Cardinal Kasper: Latin theology is a 'prisoner' of commutative justice [CWN]

Is fear at the root of our insistence that with God justice must somehow take precedence over mercy (or as Cardinal Kaspar puts it, that mercy is just a footnote to justice)? Are we afraid that if mercy prevails, then evil will go unpunished? Or that people will just do whatever bad thing they want, since God is merciful? Do we then use the notion of justice mainly to control undesirable behavior, as if the social fabric will unravel completely if we emphasize God’s mercy too much?

Cardinal Kaspar himself seems to acknowledge these concerns in his book, Mercy; The Essence of the Gospel:

“The failure of theological reflection concerning the message of mercy, which is central to the Bible, has allowed the concept often to be downgraded, degenerating into a “soft” spirituality or a vapid pastoral concern, lacking clear definition and forced somehow to suit each individual. Such a soft praxis may be understandable to a certain degree as a reaction against a ruthlessly rigid, legalistic praxis. But mercy becomes pseudomercy when it no longer has a trace of trembling before God, who is holy, and trembling before his judgment and justice. It becomes pseudomercy when “yes” is no longer a “yes”, and “no” is no longer a “no”; **when it does not exceed, but rather undercuts the demand for justice. ** The Gospel teaches the justification of the sinner, but not the sin. For this reason, we should love the sinner, but hate the sin.”

Who is insisting on this? Certainly not the Church.

Nor have I seen anyone here make this claim.

No, not the Church, but Church teachings are easily cherry-picked. I have certainly seen people, and often here, point out only those passages from Scripture, for instance, that emphasize God primarily as a judge seemingly without mercy. See post 12 in this thread.

What proof do I have ?

I have the testimony of the people who confessed to nasty priests and also the experience myself.

Pope Francis himself has addressed the issue of priests who do not show mercy hearing confessions and asked that they not hear confessions.

Pope: Priests Lacking Mercy Shouldn’t Hear Confession; Get Desk Job

To be a true Christian means being forgiving, kind, humble, gentle, generous, merciful and very patient with one another, Pope Francis said in a morning homily.

Priests must be especially merciful, he added, saying if that they weren’t, then they should ask their bishop for a desk job and “never walk into a confessional, I beg you.”

“A priest who isn’t merciful does much damage in the confessional. He berates people,” the pope said Sept. 10 during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

americamagazine.org/issue/pope-priests-lacking-mercy-shouldnt-hear-confession-get-desk-job

Do you think Pope Francis made this statement without reason ?

Jim

What did the priest do that was ‘nasty’?

And how did he act without Mercy, did he withhold Absolution without just reason?

I won’t reveal my confession to nasty priests,… do you think people make these things up ?

That being said, ask yourself why Pope Francis had to address the issue ?

Jim

“it is essential to remember that the truths of Holy Scripture should never be isolated. Always they must be fitted into the whole, where further truths develop or limit their sense, or balance then with some important counter-truth. For example, the message of the Angels on Christ’s birth night is one of peace to all who are of good will (Luke 2:14), and Jesus himself says he has come ‘to seek and save what is lost.’ Again and again he pities the many who wander restlessly about ‘like sheep without a shepherd’ (Matt: 9:36). This sounds quite different from the word about the few who are chosen. Yet too it must be included. Both are true. Intellectually we cannot unravel the contradiction…” –The Lord, Romano Guardini, pg. 105.

The above quote is found in Chapter III of Guardini’s book, and it follows a long discussion in Chapter II concerning justice and mercy, where Guardini quotes Matthew 7.6: “Do not give to dogs what is holy, neither throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet and turn and rend you.” Guardini goes on to say “These parables clearly warm against indiscriminately presenting the mystery of divine life to the crowd.”

To believe man is capable of perfection is the sin of pride. It is Christ that is above the dualities of good and evil, just and unjust. To the protest of the disciples concerning commandments that seem to them impossible to fulfill, this is his reply in Matthew 19:26: “And Jesus beholding, said to them: With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” That perfection is impossible for man, is this not why Christ provides a unity of justice and mercy for man’s salvation? It would seem that without mercy there is not hope.

If public accusations against such priests, should not the specifics of their transgressions be made known as well?

Should the priest be given an opportunity to defend himself. after all, there are some situations, such as the chastisement of sinners, that some might take as being ‘nasty’ that the Church considers to be a Spiritual Act of Mercy. People sometimes object when they are told that they are in the wrong.

So a subjective, one sided report can not be given much credence.

That being said, ask yourself why Pope Francis had to address the issue ?

Jim

If a priest withheld absolution outside of the conditions indicated by the Church, then of course they should be correct.

Is that the case here?

Brendan

If public accusations against such priests, should not the specifics of their transgressions be made known as well?

Oh, like yelling at the penitent and slamming the window shut after giving absolution but no guidance or penance ? Happened to me years ago and my wife and myself know the priest who is now retired. He was one of those who was pressured into the priesthood when he was sent to the seminary at high-school age. He seemed angry that he became a priest. He would’ve served the Church better by leaving.

