This was originally a response on Public Catholic to the question, what changed to make you feel unworthy of the Mercy of God?
This is long. Because it is very complex and over a year of thinking that has led me to this point.
It started, really, when I noticed that in his fight against Clericalism, Pope Francis was throwing out the baby with the bathwater- that many fine clerics were being censored, while clerics accused of clerical abuse were being promoted. That, in and of itself, was not enough,but it is what started me thinking this way. At first, I even looked on it as a big positive- Pope Francis's concentration on mercy for the marginalized, has been an awesome thing to watch, pulling people into that church.
And certainly, promoting the accused clerics and demoting the faithful clerics, fit within that narrative.
But then came Cardinal Kasper and his ilk. Promoting divorce and remarriage as something holier, something more deserving of mercy, than any other sin. The two synods were excruciating, especially since between the first and the second, many dissenting Cardinals and Archbishops were quietly removed from participating in the second Synod at all.
Then came Amoris Laetitia Chapter 8. I was even fine with that for a time. In my parish we had used a word cloud to discern the movement of the spirit and what sort of pastor we needed, with truly awesome results; I did the same thing for Amoris Laetitia and came up with the major theme phrase that really needs to be preached more within the church: "Church Family Can Love Life!"
I so wanted to see marriage groups formed to help both young and old couples avoid the devastation of divorce- which I still see as a major evil in our society.
The trouble is, we're now seeing three different interpretations of Amoris Laetitia Chapter 8 emerge:
1. The Kasper interpretation, which due to who Pope Francis chooses to promote, seems to be the Pope's favored interpretation: That indissoluble marriage is no longer promoted as a Sacrament , and that lifelong marriage is no longer an ideal we can believe in.
2. The Orthodox Interpretation (which my own Archbishop Sample has recommended- he describes it far better than I do here: Archbishop Sample's Love Letter to the Married and Faithful)
3. The interpretation of the "Pharisee Cardinals", that Group #1 has gained far too much power in the church, and that Group #1's interpretation is a valid interpretation that deserves outright refuting.
I don't think that groups #2 and #3 are far apart, despite group #2 utterly denying Group #1's interpretation as valid, and Group #3 accepting Group #1's interpretation as valid but heretical. We can't move forward in universal unity without the Dubia being answered, and Pope Francis picking one of these three interpretations. If the Dubia is answered in accordance to #2, Group #3 is reabsorbed back into the Church, and Group #1 needs to rethink the meaning of the word accompaniment.
Unfortunately, instead of actually answering the Dubia, the Pope has decided that #2 and #3 are just unreasonable Pharisees not worthy of the mercy of actually answering their questions. And by extension, not worthy of the mercy of God.
It's almost as if, at the end of the Story of the Prodigal Son, the Father had instead said to the Older Brother, "You're just hired labor, you cannot have a party for your friends, your brother is worthy because he was dead and is now alive, but you who are alive and who were never dead are not worthy of the feast".
The preaching at the end of the Year of Mercy seems quite clear to me now. The one sheep- the marginalized- has been found and brought into the fold. But the gate was left open, and the other 99 sheep, neglected and starving, are lost without pastoral guidance, now wandering in a desert without the green grass of justice to sustain them. Accompaniment is for homosexuals and the divorced; there is no time left to accompany those whose lives are ordinary- no mercy left for the victims, only for the criminals.