In the wake of Pope Francis’s promotion of Bishop McElroy, Professor Eduardo Echeverria, author of Pope Francis: The Legacy of Vatican II, has asked us to make available to you the essay comprising the fourth chapter in the revised edition of his book. He comments:
I agree with theologian Larry Chapp on the significance of Amoris Laetitia for understanding why Bishop McElroy was promoted to the red hat. The bishop has been an “unabashed supporter of Amoris Laetitia.” This promotion is the “pope’s way of signaling that McElroy’s approach to the moral theological principles of Amoris is correct.”
This essay from the revised and expanded, second edition of my book, Pope Francis: The Legacy of Vatican II critically discusses the moral theological principles of chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia, Pope Francis’s 2016 Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation. I show that the troublesome arguments of his chapter 8 are both pastoral and moral theological. I also show that despite Pope Francis’ claims to the contrary, his moral theology is neither Thomistic nor does it reflect a “hermeneutic of the Church,” as Francis puts it, “always in continuity (without ruptures), yet always maturing.” My analysis of Amoris Laetitia will help the reader to understand what is wrong with the pope’s moral reasoning.