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Vatican expert: Is Amoris Laetitia really a ‘work of the Holy Spirit’?

Claire Chretien Claire Chretien Follow Claire

ROME, December 7, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Monsignor Pio Vito Pinto, the dean of the Roman Rota, has again reaffirmed his support for Amoris Laetitia and not the four cardinals' dubia on it, this time in an interview with Ed Pentin of the National Catholic Register.

The two synods from which Pope Francis produced Amoris Laetitia were works of the "Holy Spirit," Pinto told Pentin, echoing a statement Cardinal Blase Cupich made last month. The two synods were "the place where the spirit [works]," said Pinto. "This is the ecclesiology of the Church.”

However, Pentin pointed out that the claim the two synods "were the work of the Holy Spirit has disturbed some of the faithful" because of "the clear manipulation at both synods."

"I therefore reminded him that the most controversial topics failed to obtain a two-thirds majority in the first synod, and so should customarily have been rejected (the Pope authoritatively instead insisted they be carried over to the second synod)," wrote Pentin.

“Yes, but you bind the Holy Spirit to the two-thirds? That’s a bit special, no?” Pinto asked in reply.

Similarly, Cupich said at a November press scrum that Amoris Laetitia is the “fruit of two synods, and the fruit of propositions that were voted on by two-thirds of the bishops who were there." At the time, Pentin also called Cupich's bluff, pointing out that "despite the strenuous efforts by the Synod secretariat and others to manipulate and jostle the synod fathers into accepting the most controversial propositions … none of the three most controversial propositions managed to obtain a two-thirds majority during the first, Extraordinary Synod on the Family, in October 2014."

Pentin noted that 45 of the synod fathers were hand-picked by Pope Francis "because most of them supported controversial disciplinary changes in [sacramental practice] and other areas."

Pinto declined to answer Pentin's question on whether the divorced and "remarried" who are not living abstinently may receive Holy Communion. He said the issue was "too long" to discuss over the phone. 

Pinto also declined to say whether Pope Francis had instructed him to publicly criticize the four cardinals who sent him a dubia, or formal request, asking for clarification on whether Amoris Laetitia aligns with Catholic moral teaching on marriage, the Sacraments, and conscience.

Pinto has recently made headlines for his criticism of the dubia. He accused the cardinals behind it of causing "very serious scandal." A Spanish news agency reported Pinto had said the cardinals risked losing their red hats over the request, but later retracted parts of its story, saying Pinto had basically said the opposite.

According to Pentin, "A reliable source has told the Register that Francis had instructed Msgr. Pinto...to say something publicly critical of the cardinals."

Pinto told Pentin that he considers Cardinal Burke, one of the dubia signers, "a man of peace" and he prays that he "might see the way." 

"Let us pray for the poor cardinals" who signed the dubia, he said.

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