In examining the ramifications of this disastrous document the author worries, and I believe he is correct, that beleaguered Catholics, swimming in the mouth fog emanating from the Vatican, are not sufficiently appreciating the dangers of this exhortation, as they just go from one scandal to the next without reflecting upon what has just been done to the Faith by this troublesome exhortation..
It is especially important that in our interactions with Bishops and clergy we have a clear idea of what we are talking about and, as Larson says, "to truly stand up against it"...which is why I urge readers to give a careful read to all four parts of this analysis. The author has stated, and again I agree, that this issue goes straight to the Catholic "heart" more than any other.
Let us therefore be like the proverbial pit bull that latches on to someone's arn or leg and will not let it go. We must latch on to the extreme danger of Amoris Laetitia by constantly pointing out its absurdities and even heresies, and not let go of it for any reason.
“God manifests himself in historical revelation, in history. Time initiates processes, and space crystallizes them. God is in history, in the processes. We must initiate processes, rather than occupy spaces.” (Pope Francis: Interview with Antonio Spadaro, Aug, 2013)
What might be called the “theological agenda” of Amoris Laetitia is succinctly formulated very early in this document. In paragraph 3, we encounter the following:
Since “time is greater than space,” [bold emphasis mine, quotation marks are Francis’] I would make it clear that not all discussions of doctrinal, moral, or pastoral issues need to be settled by interventions of the magisterium. Unity of teaching and practice is certainly necessary in the Church, but this does not preclude various ways of interpreting some aspects of that teaching or drawing certain consequences from it. This will always be the case as the Spirit guides us towards the entire truth (cf. Jn 16:13), until he leads us fully into the mystery of Christ and enables us to see all things as he does. Each country or region, moreover, can seek solutions better suited to its culture and sensitive to its traditions and local needs. For “cultures are in fact quite diverse and every general principle…needs to be inculterated, if it is to be respected and applied.”
Now, any honest assessment of this paragraph should produce profound bewilderment. The subjects we are dealing with in Amoris Laetitia– marriage, family, the impossibility of divorce and remarriage, and the prescription against those living in adultery receiving the Eucharist – all these subjects are doctrinal “places” which are not subject to evolution, change, growth, or inculteration. Further, there can be no unity of teaching and practice where these doctrines are violated. And finally, if questions regarding such doctrines need not now to be “settled by intervention of the magisterium”, it is only because they have been settled by the magisterium and by the Gospel from its inception. In other words, every sentence in paragraph 3 is redolent with error and deception.
We do indeed have not only the right, but also the obligation, to reject this concept that “time is greater than space” in regard to anything to do with Catholic truth. And we should be left with a very disturbing question as to exactly what Francis is trying to do with this strange notion that “time is greater than space”.
Amoris Laetitia is not the first time that Francis has used this phrase or concept. Those who read Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium may have been puzzled that in fact an entire subsection of this document was titled “Time is Greater than Space”. There we read:
“A constant tension exists between fullness and limitation. Fullness evokes the desire for complete possession, while limitation is a wall set before us. Broadly speaking, “time” has to do with fullness as an expression of the horizon which constantly opens before us, while each individual moment has to do with limitation as an expression of enclosure. People live poised between each individual moment and the greater, brighter horizon of the utopian future as the final cause which draws us to itself. Here we see a first principle for progress in building a people: time is greater than space.”
In commenting on this passage in my article Receiving the Kingdom of God as a Little Child, I wrote:
Neither shall they say: Behold here, or behold there. For lo, the kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17:21)
It has nothing to do with a utopian future, but with the “now” of our response to God’s grace and truth:
“And we helping do exhort you, that you receive not the grace of God in vain….Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” (2 Cor 6:1-2).
It is this now which has been the crucial and saving moment for each individual soul from the creation of Adam down to the last man. It is thisnow which has been the source of all that is good in human history; for it is here that God’s Rule is either accepted or rejected, this in turn determining whether true love, peace, justice, compassion, and mercy are either accepted or rejected in societies and nations.
Pope Francis indeed seems to make “time” the very source of revelation and salvation. In his interview with Anthony Spadaro, he said the following:
Read the whole of Part Four Here.