Francis responds to critics: Morality of ‘Amoris Laetitia’ is Thomist

(NCR Online) Pope Francis appears to have responded indirectly to the four cardinals who publicly challenged him last year over his most recent teachings on family life, as contained in the 2016 apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

In a question and answer session with members of the Jesuit order in Colombia earlier this month, the text of which was made public for the first time Sept. 28, the pope referenced those who “maintain that there is no Catholic morality underlying Amoris Laetitia, or at least, no sure morality.”

“I want to repeat clearly that the morality of Amoris Laetitia is Thomist, the morality of the great Thomas,” said Francis, referring to 13th century Dominican theologian St. Thomas Aquinas.

“I want to say this so that you can help those who believe that morality is purely casuistic,” the pope told the Jesuits, according to a text of the encounter published Sept. 28 by La Civiltà Cattolica. “Help them understand that the great Thomas possesses the greatest richness, which is still able to inspire us today.”

Four cardinals wrote to Francis in September 2016 with five yes or no questions about how he understood church teaching following publication of the apostolic exhortation. After not receiving a response to their letter, the cardinals made their letter public in November 2016. [More]

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NCR Online