Or how about dragging a young boy out of the confessional by the ear and scolding him in front of other people for the sin he confessed ? I saw such acts by a nasty priest and people tried to avoid going to confession to him. This was instance was before Vatican II.

Should the priest be given an opportunity to defend himself. after all, there are some situations, such as the chastisement of sinners, that some might take as being ‘nasty’ that the Church considers to be a Spiritual Act of Mercy. People sometimes object when they are told that they are in the wrong.

A priest can not speak about what takes place in the confessional with the threat of excommunication.

So a subjective, one sided report can not be given much credence.

Oh but your denial that such priests exist is more credible, right ? :rolleyes:

Jim

That would be an example of Mercy being shown ( absolution was granted after all), You are objecting to style or personality, which is different that not showing Mercy.

Happened to me years ago and my wife and myself know the priest who is now retired. He was one of those who was pressured into the priesthood when he was sent to the seminary at high-school age. He seemed angry that he became a priest. He would’ve served the Church better by leaving.

Doubtful, as Mass was said by this man, sins forgiven, and one might presume that the sick were anointed and catechumens Baptized. That could not have happened if he had left.

Or how about dragging a young boy out of the confessional by the ear and scolding him in front of other people for the sin he confessed ? I saw such acts by a nasty priest and people tried to avoid going to confession to him. This was instance was before Vatican II

.

What do you think that the Pope is addressing things that happened prior to Vat II, or do you have modern cases

A priest can not speak about what takes place in the confessional with the threat of excommunication.

I know, which makes it difficult for the priest to even comment on their actions, let alone offer a defense.

Oh but your denial that such priests exist is more credible, right ? :rolleyes:

Where did I issue a denial?

Pope Francis used the word ‘berate’ to describe the attitude…

“A priest who isn’t merciful does much damage in the confessional. He berates people,” the pope said Sept. 10 during the Mass in the chapel of the Domus Sanctae Marthae.

However, if snapping at people is caused not by a lack of compassion, but by being high-strung, then “go to a doctor who will give you a pill for your nerves. Just be merciful,” he said.

I’m not sure what he means by “Latin theology.” There is good theology and bad theology, clear theology and fuzzy theology. But I don’t see that clear theology or clear thinking detracts from mercy in any way.

Latin tradition in theology: Tertullian, Cyprian, Augustine, Anselm…

So how does one distinguish ‘berating’ from ‘chastising’. Chastising a sinner would be an example of Mercy (one of the Spiritual Works of Mercy)

So where is the doctrine calling for priests to chastise penitents in the confessional ? :shrug:

Jesus with the woman caught in adultery and the Pharisees who called for her stoning according to law comes to mind here.

Jim

Just so we’re using the same definition of the word chastise,

chas·tise
ˈCHasˌtīz,ˌCHaˈstīz/
verb

rebuke or reprimand severely.
"he chastised his colleagues for their laziness"

synonyms: scold, upbraid, berate, reprimand, reprove, rebuke, admonish, chide, censure, lambaste, castigate, lecture, give someone a piece of one’s mind, give someone a tongue-lashing, take to task, rake/haul over the coals; informaltell off, dress down, bawl out, blow up at, give someone an earful, give someone a roasting, come down on someone like a ton of bricks, slap someone’s wrist, rap over the knuckles, give someone hell, give someone what for, chew out, ream out, zing;

Jim

I guess to “come down on someone like a ton of bricks” would qualify as an act without mercy, but probably the “roasting” should be reserved for later after all else fails. :thumbsup:

Why are “automatic” posts allowed by moderators?

I thought moderators don’t allow trolls.

Jim R-OCDS, the Holy Spirit does not speak through Teilhard de Chardin.

The Holy Spirit does speak through all Scriptures, without exception, in Aramaic, Greek, Chinese, English.

Let real theologians provide us with balance and let them speak for themselves and not have this sort of person twist their words.

I smell a rat when “mercy” is somehow *contrasted *with “justice”. In a bait-and-switch “justice” becomes “legalism” and back again.

I believe in one God who is consistent. Why are some of you disputing that?

As you know I am radically un-legalistic but I do believe God means justice. This means He means mercy. Exactly. Precisely. No either-or.

If this wasn’t being foisted on us I would pass it off as the obscure stuff churchmen fill in their spare time with at unimportant lecture venues. Why does he arrange it to be highlighted in the media? Note he doesn’t give any explanation for his actions, pretending to be self-effacing.

I appreciate the quotes from the utterly reliable Pope Francis.

Oh yes and:

discipline, train, correct, reform, restrain, refine

In my lovey-dovey New Testament the C-word is used in Lk 23, Heb 12, Rev 3. Where would I - and you - be if it wasn’t.

Cardinal Kasper is a real theologian. You can disagree with him, but you can’t deny his credentials.

Vic Taltrees UK

Jim R-OCDS, the Holy Spirit does not speak through Teilhard de Chardin.

Are you sure about that ?

The Holy Spirit dwells within us all and we have gifts of the Holy Spirit.

So. the Holy Spirit can speak through whomever He wants.

Don’t place God into a box.

Jim

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