The Critics of Pope Francis and Amoris Laetitia An Analysis

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Todd A. Salzman Michael G. Lawler


Natural Law Theorists John Finnis and Germain Grisez published an “Open Letter to Pope Francis” on the website of First Things on 12/9/16. Their letter requested the pope “to condemn eight positions against the Catholic faith that are being supported, or likely will be, by the misuse of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia.” In this essay, we analyze and critique their doctrinal and pastoral concerns with Amoris Laetitia with the intention of initiating a dialogue with them. We offer both a “soft” critique, arguing that Amoris Laetitia cannot be used to defend the positions Finnis and Grisez condemn without distorting the text itself and a “hard” critique, arguing that none of these positions are contrary to Catholic doctrine.

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Author Biographies

Todd A. Salzman, Creighton University

Theology, Professor of Theology

Michael G. Lawler, Creighton University

Amelia and Emil Graff Professor Emeritus of Catholic Theology