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.
3 responses to “Amoris laetitia: If you’re a sinner, you’re ignorant and lacking will power”
They may think we are stupid, but my own suspicion is that they are stupid.
How’s this theory (maybe not a very good theory, but just something that comes to me late at night when I should be in bed), maybe there is a limbo of the adulterers, because per the document on unbaptized infants, “all theological notions that ultimately call into question the very omnipotence of God, and his mercy in particular, are inadequate” so God could take away the guilt of actual grave sins of adult sinners and thus spare them the suffering of eternal fire, but without their contrition they would still be incapable of heaven. They just exist forever in a state of perfect natural happiness, but forever deprived of the Beatific Vision.
Lol. Hah. ;-)
Having been a great sinner like the Prodigal Son, I can tell you from stubborn experience that sinners have a lot of will power to go for everything their hearts tell them is against the true, good and the beautiful. Along the way, you will find many public cheerleaders for sin, who, in the end, abandon you for not having the willpower in ruin to keep celebrating the sin while blaming everyone else for the financial and physical ruin it has put you in. How easy it is for our own hearts to become such a stony calvary that upon the cross beside Jesus we cry out for salvation to be free to sin again and again! This is not ignorance, this is a definitive act of the will asking to be damned in the face of Mercy! Ignorance is not natural, it holds no natural happiness and it is not bliss, it is deadly both for the souls who reject Christ and those who would use ignorance to bait the faithful for unjust persecution. Somehow that ghostly footprint reminds me of satan going to confession with Padre Pio, did satan go to the ghost-writer with the same confession.