‘Amoris Laetitia,’ Malta and Conscience
National Catholic Register, 23 January 2017
According to the logic of the Maltese bishops and their defenders, in the area of sexuality subjective conscience can annul universal moral principles.
The Church opened 2017 with another ride on the Amoris Laetitia roller coaster, with bishops issuing contradictory guidelines on the interpretation of its ambiguous eighth chapter.
The most notable intervention was that of the bishops of Malta, who wrote explicitly that Catholics who are divorced and civilly remarried, should they feel “at peace with God,” can receive absolution in confession and holy Communion.
Bishop Steven Lopes of the Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter wrote a few days later that the Church’s traditional teaching had not been changed and cannot be changed; couples who are not validly married but living a sexual relationship cannot receive absolution or Communion without at least an intent to abstain from sexual relations.
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