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My dear,

I would like to ask you for clarification on this Amoris Laetitia’s passage about passionate love:  “149. Some currents of spirituality teach that desire has to be eliminated as a path to liberation from pain.  Yet we believe that God loves the enjoyment felt by human beings:  He created us and “richly furnishes us with everything to enjoy” (1 Tim 6:17).  Let us be glad when with great love He tells us : “My son,, treat yourself well…[…]. Do not deprive yourself of a happy day” (Sir 14:11-14).  Married couples likewise respond to God’s will when they take up the biblical injunction: “Be joyful in the day of prosperity” (Ec 7:14).  What is important is to have the freedom to realize that pleasure can find different expressions at different times of life, in accordance with the needs or mutual love.  In this sense, we can appreciate the teachings of some Eastern masters who urge us to expand our consciousness, lest we be imprisoned by one limited experience that can blinker us.  This expansion of consciousness is not denial or destruction of desire so much as its broadening and perfection.”

What does Pope Francis mean in this passage?  What is this “expansion of consciousness” ?  Why that reference to Eastern masters?  I am confused!

Another question I have is this: it is a while that I ask myself how to act when a divorced person that is remarried with the civil rite comes to confession willing to live with the spouse as brother or sister, but the spouse is not interested for different reasons.  Then, in this case, could it be possible to give the absolution?  If no deliberate consent has been given, should this person not be in mortal sin?

Thank you!



Dear Father,

First of all, I want to apologize.

This time your mail has been buried and I have found it today (January 15, 2019) since I arrived to answer to letters dated May 10th.

1.  Regarding the first question: what the Pope said about the joy and about the pleasure,also, is right.

Saint Thomas said that “ The exceeding pleasure attaching to a venereal act directed according to reason, is not opposed to the mean of virtue.  Moreover, virtue is not concerned with the amount of pleasure experienced by the external sense, as this depends on the disposition of the body ( sed quantum appetitus interior ad huiusmodi delectatione afficiatur)” (Somma teologica, II-II, 153,2, ad 2).

2. When the Pope talks about expanding our consciousness, it must be excluded that he meant that what is bad is good.  Here, evidently, he is referring to what he has said at the beginning of the n.149: “Some currents of spirituality teach that desire has to be eliminated as a path to liberation from pain”.  These currents of thought are not Christian.  Probably, he refers to Stoicism or even to some Eastern philosophies. 

3.  The expansion of consciousness – in my opinion- is in reference to the experience of pleasure, because one should not think that this is the only way to live love.  To this he inclines to when he said: “lest we be imprisoned by one limited experience ( he is talking about the experience of pleasure, n.d.r.) that can blinker us.”

4. Instead, it is not clear who these Eastern masters are: if they are the Christian masters or the Pagan one.  Probably, he is talking about the Eastern Christian’s masters, since it is typical of the Easter Pagans to insist in eliminating any desire to free oneself from pain.  But, it doesn’t matter.

5. Regarding your second question: the deliberate consent exists because she/he consents.  It would not be as such if there was violence involved.  We could say that there is moral violence.  But, if there is such violence, one should act in a passive fashion, just like the person who suffers violence.  Instead, if there is cooperation, it means that, however obtorto collo, one acconsents.

6. Well, in this case, could the confessor give the absolution?  My answer is as follow:  if quandoque cadit, and therefore, if talvolta cede in order to avoid a bitter situation to ensue, one in which the kids, eventually, might pay the consequences, in my opinion the absolution could be given, always with the precaution of not receiving the Holy Communion, knowing that doing otherwise would be an irregularity.  

For a more detailed answer, I redirect you to the one recently published on our site: About the document of the Argentinian Bishops approved by the Pope in which it is recognized as value of magisterium.

By Padre Angelo Bellon op|17 December, 2018|Categories:  Priestly evidence, A priest answers- Moral Theology-Sexual and matrimonial morality.

Let me say this salvo meliori iudicio. It is not excluded that it might be me to get the meliori iudicio.

I wish you a fruitful ministry and I remind the Lord about you.

Father Angelo