Bull: Misericordiae Vultus
Full text: Pope Francis’s Year of Mercy letter
Dives in Misericordia (Lt)
On the fiftieth anniversary of the closing of Vatican II
Pope Francis mentions the contrast between (divine) justice or righteousness and (divine) mercy, and an opposition between law and mercy (or love) that may not be necessary, if one has a different definition of righteousness, by which it is a synonym for God's love, then this opposition between justice and mercy disappears... Is Pope Francis trying to formulate some some sort of Latin version of oikonomia? Is this his pastoral program? Does he think that ecclesiastical law constricts, not simply that he should not "judge" people harshly but make available to them God's mercy by relaxing ecclesiastical discipline as much as possible? (A reappearance of the debates probalism and casuistry?)
But charity is the highest law of the Church, binding not only on bishops but on all of the Christian people. Charity cannot respond to obstinance in sin improperly -- this is not a matter of "justice" as if it were merely a human law, but of giving the appropriate response in accordance with a divine standard.