I pass by this poor house during Communion calls. It’s on one of the highest mountains in the Eastern United States right here is Western North Carolina. Some consider those who live in such dwellings to be ignorant and lacking in will power, you know, those poor creatures who through no fault of their own find themselves to be in the conditions they are in, you know, because they are inherently ignorant and lacking in will power.
This is another theme of Amoris laetitia: if you are an adulterer, or any kind of sinner, you are ignorant and lacking in will power. Better: if you’ve sinned, you haven’t really sinned because you can’t, because you’re both ignorant and a sinner. Let’s see this in action:
311 […] We put so many conditions on mercy* that we empty it of its concrete meaning and real significance. That is the worst way of watering down the Gospel. It is true, for example, that mercy does not exclude justice and truth, but first and foremost we have to say that mercy is the fullness of justice and the most radiant manifestation of God’s truth. For this reason, we should always consider “inadequate any theological conception which in the end puts in doubt the omnipotence of God and, especially, his mercy”.365
* Conditions like the love of Jesus bringing one to repentance, contrition, amendment.
365 International Theological Commission, The Hope of Salvation for Infants Who Die Without Being Baptized (19 April 2007), 2.
Sounds nice, right? Not so quick. The “mercy” that is being provided (actually withheld) rejects the love which draws one into repentance, contrition, amendment. This is done for the precise reason that God’s mercy will just power through all that rubbish about a love which draws one into repentance, contrition, amendment. Why do I say that? Because, well, look at the footnote! The ghost writers didn’t have to cite this, but they did. They went and got the document about kids who die without baptism. That’s because the ghost writers think you are stuuuuuuuppiiiiiiiiiiidddd.
Aborted kids, still-born kids and infants dying without baptism didn’t commit any personal sins did they? No! Because they were both ignorant and couldn’t exercise their wills. Adult adulterers are here compared to aborted kids, stillborn kids and infants, that is, saying that these adults are totally ignorant and can’t exercise their wills anyway.
The condescension (objectively speaking of course) is crushing. As I say, I grant the ghost writers their sincerity, but this is evil (objectively speaking of course). Jesus wants us to use our brains and our wills to assent to His love if we can do this. To declare that sinners really aren’t sinners anyway because they are all ignorant and lacking in will power makes Jesus into a fool for standing in our stead, laying down His life so that He might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. If we cannot sin because we are stupid and lacking in will power, there was no reason for Jesus to die for us. Jesus is not a fool. God will not be mocked.
As I say, even “and” and “the” are misleading in this document. Looking for error is like looking for a drop of water in the ocean.
But anyway, for the ghost writers, you’re too stuuuuuuuuuppiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiidd to know that! Don’t you feel affirmed and nice all over? The ghost writers also know that you are ultramontanists and won’t ever complain.