The Osservatore Romano (November 10) published an article by Fr Gerald Bednar on “Mercy and Law in Amoris Laetitia.” Bednar is vice-rector and professor at Cleveland Seminary, USA.
Bednar calls those disagreeing with his flawed presentation and standing by the Catholic doctrine on marriage - this includes Benedict XVI and all prior popes - “dissenters.” For him mercy was a “forgotten virtue” until Francis. Somebody should tell him about John Paul II’s encyclical “Rich in Mercy” (1980).
He misrepresents the law as “abstract principles” and construes an artificial conflict between law and mercy, although the law of Christ is mercy.
According to Bednar, Francis teaches that one can enter a second marriage although the first still exists. This way, he makes Francis contradict the Gospel and preach polygamy.
Bednar fails to understand that indissolubility applies only to a consummated sacramental marriage (ratum et consummatum), not to natural marriages. He even claims that Saint Paul gave a “permission to divorce” which is nonsense, or that the Church can “dissolve” marriages but his examples regard marriages that were not indissoluble to begin with, or that the question whether a second marriage is a continuous adultery has never been addressed before. This is blatantly false. There has never been a doubt that a second, parallel marriage is a continuous adultery.
Bednar’s conclusion: Francis does not give permission for divorce, but then, hey, he allows divorcees to remarry…
Will anybody take the Osservatore Romano seriously if it publishes such articles?