Monday, May 29, 2017

Amoris Laetitia -Par. 302

302.  The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly mentions these factors:  "imputability and responsibility for an action can be diminished or even nullified by ignorance, inadvertence, duress, fear, habit, inordinate attachments, and other psychological or social factors".343  In another paragraph, the Catechism refers once again to circumstances which mitigate moral responsibility, and mentions at length "affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen or even extenuate moral culpability".344  For this reason, a negative judgment about an objective situation does not imply a judgment about the imputability or culpability of the person involved.345  On the basis of these convictions, I consider very fitting what many Synod Fathers wanted to affirm:  "Under certain circumstances people find it very difficult to act differently.  Therefore, while upholding a general rule, it is necessary to recognize that responsibility with respect to certain actions or decisions is not the same in all cases.  Pastoral discernment, while taking into account a person's properly formed conscience, must take responsibility for these situations.  Even the consequences of actions taken are not necessarily the same in all cases".346

343  No. 1735.
344  Ibid., 2352; Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Declaration on Euthanasia Iura et Bona (5 May 1980), II:  AAS 72 (1980), 546; John Paul II, in his critique of the category of "fundamental optioni", recognized that "doubtless there can occur situations which are very complex and obscure from a psychological viewpoint, and which have an influence on the sinner's subjective culpability"  (Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia [2 December 1984], 17: AAS 77 [1985], 223).
345  Cf. Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, Declaration Concerning the Admission to Holy Communion of Faithful Who are Divorced and Remarried (24 June 2000), 2.
346  Relatio Finalis 2015, 85.


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