The Controverted Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia

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.

Read Professor Echeverria’s essay »

Salvadoran Martyrs

Saturday’s beatification ceremony in El Salvador (January 22) memorializes the four Salvadoran Martyrs who stood up to overwhelming power in the name of God— to the point of making the ultimate sacrifice for their faith. Jesuit Father Rutilio Grande and his two lay minister companions, adolescent Nelson Lemus and elder Manuel Solórzano were murdered in a hail of bullets as they drove to join in a novena on 12 March 1977. Franciscan Friar Cosme Spessotto left his native Italy to minister among the poor of rural El Salvador; for his efforts he was murdered on 14 June 1980.

Rutilio Grande coverThose decades witnessed a power struggle (crescendoed by the Salvadoran civil war of the 1980s) between the entrenched powers and the freedom of the “everyman” especially the rural poor campesino to whom these four ministered. At stake was basic human freedom as described by the priest Zechariah as he thanks and praises God: “This was the oath he [YHWH, the God of Israel] swore to our father Abraham: to set us free from the hands of our enemies, free to worship him without fear, holy and righteous in his sight all the days of our life.” (Luke 1:73-75)

Perhaps the best known of the four is Blessed Rutilio Grande, often linked with his good friend and protegé—and at the same time, mentor—San Óscar Arnulfo Romero. Lectio Publishing is pleased to announce, simultaneous with Grande’s beatification, the publication of a new book that illuminates the person of Rutilio Grande as seen through his letters, articles, and sermons (as well as folk ballads); and those of close associates, most notable his Monseñor Romero. 

Rutilio Grande, Memory and Legacy of a Jesuit Martyr, is written by Ana María Pineda R.S.M. whose family is related to that of the late martyr. She draws from family resources, reminiscences of contemporaries and students of Grande, and the archives from the University of Central America (UCA) to give an immensely-readable personal and intimate picture of just who this man was.

Notably, this book is a follow-up to her immensely popular Romero & Grande: Companions on the Journey, which explores the relationship between the two close priests in a similarly personal way. To get the full experience that Sister Ana María shares, purchase both titles together (from either page link, for a limited time) and receive a 20% discount.

We join in joyful unison with the people of El Salvador thanking and praising God as they celebrate the lives and deaths of their faithful martyrs this Saturday!

An Intentional Way to Deal With Grief

Almost every culture has traditions for mourning the loss of someone they love. In fact, burial grounds have given us some of the earliest insights into cultural traditions going back thousands of years. It seems that no matter who we are, or when and where we live, we all must come to terms with grieving the death of someone we love. 

As Christians, we mourn with hope in the knowledge that eternal life in Jesus Christ is our final destination. But if only it was that simple! Mary and Martha grieved at the loss of Lazarus (John 11:33) and we will also weep when someone we loves dies.

The 7 Intentions of Mourning: Carrying the Cross of Grief With Meaning and Hope is authored by John & Sandy O’Shaughnessy, founders of Good Mourning Ministry, a mission-driven healing ministry supporting Catholic parishes throughout the United States. 

This insightful and beautifully written book illustrates that when we unite our suffering with the suffering Christ, we learn that it can be redemptive and fruitful as part of His salvific mission. The seven intentions of mourning are each conscious choices, and together they present a unique pathway to healing where our grief finds a meaningful expression. Each intention is strategically positioned to help believers carry their personal cross of grief alongside the risen Lord as they discover that love endures all and that good can come from bad when there is hope.

The pages of the book provide writing space to record prayerful, practical and personal intentions — a unique approach to building bridges toward a new and different life after the loss of a loved one making it ideal for parish bereavement groups, clergy formation, grief counselors and workshops, discussion group, and people mourning the loss of a loved one.

“This powerful book draws us into the natural and supernatural dynamics of grieving, mourning, and suffering that find meaning when united to the grace of Christ’s victory over suffering and death. Highly recommended to all, but especially for support groups dealing with those suffering or struggling to find a path through the pain.” Eduardo J. Echeverria, Ph.D., S.T.L., Professor of Systematic Theology, Graduate School of Theology, Sacred Heart Major Seminary, Archdiocese of Detroit.

ISBN 978-1-943901-10-4 from Lectio Publishing and booksellers everywhere.

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