The Two Faces of Amoris Laetitia

Two completely different—and logically incompatible—arguments in favor of communion for the divorced and remarried have figured in the synodal process that led up to Amoris Laetitia. Despite their incompatibility, both arguments can be found in Amoris itself, at least according to many of the document’s interpreters. Continue Reading »

The Peace Treaty

When we pledge our faithfulness to another on our wedding day, we’re mocking the changeableness of life, saying that we trust in the covenant of marriage to transcend the weakness of our flesh, the fickleness of our passions, and the fragility of our egos. Continue Reading »

The Ties that Bind

Recently I attended my son’s installation ceremony as a member of the student government at his elementary school. The passage into office was marked by a series of oaths in which students made vows to uphold the integrity of their charges and the duties that flowed from those vows. In the ancient Roman world, the term most employed to refer to the civic relationship to which such vows bound a person was pietas. Continue Reading »

A Pope and a Psychiatrist on Transsexual Marriages

The suffering of those who feel themselves to be transsexual can be so great—to the point of making them suicidal—that from the perspective of the Church one can hardly categorically forbid surgical and hormonal measures to reduce their suffering, as a last resort after attempting other measures. The proscription of self-mutilation must here be weighed against the good of reducing suffering. Continue Reading »