Austrian bishop signs statement calling Pope’s reading of Amoris Laetitia ‘alien’ to Catholic faith
January 6, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Bishop Andreas Laun, Emeritus Auxiliary of Salzburg, Austria, today put his name to the “Profession of Immutable Truths about Sacramental Marriage,” bringing the number of signatories to six bishops and one cardinal, LifeSite has confirmed.
On Monday, Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary of Astana, Kazakhstan, Archbishop Tomash Peta, Metropolitan of Astana, and Archbishop Jan Pawel Lenga of Karaganda, Kazakhstan, issued a “public and unequivocal profession of the truth” regarding the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage as a “service of charity in truth” to the Church of today and to the Pope.
The statement of the Kazakh Ordinaries comes in response to Pope Francis’ and certain bishops’ interpretation of Amoris Laetitia to allow some “remarried” divorcees (without an annulment and not living in sexual continence) access to the Sacraments of Penance and Holy Communion.
The bishops said that such a reading is causing “rampant confusion,” will spread “a plague of divorce” in the Church, and is “alien” to the Church’s entire faith and Tradition.
The three Kazakh Ordinaries took the decision to make a “public and unequivocal profession of the truth” regarding the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage because they say they “are not allowed to be silent.”
As Catholic bishops charged with defending and promoting the Catholic faith and common discipline, they say they have a “grave responsibility” and “duty before the faithful” who expect from them “a public and unequivocal profession of the truth and the immutable discipline of the Church regarding the indissolubility of marriage.”
Bishop Laun is a member of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. He was ordained a priest on June 29, 1967, and was ordained Auxiliary Bishop of Salzburg, Austria on March 25, 1995. Laun has also been a professor of moral theology at the Philosophical-Theological Faculty of Heiligenkreuz, Austria.
In December 2016, Bishop Laun said in an interview that he shared the concerns of the four ‘dubia’ cardinals over certain passages in Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia. “I have read the concerns of the four cardinals, and I agree with them,” he said. “Additionally, I know personally especially Cardinals Meisner and Caffarra and know how competent they are. With them, I am in the best company.”
Bishop Laun turned 75 on October 13 of last year. Pope Francis accepted his resignation the same day on the grounds of age.
His adherence to the profession brings the total number of signatories up to seven. On Friday, Cardinal Janis Pujats, Emeritus Archbishop Metropolitan of Riga, Latvia, signed the document. On Thursday, former U.S. apostolic nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò and Emeritus Archbishop Luigi Negri joined their names to the profession of “immutable truths about sacramental marriage.”