31. Jan, 2018

Justifying Evil? Amoris Laetitia Defended

The Norm Concept

Gerhard Höver has defended the teachings contained in Amoris Laetitia. In Amoris Laetitia we read that “it is possible that in an objective situation of sin – which may not be subjectively culpable, or fully such – a person can be living in God’s grace” (Amoris Laetitia, 305). To many, this teaching seems to justify adultery and nullify the concept of intrinsically evil acts. For example, according to Veritatis Splendour, the object determines the moral character of acts. And since the act of adultery is intrinsically evil the novelties in Amoris Laetitia seem at loggerheads with Tradition.

However, according to Höver, the Pope expands the moral consideration with regard to the norm concept beyond the level of the spatially limited forms of perception to open the possibility of theological argumentation. He thereby changes the logic of the oppositions that must be discussed, distinguished, and accompanied, since he does not exclude a priori the possibility of a subcontrary opposition.

The problem with arguing that intrinsically evil action is restricted by the concept of time is that the moral character of our acts is limited to, and determined, by teleological ethics. In the here and now there is no room for fidelity to God’s Word.  


 For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin Romans 14:23


Here is a link to Gerhard Höver’s article “Time is greater than space”: Moral-theological reflections on the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Amoris Laetitia* http://www.academyforlife.va/content/dam/pav/documenti%20pdf/2018/01_Hoever_pdf.pdf