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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Brace Yourselves: Apostolic Exhortation Incoming

Written by  Michael Lofton
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Brace Yourselves: Apostolic Exhortation Incoming

The eagerly awaited apostolic exhortation, which will rule on the Kasper Proposal, will be released in March. Here is what is likely to happen:

The Pope will release a document that will be written in such a way that the orthodox will be able to interpret it as rejecting the Kasper Proposal and the heterodox will be able to interpret it as allowing for the Kasper Proposal. Once the heterodox officially implement the Kasper Proposal they will not be disciplined by the Vatican. Since the Kasper Proposal is already happening all over the word unofficially there likely won’t be a formal schism in the church after the ruling in March, only further protests on part of faithful Catholics. 

The Pope will probably choose this approach, rather than clearly stating that the Kasper Proposal is a workable solution, because even he knows he shouldn’t go that far. Instead, he will probably include language that could be interpreted in an orthodox manner in order to throw a bone to faithful Catholics, and yet satisfy the dissidents by including ambiguous enough language. Having thrown a bone to faithful Catholics, giving dissenting Catholics what they want, and avoiding an explicit endorsement of the Kasper Proposal, the church won’t be rent in two by a formal schism and everyone will go along their merry way, or so Francis probably thinks.

If this happens, March's Apostolic Exhortation may very well be the crown on top of the head of the postconciliar church's atmosphere of ambiguity, enthroned by the Second Vatican Council.

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