanae vitae, 14: AAS 60 (1968) 490-91. John Paul II, Veritatis splendor, 83: AAS 85 (1993): 1199 (DH 4970).

12) AL 308 : ‘I understand those who prefer a more rigorous pastoral care which leaves no room for confusion. But I sincerely believe that Jesus wants a Church attentive to the goodness which the Holy Spirit sows in the midst of human weakness, a Mother who, while clearly expressing her objective teaching, “always does what good she can, even if in the process, her shoes get soiled by the mud of the street”.’

If understood as meaning that Our Lord Jesus Christ wills that the Church abandon her perennial discipline of refusing the Eucharist to the divorced and remarried and of refusing absolution to the divorced and remarried who do not express contrition for their state of life and a firm purpose of amendment with regard to it:

  1. Haeretica, sacrae Scripturae contraria.
  2. Scandalosa, prava, perversa, impia, blasphema.

1 Cor. 11:27:

Whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord.”

Familiaris consortio, 84:

Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance, which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who, repenting of having broken the sign of the Covenant and of fidelity to Christ, are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that when, for serious reasons, such as for example the children's upbringing, a man and a woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate, they ‘take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples’.”

2nd Lateran Council, canon 20:

Because there is one thing that conspicuously causes great disturbance to holy Church, namely false penance, we warn our brothers in the episcopate, and priests, not to allow the souls of the laity to be deceived or dragged off to hell by false penances. It is certain that a penance is false when many sins are disregarded and a penance is performed for one only, or when it is done for one sin in such a way that the penitent does not renounce another” (DH 717).

See also: Mt. 7:6; Mt. 22: 11-13; 1 Cor. 11:28-30; Heb. 13:8; Council of Trent, session 14, Decree on Penance, cap. 4; Council of Trent, session 13, Decree on the most holy Eucharist (DH 164647)); Innocent XI, Condemned propositions of the ‘Laxists’, 60-63 (DH 2160-63); John Paul II, Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1385, 1451, 1490


B) PROPOSITIONS FALLING UNDER LESSSER CENSURES

[…]


Endnotes
1 Cf. Lucien Choupin, Valeur des décisions doctrinales et disciplinaires du Saint-Siège, 2nd ed. (Paris: Beauchesne, 1913), pp. 52-55; and A.-M. Aubry, Obéir ou assentir ? De la « soumission religieuse » au magistère simplement authentique, Paris, DDB, collection « Sed Contra », 2015. .
2 See H. Quilliet, ‘Censures doctrinales’, DTC II, 2101-2113, and the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, ‘Doctrinal commentary on the concluding formula of the Professio fidei’, June 29th, 1998.
3 Scriptural references are taken from the Vulgate or from the neo-Vulgate.
4 All references to Denzinger are taken from the 43rd edition.

  • 1
    I can understand all of "Haeretica, sacrae Scripturae contraria; scandalosa, prava, perversa, perniciosa, impia, blasphema" except for prava. Others may not even be that fortunate. Would you mind providing a footnote of your own explaining the terms? – Andrew Leach Jul 25 at 8:59
  • @AndrewLeach In the third-to-last ¶ of their cover letter (PDF p. 3), they describe theological censures. See the link I added to what they cite in footnote #2. – Geremia Jul 25 at 16:24
  • Careful, using scripture to judge the pope is slippery slope XD – L1R Jul 25 at 18:48
  • @L1R They're judging propositions, not convicting anyone of the crime of heresy; the intro (PDF p. 2) states that their "analysis does not deny or question the personal faith of Pope Francis." – Geremia Jul 25 at 22:31

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