Jimmy Akin’s argument here on the doctrine of Justification is right on the money, and it is why I wish the authors of the Open Letter did not write on this point. It is very clear Amoris dodges this accusation…..
My concern, however, with Akin’s article, and I would ask him to clarify for me, is that his argument on the “canonical crime of heresy” vis-a-vis the definition of dogma which requires both divine & catholic faith, would render the ancient presbyter Arius as free of the canonical crime of heresy. The Council of Nicaea (325) gives us the Creed with “homoousian” (one substance), but only anathematizes those who hold to it, and does not specify anywhere in clear enough terms that the matter is “divinely revealed”. If one were to go to the Synodal letter of the Council (addressed to Alexandria, but sent everywhere) which specifies the doctrinal intent, one could easily appeal to the introduction to Trent Session 6 where Canon 18 (on Justification) is contextually situated.
It would therefore seem to me that after all this argumentation proving how narrowly conditioned a true canonical crime of heresy is, Akin only brings Pope Francis to be qualified just as good as Arius, or Athanasius, for that matter. In other words, the hops, hurdles, and acrobatics which one has to do in order to be a truly heretical criminal are avoided by Arius just as much Pope Francis. Now, I don’t want to betray Akin’s intention, since nowhere does he set out to necessarily defend Pope Francis as an orthodox Catholic (though we should assume he thinks so), but I thought the implication of his logic brings this necessarily about.