Petition to Pope Francis To Clarify A.L.

May 31, 2017

Petition to Pope Francis
To Clarify Amoris Laetitia


By James Todd

Over the past year, since the issuance of the apostolic document Amoris Laetitia, I have watched the mounting confusion and divisiveness caused by the competing interpretations of this document. Something must be done to clarify Church teaching on the reception of communion and end the internecine fighting.

Whether or not a divorced and remarried person can receive communion is not a deep theological mystery like the Trinity that cannot be fully understood. It is not rocket science theology. It is pretty simple and is governed by straightforward rules. And what is clear is that Amoris Laetitia doesn’t pass the smell test.

Christ left us the Church and the papacy to guard the deposit of faith; to make sure that it would be preserved and handed down unpolluted. Without error. One of the marks of the Church is its unity, and its universality. After all, that's what the name 'Catholic' means. Whether I am in the Cathedral in Cologne, or St. Francis in the heart of Tokyo, or the little parish Church I grew up in, in Brunswick, Nebraska, I should find the same Mass, the same teachings, the same Church.   

For 2000 years, the Church's teaching on the reception of communion for divorced and remarried has been crystal clear. Without a declaration of nullity, the answer was NO. Sadly, Amoris Laetitia has obscured this clarity. The answer now seems to be sometimes yes and sometimes no. For example, in some dioceses like Rome, Malta, and Gozo, the answer can sometimes be yes. How can that be? How can Philadelphia be no and Rome yes? How can there be disunity on this fundamental moral issue, when unity is one of the marks of the Church?

You can parse this topic all you want: you can talk about an internal forum, or the primacy of the conscience, or you can claim it is not a change of dogma, rather it is a change in discipline, but none of these change the facts.They may obscure the facts, but they do not change the facts. Christ's words are clear when it comes to divorce; they are unambiguous. They cannot be interpreted to mean anything other than what they say and what the church has taught for two millenia. 

And so Amoris Laetitia has brought confusion to what had been 2000 years of clarity. Because Amoris Laetitia is fracturing the unity of the Church whereby one diocese teaches differently than another on this fundamental tenets of the faith, something must be done.  In fact, within the last month Cardinal Caffarra stated, 'We are no longer witnesses, but deserters, if we do not speak openly and publicly.'

And that brings us to the impact of this doctrine on the laity, and to the sensus fidelium, which is a sort of spiritual instinct that enables the faithful believer to judge whether a particular teaching or practice is or is not in conformity with the Gospel and with apostolic faith. And in this regard we must convey most emphatically, but with charity, that this practice of allowing communion for the divorced and remarried is wrong and must be stopped, remembering that, as specified in Canon 212: The Catholic faithful have ' ..the right, indeed at times the duty, in keeping with their knowledge, competence and position, to manifest to the sacred Pastors their views on matters which concern the good of the Church.'

It is with these things in mind that we launch this petition effort asking the Pope to clarify Amoris Laetitia.  Whether this petition will have any impact is in God’s hands and, to a lesser extent, dependent on the number of people that sign it. And so we humbly launch this petition and pray for God’s intercession on our behalf. We pray for the Pope and we pray that many people will respond to this effort.

Here is the link to the Petition:

  • Print this
  • |
  • Share this
  • Share on Google+

By James Todd

James Todd is the founder of, one of the oldest and largest Catholic News Portals on the internet.

comments powered by Disqus