God have mercy on His Holy Church.
There's no other way to put it: The pope's Apostolic Exhortation is a catastrophe.
Though released only this morning, Catholic observers and commentators have already begun to identify several objectionable passages in which the doctrine and discipline of the Church's Faith is elided, wrested, and contradicted. We at will have more to say on this subject, but we can affirm that the headline of Dr. Maike Hickson's commentary at OnePeterFive is correct: "." Also correct is , "There are many passages that faithfully reflect Catholic teaching but this cannot, and does not, lessen the gravity of those passages which undermine the teaching and practice of the Catholic Church." (Be sure to read all of Voice of the Family's excellent critique.)
Do read Dr. Hickson's comments, and when you have time, visit Canonist Edward Peters' weblog and read his "." His criticisms isolate what are probably the worst aspects of the pope's exhortation (there are many others that are also very bad),
To understand the enormity of Francis' teachings, compare and contrast 300-310 with Pope John Paul II's 84. The doctrine and discipline that persons living in a persistent, objective state of adultery may not receive Holy Communion is not found anywhere in the pope's exhortation. On the contrary, 301 and footnote 351 contradict the Church's doctrine on this point. Again, the Church's teaching, " " (CCC 2384), is nowhere explicitly affirmed in the exhortation.
To these criticisms we must add our objection against 301's general principles, which are corrosive to all sacramental disciple. Indeed, in light of the pope's reflections there, how could the Church bar anyone from receiving Communion? Also objectionable is the pope's reference to some people being " ," as if the Law of Christ regarding marriage and divorce cannot be obeyed -- something that contradicts paragraph 297, which affirms that " ."
So, on the one hand, we have the Church's doctrine as expressed in documents such as and the . On the other hand, we have Pope Francis' teaching in .
The exhortation is effectively a sustained and wholesale assault on the Faith.