Rorate Caeli

Note: more on Josef Seifert's "retirement" for Amoris Laetitia critiques.

A few days ago, as reported by various Catholic websites such as Infovaticana, One Peter Five and LifeSite News, a notification was posted on the website of the Archdiocese of Granada denouncing Dr. Josef Seifert for his recent article "Does pure logic threaten to destroy the entire moral doctrine of the Catholic Church?". (Rorate was one of the websites that published it.) Dr. Seifert's positions are listed at the bottom of Rorate's repost:

Josef Seifert is the founding Rector of the The International Academy of Philosophy in the Principality of Liechtenstein, holder of the Dietrich von Hildebrand Chair for Realist Phenomenology at the IAP-IFES, Granada, Spain, and elected by Saint Pope John Paul II as ordinary (life-long) member of the Pontifical Academy for Life (a charge that ended with the dismissal of all PAV members by Pope Francis in 2016, and the failure to be re-elected as member of, a profoundly changed, PAV in 2017)

IAP-IFES stands for "International Academy of Philosophy -  Instituto de Filosofia Edith Stein". IFES, founded in 2005 and owned by the Archdiocese of Granada, notes on its website that it has acted as the Granada campus of IAP since 2009. In listing the IAP's faculty, the IFES website still starts, with evident pride, with Seifert: "The IAP has a permanent faculty of high quality professors, guest professors and friends who frequently teach at their campuses. Notable among them is the renowned phenomenologist Professor Josef Seifert, as well as figures such as ..."

However, the Granada Archdiocesan notification reveals that Seifert had already stopped (or, as is more likely, been stopped from) teaching in IFES since September last year, shortly after his much-longer critique of AL (Amoris Laetitia: Joy, Sadness and Hopes) was published. The same notification also speaks of Seifert's impending "retirement" from the International Academy of Philosophy because of his criticisms of AL. (It is not sufficiently clear from the actual notification if he is being retired only from IAP-IFES, or from IAP itself.)

The speed with which Seifert has been punished is indicative of the way that the Buenos Aires (and similar) readings of AL is now being imposed as the new "orthodoxy" in much of the Church. The Archbishop of Granada, once known for his orthodoxy (read this 2006 Rorate post), is now at the forefront of this new "orthodoxy" by his repeated acceptance of the "Buenos Aires" directive (last year and again in his notification directed against Seifert) and his recent endorsement of Tucho Fernandez's article denouncing critics of AL.

This whole affair brings into focus the division among prominent "Wojtylians" that Amoris Laetitia has provoked. One of the members of the Academic Board of the International Academy of Philosophy is Rocco Buttiglione, one of the philosophers most identified with the papacy of John Paul II and presently a staunch defender of AL. Seifert himself is a phenomenologist, one of the intellectual heirs of Dietrich von Hildebrand, and a major figure in the phenomenologist-existentialist establishment that formed in Catholic philosophy during that papacy. Granada Archbishop Francisco Javier Martínez Fernández was himself appointed a bishop in 1985 and elevated to his present position in 2003 by John Paul II. Prior to the current papacy, Archbishop Martinez was considered part of the "conservative" Wojtylian-Ratzingerian wing of the Church in Spain.