The complete phrase is "de gustibus et coloribus non est disputandum" "when we talk about tastes and colours there is nothing to be disputed". Probably of Scholastic origin; see Wiktionary. In other contexts, it can mean "according to law", "by right", and "legally". A court does not care about small, trivial things. A case must have some importance in order for a court to hear it. See "de minimis non curat praetor".
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One such lay Catholic with whom I have interacted on Twitter, Mark Lambert, has taken the opportunity to critically but respectfully engage with my Apologia at his blog De Omnibus Dubitandum Est. The arguments surrounding AL, from all sides, have too often failed to recognise the good faith and serious engagement of those whom with they disagree. Therefore, while I have to date failed to persuade Mark, I appreciate his ability to transcend that temptation.
I want the Pope to be Catholic! I want to have confidence in that! Accordingly I have no doubt Mark truly shares the very Catholic desire to be able to accept the teaching of the Pope. Important Areas of Agreement The next important matter that needs to be acknowledged is the points Mark brings up with which I agree.
And I agree not just with their truth, but also their relevance and importance to any judgement on the orthodoxy of AL. The proper criteria for mortal sin are set out in CCC It would have been preferable had AL made proper reference to Veritatis Splendor to, for example, emphasis the relationship between intrinsic evil and reduced culpability noted by VS It is possible to commit mortal sin in a single act, provided that the matter is grave and there is sufficient knowledge and true consent.
Venial sins can prepare the ground for mortal sins. It would be good and helpful if Pope Francis would answer to Dubia in a more formal way. The key proposition here, which my agreement with might surprise, is I think 3 regarding ignorance and culpability. However in orthodox Catholic moral theology, and indeed amongst defenders of AL, it is well understood and acknowledged the application of invincible ignorance to adultery is extremely limited.
How then can culpability be reduced for the divorced and remarried, and Holy Communion be fruitfully received? The Crux of the Argument But first, one small digression. The crux of this discussion about AL relates to culpability and mortal sin, and that is the area on which I will be focusing, to the exclusion of other matters such as the so called Fundamental Option. However I do not in fact believe the novelty of AL relates to these questions, because the application of reduced culpability to the divorced and remarried was already conceded under Pope St.
John Paul II. This decision, properly speaking, is not a sanction or a penalty. My belief is rather that the change in sacramental discipline provided for in AL relates to Canon , which I have discussed in more detail here.
Deliberate Consent However, returning to reduced culpability, it is necessary to revisit the proper criteria for mortal sin as set out in CCC This provides three conditions must together be met: Grave matter; Full knowledge; and Deliberate consent. Mark notes adultery is grave matter, and I agree it is. Mark notes we are deemed to have full knowledge that adultery is evil, and I agree we are. But then Mark goes on to conclude adultery will always be a mortal sin, and I cannot agree. A necessary condition has been omitted — Deliberate consent.
Nor can deliberate consent be conflated with full knowledge, such that its enumeration amongst the requirements for mortal sin is otiose. Further as I have outlined in my Apologia at Section 2. Accordingly, it is because of a lack of full consent that culpability for the divorced and remarried can reduced to venial, and because their sin may be venial that Holy Communion may be fruitfully received.
This is because denying that deliberate consent is a requirement for mortal sin, and indeed that necessity impairs deliberate consent, has been condemned as heretical by a number of Popes.
List of Latin phrases (D)
De Omnibus Dubitandum Est