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Photo: the Pontifical Lateran University, where the John Paul II Institute is situated (Wikimedia Commons)

By Richard A. Spinello, Crisis Magazine, September 24, 2019

Richard A. SpinelloThose who are dismayed by the dramatic transformation of the John Paul II Institute for Marriage and Family in Rome can find no comfort in the newest faculty appointments. Longtime faculty members such as Livio Melina and Stanislaw Grygiel have been fired and the Institute’s mission has been redefined under the leadership of Archbishop Paglia, the new Grand Chancellor. Fr. Maurizio Chiodi has joined the faculty this fall. He’s scheduled to teach a seminar called “Conscience and Discernment: Text and Context of Chapter 8 of Amoris Laetitia.” Thus, as expected, Amoris will move to the center stage at the Institute; the works of Pope St. John Paul II will be pushed to the margins. Indeed, a cursory look at the course descriptions and bibliographies reveals that John Paul II’s works will be read in only a few courses.

Fr. Chiodi is a moral theologian known for supporting artificial contraception—which, he claims, could be a moral imperative for married couples under some circumstances. Contrary to Familiaris Consortio (Pope John Paul II’s exhortation on the family) and Humanae Vitae, Fr. Chiodi dismisses the idea that artificial contraception is intrinsically evil. In the spirit of Amoris Laetitia, he has also argued that under certain conditions same-sex couples can engage in sexual relations if this is the most fruitful way to live out a good relationship. ….