There is a fundamental, usually overlooked point in discussions about church teaching: “teaching” is not “law”.
March 19 marks the one-year anniversary of the publication of “Amoris Laetitia,” the apostolic exhortation promulgated by Pope Francis after the close of the latest session of the Synod of Bishops. For some, this anniversary is celebratory, a reminder of the synod’s prayerful study of the mission and vocation of the family. For others, it calls attention to what they see as the document’s dangerous ambiguities, particularly as they pertain to the pastoral care of Catholics who are divorced and civilly remarried.
For all Catholics, however, the anniversary and, specifically, the disparate reactions “Amoris Laetitia” continues to produce within the church—including among those with responsibility for the church’s governance—pose an important question: How free are Catholics to disagree with a teaching of the church? Some go further and use a more technical, and at that, a more provocative term: Is dissent permitted in the church?
Source: America Magazine