Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Archbishop: Acknowledge uncertainty, avoid 'false clarity'

Priests must confront realityThe Archbishop of Brisbane, Mark Coleridge, thinks some of his fellow prelates are afraid of confronting reality, and acknowledging that "uncertainty is simply part of modern life," in response to the debate about Amoris Laetitia, reports America.

“At times at the synod [in 2015] I heard voices that sounded very clear and certain but only because they never grappled with the real question or never dealt with the real facts,” he said in a recent interview. “So there’s a false clarity that comes because you don’t address reality, and there’s a false certainty that can come for the same reason.”

The Archbishop, who worked in the Vatican’s secretary of state’s office in the late 1990s, was responding to a question about critics of Pope Francis who have taken issue with Amoris Laetitia, in which the Pope calls for a pathway to Communion for divorced and remarried Catholics.

Critics of the Pope have stepped up their attacks on the document in recent months, emboldened by a letter sent to the Pope by four cardinals in September asking for yes-or-no answers to five questions about the document.

But the Pope’s supporters, including Archbishop Coleridge, say Francis is simply asking the Church to confront challenging questions.

“I think what Pope Francis wants is a Church that moves toward clarity and certainty on certain issues after we’ve grappled with the issues, not before,” he continued. “In other words, he wants a genuine clarity and a genuine certainty rather than the artificial clarity or certainty that comes when you never grapple with the issues.”

Archbishop Coleridge said he agreed with Cardinal George Pell, who said in London recently that some Catholics are “unnerved” by the debate about Amoris Laetitia.

“I think that’s probably the right word, and I sensed in the words of the four cardinals men who were unnerved,” Archbishop Coleridge said. “Clearly, they had been spoken to by a lot of people who were unnerved. I can understand that.”

But where Cardinal Pell went on to suggest the Pope needed to offer clarity on the issue, Archbishop Coleridge said Francis is simply acting like a pastor.

The Pope is “bringing out into the very public setting of the papacy what any pastor does in his parish or diocese,” he said.

He noted that pastors are “very often dealing in a world of grays and you have to accompany people, listen to them before you speak to them, give them time and give them space, and then speak your word perhaps.”

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