Staying on the proven path
The pastoral intention of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia in relation to our theme is to give access to a fuller life in the Church to those people who live in conditions which are not in accordance with the commandments of God.
The intention to turn lovingly towards these people, to understand their situation more precisely and to give them appropriate assistance is to be welcomed. Any form of unjust and unloving treatment of the persons concerned is by itself unacceptable, if we remember that Jesus had fellowship with sinners and called them to Himself. To condemn hardheartedly people who live in disordered and sinful relationships is not the Lord’s way. Jesus is ready to forgive, and he calls for conversion. A telling example is Jesus’ encounter with the sinful woman who was accused of adultery. The Lord does not condemn her, but shows her mercy and exhorts her to sin no more (cf. Jn 8:1-11).
Every form of self-righteousness in which one feels morally superior to other people is made absurd by the Lord with the simple word of this passage: “Let him who is without sin, cast the first stone!” Jesus came to call the sinners, not the righteous (cf. Mk 2:17).
A good intention, but a wrong way
A good pastoral intention nevertheless does not guarantee that the right path has been taken and that this intention will be realized in the proper way. In this passage from the Gospel we see that Jesus deals mercifully with the sinner, that is, accepts her, and then exhorts her to bring her life into harmony with God and his commandments. Precisely this example is very helpful for our topic. If the Lord had not called her to repentance, then she would have experienced his forgiveness, but it would have been lacking a deep change, which alone could lead her life situation permanently to the good.
Unfortunately, in the change of the pastoral Way by Amoris Laetitia, a serious error is perceptible, hidden behind the appearance of a “new mercy”. Mercy, however, needs truth in order to be true mercy! The Lord has given us His commandments, that for us represent a permanent and inviolable law. They are not only there for guidance, but are instructions to be followed.
All we can do for man in the deepest sense is to help him to live in accordance with God’s will, because his true happiness depends on this. God has entrusted the Church to be the teacher of peoples, calling men to Christ and nourishing them with the sacraments. She is the one who, in His name, tells us the conditions under which we can approach the Lord’s table.
The proposed way leads to a deception
If there is a situation in life which objectively deviates from the commandments of God, it cannot be made better by allowing the persons concerned to receive Holy Communion, an act that is reserved only for those who objectively live in a state of grace, regardless of whether the persons concerned feel subjectively guilty or not.
If this base is not respected, deception occurs on several levels.
The proposed way of Amoris Laetitia, that those affected should seek, with pastoral accompaniment, a way that is justifiable from their conscience, cannot lead to such deception and thus become an aberration. Only within the commandments of God can true help be given. On this path, the objectively sinful life situation is not ignored, but the call remains to bring life into harmony with the commandments of God. In addition, other faithful take offense when Holy Communion is given to those whose lives do not correspond to the commandments of God and the Church.
The Church inclines towards the persons concerned, permitting them to continue living together for justified reasons – for example, for the sake of the children – if they abstain from those acts which are reserved only for marriage, by which sexual union is meant.
Only within the commandments and the perennial teaching of the Church can proper pastoral care bear fruit.
On such a path, which does not lose sight of the intention of bringing man back into objective union with the will of God in this matter, the mercy of God can in many ways take care of man’s weakness and raise him up. Here is the place where spiritual advice can help man in difficult situations to find the way which is in harmony with the truth; here is the place where the course is set so that he can once again enter into full visible communion. If this were to be done beforehand, it would be similar to a couple sexually uniting before marriage and understanding this as a way to marriage.
It is with gratitude that we note that the Catholic Church has never lost its clear path concerning the indissolubility of marriage and the valid reception of the sacraments. Even if, unfortunately, especially in recent decades, exceptional ways have been taken and things have already been practised in disobedience which do not correspond to the truth of doctrine, the Church’s leadership has always shown clear ways in matters of morality. In so doing, it has exercised its pastoral ministry, sheltered the faithful and admonished them not to conform themselves to the spirit of this world. Also the last two Popes – despite great resistance – have led the Church in this matter on the authentic path of right doctrine.
One cannot follow the error
With the pontificate of Pope Francis something has now changed. The error has, so to speak, officially entered even the highest circles of the Church and can now, with the help of the Pope, spread quickly like a cancerous tumour. Certainly this cancer has been active for some time in the underground of the Church and has already spread the poison of wrong praxis there. Now, however, the poison is increasingly no longer identified as poison at all, thus making the error justifiable. So it can now spread in the teaching of the church itself.
It becomes especially critical when error even presents itself as a special spirit-filled insight in the guise of false mercy.
Amoris Laetitia has thereby become in a certain sense a crucial question:
How do we stand with the Gospel and the hitherto valid church doctrine in these questions? Do we remain faithful?
The right answer is: we remain faithful to the Church and do not follow other ways that deviate from the Gospel and the authentic teaching.
We should clearly identify the course set by Amoris Laetitia in relation to our theme, as an erroneous path. If this is not perceived, there is a real danger that further errors will not be recognized as well. If the error – however human it may be – relates to faith and its practice, then that “other spirit”, whom I have already mentioned in my view of the Pontificate, is at work.
So an illusion takes place.
This „other spirit“ pretends to be particularly merciful with those affected, but in reality he leads them into a dire state, in which they suffer harm because the call to change life, to conversion, becomes ever weaker. We must also be aware that it is not about very special individual cases which should be discreetly resolved, but that this new openness will spread very quickly, and it will then probably soon be customary for divorced remarried people to receive Holy Communion. The further consequences are foreseeable, that then also unmarried couples – or later perhaps even practicing homosexuals – will be invited to join the Lord’s Table without having to change their lives.
A current and vivid example comes from Germany, where people are coming together these days for the so-called “Synodal Way”. Some bishops are making statements, for example Archbishop Heiner Koch and Bishop Franz-Josef Bode are writing the following – and this may serve as an indication of how things might develop after Amoris Laetitia: “A sexual relationship after a divorce and remarriage is no longer generally assessed as being a grave sin, and, subsequently, a general exclusion from the reception of the Eucharist is not foreseen.”[1]
And further reports are given: “The Family Commission of the Bishops’ Conference advises for Synodal Way: Homosexuality is normal, say bishops and scientists in Berlin” [2]
It’s high time to open our eyes! 
Unfortunately, it is now necessary to warn clearly against this aberration, which is spread by the false opening of Amoris Laetitia with the encouragement of the Church leadership. It attacks the Church inwardly and weakens her in her spiritual organism.
One cannot follow this path because it is an aberration. When Peter warned Jesus not to go to Jerusalem, Jesus rejected him with sharp words: “Depart behind me Satan, for you do not reason of God, but of the children of men!” (Mt 16:23).
In my view, Pope Francis would have to step back behind Jesus, in this case behind the teaching of the Church. This has not happened so far, and instead, unfortunately, further steps have been taken in a more than questionable direction.
Clear spiritual resistance is needed, that should be carried out by spiritual means, because in the current confusion in the Church there are anti-Christian forces at work which want to alienate the Holy Church and make her an instrument of their own projects.
[1] Lifesitenews 12.9.2019
[2] “Kirche und Leben” the weekly newspaper of the Diocese of Münster on 5.9.2019