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Professor: With new president, JPII Institute should be renamed ‘Amoris Laetitia Institute’

Thibaud Collin argues that Msgr. Philippe Bordeyne’s appointment confirms a “paradigm shift,” with Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae vitae no longer serving as the institute’s “touchstone.”

The Pontifical Lateran University, which houses the Pontifical John Paul II Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences, is pictured in Rome in this Sept. 20, 2013, file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

CNA Staff, Mar 16, 2021 / 08:00 am (CNA).- A French professor has suggested that under its new leader, the John Paul II Pontifical Theological Institute for Marriage and Family Sciences in Rome should be renamed the “Amoris Laetitia Institute.”

In an article published March 16 by noted Vaticanist Sandro Magister on his blog “Settimo Cielo,” Thibaud Collin, a professor of philosophy at the Collège Stanislas de Paris, lamented the appointment of Msgr. Philippe Bordeyne as the institute’s new president.

“In short, the appointment as manager of a figure like Philippe Bordeyne confirms that the John Paul II Institute, in full hemorrhage of students, should for the sake of intellectual honesty change its name. It could be called, for example, the ‘Amoris Laetitia’ Institute,” he wrote.

Bordeyne, rector of the Institut Catholique de Paris since 2011, was confirmed as the institute’s new president with a rescript dated Feb. 22 by Cardinal Giuseppe Versaldi and Archbishop Vincenzo Zani, respectively the prefect and secretary of the Vatican Congregation for Catholic Education. He will officially start his mandate in September.

The 61-year-old French theologian succeeds Msgr. Pierangelo Sequeri, 76, who has reached the end of his five-year mandate.

Under Sequeri, the institution was upgraded to a pontifical theological institute but was the focus of controversy after the curriculum was changed and theologians regarded as more faithful to the teachings of St. John Paul II dismissed.

The institute was founded in 1981 as a center for the study of Christian anthropology and theology, in light of the philosophical ideas expressed in the Polish pope’s work “Love and Responsibility,” and his teaching cycle known as the “Theology of the Body.”

Pope Francis reestablished the institute in 2017, broadening its focus from theology to include “family sciences.”

In his article, Collin argued that Bordeyne’s appointment confirmed a “paradigm shift,” with Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae vitae no longer serving as the institute’s “touchstone.”

Collin cited a 2015 essay by Bordeyne, which argued that “it would be reasonable to leave the discernment on birth control methods to the wisdom of couples.”

“In this perspective, the Church could admit a plurality of paths for responding to the general call to maintain the openness of sexuality to transcendence and to the gift of life,” Bordeyne wrote.

He continued: “The way of natural methods that involves continence and chastity could be recommended as an evangelical counsel, practiced by Christian couples or not, that requires self-control in periodic abstinence. The other way whose moral legitimacy could be admitted, with the choice entrusted to the wisdom of the spouses, would consist in using non-abortive methods of contraception.”

As president, Bordeyne faces the immediate challenge of completing the institute’s overhaul, as outlined in Pope Francis’ apostolic letter dated Sept. 8, 2017. He must also seek to reverse a downward trend in student enrollment.

The institute has reportedly been forced to cut some courses because they did not attract a minimum number of students. Others are said to have lost 90% of students.

Bordeyne has specialized in moral theology, ecumenism, and the interpretation of the Second Vatican Council. He is the co-publisher and editor of the Bulletin of Moral Theology of Research in Religious Sciences, and founder of the collection “Theology at the University.”

He participated as an expert at the 2015 Family Synod in Rome. In 2017, he published the book “Divorcés remariés: ce qui change avec François” (“Divorced and remarried, what changes with Pope Francis”).

In 2018, he published “Portare la legge a compimento. Amoris Laetitia nelle situazioni matrimoniali fragili” (“Bring the law to fruition. Amoris Laetitia in fragile matrimonial situations”) with the Vatican Publishing House.

He is a member of the academic board of the International Academy for Marital Spirituality (INTAMS). The organization dedicated a 2019 issue of its magazine “Marriage, Families & Spirituality” to reflection on homosexual couples.

The issue backed same-sex adoption and questioned whether the Church’s condemnation of homosexual relations could be applied to “long-term love relations between people of the same sex.”


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10 Comments

  1. Let us hope that the change would be to move The Church more into the truths of the Divine Will revelations ,to include the good in same such as the blessing of the 24 Hour meditation of the Passion .
    http://www.passioiesus.org/en/relojes/que_son.htm

    Holy Father has often enough mentioned of The Truth of the Oneness in the Wounds – that point to The Way to overcome the fruit of sin as despair , himself a witness to the Eucharistic Miracle of Argentina . The resulting compassion at times having been misunderstood as laxity whereas his intention in all likelihood having been a fruit of The Spirit as compassion for the weak and sinful , to offer them hope , in pointing to The Price in The Wounds as The remedy for our times that see such contempt for life and holiness . The Papal prayer intention for March for good confession , the recent declaration as to how The Church expects persons can live in holiness and its truth in all relationships – we can trust and rejoice in the Heavenly Court including St.John Paul 11 , St.Joseph being actively engaged , to see the Reign of the Divine Will in more hearts and families , for us to be more aware also as to the inroads of errors and evils in seeking out freedom by inviting in agents of envy and despair .

  2. How long oh Lord…?
    Are these destroyers of our Church even Catholics?
    Many believe that the main goal is to push homosexuality and make it accessible. Just as in the Church in Germany.
    No wonder that they can’t attract any students! Why waste one’s precious time to such anti Christian nonsense?
    Praying much for our beloved Church. For a new generation of holy and dedicated priests and lay people.

    • Monica, sometimes the only thing I can do to stay sane is say a rosary and ask our Mater Dolorosa to pray for me so I don’t have a stroke – I get so discouraged and then angry! I’m sure our good parish priest is tired of my ranting at confession. And he reminds me of John 2:13-16; While it’s true that every week a new money-changer sets up shop on Temple grounds daring the Lord to do something, we have to believe that the Lord will in his time chase these profiteers out.

  3. Christianity is the positive response to the fallen world. Humankind repeatedly chooses poorly between good and evil; right and wrong. Theology that departs from the mystical body of Christ dissolves into the mundane and becomes unrecognizable within the seas of self-absorption and torment. It no longer can rise to Glory. A white spot on a white canvass.

  4. I pray for the day when Amoral Leticia is finally assigned to the gutters of history. And the same for Tutti Frutti.

  5. The gates of HELL will not PREVAIL against MY CHURCH. But the smoke 💨 of Satan has entered the Church. We must keep praying 🙏 for the TRUTH of our FAITH be maintained. This watered down version is not what ST. JPII would accept! Much collateral damage done here. Keep praying 🙏

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