Dozens of U.S. bishops sign up for Amoris Laetitia seminars at dissident Catholic colleges
CHICAGO, February 14, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — Chicago’s Cardinal Blase Cupich, a key promoter of the progressive agenda advanced under Pope Francis, has invited American bishops to a series of conferences about Amoris Laetitia in February.
Catholic News Agency reported this week that it had “obtained” a letter by the Archbishop of Chicago about the seminars. Called “New Momentum Conferences on Amoris Laetitia”, the series is advertised as a “tailor-made program that goes from why Amoris Laetitia provides New Momentum for Moral Formation and Pastoral Practice to how to provide formative pastoral programs.”
The workshops will be held at Boston College, the University of Notre Dame, and Santa Clara University.
Cupich expressed a hope that “fifteen to twenty BIshops” will “have a conversation” together with the “aid of theologians” on topics related to Amoris Laetitia. However, according to the National Catholic Reporter, 47 bishops have signed up.
The cardinal wrote that these meetings would be modelled on the two-day session that bishops had with selected theologians at Boston College in October 2017. He characterized the two-day Boston College seminar as an “exercise of synodality” between the bishops and the academics.
“Both the bishops and the theologians universally agreed that our two-day seminar was an exercise in synodality, a walking together in which the Church both taught and listened. In fact, in keeping with the counsel of Pope Francis at the start of the 2014 synod, the Boston College participants spoke with candor and boldness, parrhesia, but they also listened with humility,” the letter explained.
Cardinal Cupich co-hosted the 2017 Boston College meeting with pro-LGBT ethicist Father James Keenan, SJ. Other participants included Cardinal Kevin Farrell, the head of the new Dicastery of Laity, Family and Life; Archbishop Charles Scicluna, who imposed the most liberal interpretation of Amoris Laetitia upon Malta; the pro-LGBT Bishop Robert McElroy of San Diego; Father Antonio Spadaro, SJ, who dubbed the political cooperation of American Catholics and Protestants an “ecumenism of hate”; professors Lisa Sowle Cahill and Cathleen Kaveney, both of whom opposed sanctions on pro-abortion politicians, and Natalia Imperatori-Lee, who wrote in the Jesuit-owned America magazine, “Any claim that there are only two kinds of humans, male and female, is “simplistic.”
According to the Catholic News Agency, Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Archbishop Wilton Gregory will speak at the Boston College seminar; Cupich and Cardinal Joseph Tobin at Notre Dame; and Bishops Steven Biegler and Robert McElroy at Santa Clara.
Dr. Kate Ward of Marquette University, a former board member of the dissident group “Call to Action,” will be among the theologians to take part in the seminars. Catholic News Agency also named Natalia Imperatori-Lee and Msgr. Jack Alesandro as participants.
Cupich himself may prove to be the most controversial speaker, however. News of the seminar comes hot on the heels of the American cardinal’s controversial speech at England’s Cambridge University.
In the February 9 lecture at St. Edmund’s College, Cupich called Amoris Laetitia “nothing short of revolutionary” and a “hermeneutical shift”. He added that the publication of Pope Francis’ private letter to the bishops of Buenos Aires in Acta Apostolica Sedes “confirms that their interpretation of Amoris authentically reflects his mind as being official Church teaching” and that it is now “up to all in the Church … to respond in a spirit of affective and effective collegiality with the Successor of Peter.”
The Buenos Aires bishops guidelines include the possibility of administering the sacraments of communion and reconciliation to people who are living in adulterous relationships.
Dr. Joseph Shaw, spokesman of those who signed the Filial Correction, told LifeSiteNews that discussions of Amoris Laetitia that assume a cohabiting divorced-and-civilly remarried couple is not in mortal sin is missing the point of the document.
“The question which needs answering, the question Amoris Laetitia set itself to address, was how to employ personal priestly guidance and the sacraments to bring families and individuals back to friendship with God,” he said. “Sadly, too many discussions supposedly inspired by Amoris start from the assumption that there is no pastoral problem in the first place: there is no mortal sin, no lifestyle incompatible with the Gospels, and therefore no real need for ‘accompaniment’ or sacramental grace.”