Date: Wednesday, November 8, 2017
Location: Boardroom, St. Joseph's College
Presenter: Dr. Paul Flaman
Pope Francis’s Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia [AL], in particular Ch. 8 on “Accompanying, Discerning and Integrating Weakness,” has evoked controversy, concerns and questions. One example is that of four Cardinals who presented Pope Francis with five questions known as the “Dubia.” There have been various responses to both AL and these Dubia. This talk is an attempt to explore this issue in a balanced way that is faithful to Catholic teaching, and which promotes clarity and unity.
In promoting “clarity,” we will first consider how Pope Francis would likely answer these Dubia based on what we find within AL. We will consider too how Pope Francis’ support of the Bishops of Buenos Aires’ pastoral position regarding those divorced and civilly remarried, without an annulment and without living celibately, receiving the Eucharist in some cases following discernment and their consciences, should be interpreted. Pope Francis has allowed some diversity in pastoral practice regarding the divorced and civilly remarried as exemplified by some differences in the guidelines of different bishops. Related to people’s salvation, are there certain advantages and/or disadvantages to some different pastoral approaches?
In promoting “unity,” concerning the controversy surrounding different pastoral approaches for the divorced and civilly remarried, I think we need to practice a “hermeneutics of sympathy,” seeking to understand what others including both Pope Francis and the Dubia Cardinals intended to say in context. Among other things, we ought to pray for each other including those with whom we do not fully agree.
Dr. Paul Flaman has an Honors B.A. in English from the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, as well as a Bachelor of Theology, Licentiate of Theology and Doctorate of Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas in Rome. Paul has been teaching courses in morality, spirituality, and theology of the person at SJC since 1983. He has written 5 books (3 formally published and 2 online), and has more than 30 articles published in scholarly journals.
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Light refreshments will be available.