Papal Adviser Undermines Magisterium ‘in a Discreet Way’


National Catholic Register, 24 August 2017

Archbishop Victor Fernandez recent analysis of Amoris Laetitia presents a rather cavalier approach to the magisterium: that difficult topics can be somehow passed over without the proper treatment they deserve.

One of Pope Francis’ closest advisers has given an interpretation of Amoris Laetitia (The Joy of Love) that contributes marginally to understanding both the substance and the style of the apostolic exhortation.

On substance, the commentary by Archbishop Víctor Fernández clarifies the very narrow ground on which the innovations in Amoris Laetitia stand. On style, the commentary appears to do the Holy Father a disservice, as it suggests a rather cavalier approach to the papal magisterium.

Archbishop Fernández is the rector of the Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina in Buenos Aires. He was appointed to that post in 2009 by Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio, then the archbishop of Buenos Aires, and made an archbishop soon after the latter’s election as pope in 2013.

He is described variously as a papal confidante, protégé and ghostwriter of the major documents of Pope Francis. Just as St. John Paul II entrusted the theological framework of his pontificate to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, one might say that Pope Francis has chosen Archbishop Fernández for a similar role, though without the formal office.

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