C.A. Ferrara, "'Tucho' Spills the Beans" (Remnant, June 14, 2016)
Victor Manuel Fernández, known as “Tucho” to his fans, is very tight with Francis, his fellow Argentinian. So tight that within three months of his election Francis made Tucho a bishop and then, a month later (June 2013), appointed him titular Archbishop of the titular See of Tiburnia, named after a defunct ancient Roman city in what is now the Austrian state of Carinthia.
Tucho is thus literally the archbishop of nowhere. But the impressive title credentialed him to serve as the go-to guy for the heavy lifting of drafting three meandering, book length excurses presenting Francis’s painfully passé seventies-era, liberal Jesuit “vision” of the Church and the world. Evangelii Gaudium, Laudato Si and Amoris Laetita (AL) all exhibit the Touch of Tucho.
Respecting AL, Sandro Magister has demonstrated conclusively that key passages of the now infamous Chapter 8, which attempts to smuggle situation ethics into the Magisterium, are simply paraphrases of passages from Fernández’s prior works on the theme that because of “concrete circumstances,” “concrete realities” and “subjective conditions” supposedly limiting freedom of the will, people living in an objective condition of mortal sin on account of divorce and “remarriage” or simple cohabitation could not only be subjectively guiltless but also living a life of sanctifying grace, even if they continually fall short of the “objective ideal.”
That very theme was condemned explicitly by John Paul II in paragraph 103 of Veritatis splendor:It would be a very serious error to conclude... that the Church’s teaching is essentially only an “ideal” which must then be adapted, proportioned, graduated to the so-called concrete possibilities of man…But what are the “concrete possibilities of man”? And of which man are we speaking? Of man dominated by lust or of man redeemed by Christ? This is what is at stake: the reality of Christ’s redemption. Christ has redeemed us! This means that he has given us the possibility of realizing the entire truth of our being; he has set our freedom free from the domination of concupiscence.According to Tucho, however—and thus according to Francis—in “certain cases” (Novus Ordo code for all cases) public adulterers can be admitted to Confession and Holy Communion without a prior commitment to amendment of life. As Tucho and Francis well know, this would mean the overthrow of all prior Church teaching and discipline to the contrary, beginning with that of John Paul II.
And if redeemed man still sins, this is not due to an imperfection of Christ’s redemptive act, but to man's will not to avail himself of the grace which flows from that act. God’s command is of course proportioned to man's capabilities; but to the capabilities of the man to whom the Holy Spirit has been given; of the man who, though he has fallen into sin, can always obtain pardon and enjoy the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Magister has been unsparing in his mordant commentary on Tucho’s oeuvre and his manifest lack of credibility as a theologian. Fernández, he writes, “has almost spent more time in Rome than in Buenos Aires, swamped as he is with acting as ghostwriter to his friend the pope, without any growth in the meantime of his credentials as a theologian, already anything but brilliant at the outset.” Read more >>