Ultraconservative Catholics “Correct” Pope Francis on Marriage
A group of 62 ultraconservative Catholics issued a filial correction to Pope Francis concerning his Amoris Laetitia, reviving a centuries-old method of pressuring policy from the Vatican. The letter describes the pope’s seemingly lenient positions on apparently irregular marriages—such as those in which one or both Catholics are divorced and remarried without a prior annulment—as heresy. Notably absent from the letter’s signatories are any of the four cardinals who last year formally requested clarification on Amoris Laetitia. The Vatican has thus far declined to publicly respond to the pressure. The pope previously attempted to assuage conservative fears of Amoris Laetitia by affirming that it neither modified nor introduced teaching to the church. In a possible signal of movement on this issue from the Vatican, Pope Francis announced a restructuring of the Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family to explore the “lights and shadows” of marriage, families and love.