Confused of Canterbury


Dear Frank,

As a chap with an eventful family history, I read your Amoris Laetitia with more than usual interest. I must say it was a bit of a slog. I usually try to keep things to around 1,000 words myself. (Rowan went on a bit, and I am not sure it helped.)

58, 000  words is, I suspect, more than most divorcing couples can manage.

But length was not my problem. What I found difficult was knowing what you were on about. In the end I was no clearer about what you thought or what the Catholic Church teaches. It seemed deliberately confused and contradictory – which struck me as odd coming from a Pope.  I, of course, have to watch my every word:  when you are Archbishop of Canterbury it is on the whole better not to have an opinion. But you, surely, can say what you like when you like. So why the obscurity and prolixity?

You can be pointed and pithy when you want to – in plano veritas, I call it.  And I don’t mind admitting that I am envious. I don’t mean to be mealy-mouthed; but it’s what my job requires.

But not so with you. Be honest, Amoris Laetitia was clearly not written by the Francis we have come to love and admire. It is, as far as I can remember, the only document I have ever read in which the author quotes himself in his own footnotes.

What’s up? Anything I can do to help?

Your friend and colleague,

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