Cardinal Kasper: Pope never approved my proposal [CWN]

Cardinal Walter Kasper has admitted that Pope Francis never endorsed his proposal to allow divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Communion.The German cardinal, who offered his …


Well, duh, I would not expect ANY Pope to just jump onboard such a proposal.

But there is a tension here between the Western understanding of sin and the Eastern understanding of sin.

Latin Catholics take the position that a “remarriage” (without canonical approval) is sinful, and the only way to resolve that sin is to live as brother and sister, or to separate.

Eastern Catholics take the position that the “remarriage” was a sinful act, but it can be absolved in Confession, so the continued union is not sinful.

I will admit that the Eastern position is more appealing to me (as the son of divorced (protestant) parents, who each remarried (protestants)). But the Catholic position seems more logically valid. The Eastern position could be extended to say, “well, I did so-and-so, but I went to Confession, and was absolved, so I can continue to do so-and-so.”

I’m not sure I understand the Eastern Catholics position. They are Catholics and subject to the same teachings as the Latin Catholics.

That is incorrect, in the case of a coupe with a valid, Sacramental marriage, the Code of Canons of the Eastern Churches (effective 1 Oct 1991) forbids divorce and remarriage while the spouse is still alive. The Latin and eastern Catholics have the same divine law expressed in the Latin Church canon law (CIC) and the eastern Catholic canon law (CCEO). The canon law both east and west only support one sacramental consummated marriage between two as long as they both live so divorce and remarriage is not permitted in any of the 23 Catholic Churches.

Excerpt from a statement by Cardinal Ratzinger that expresses the divine law shown in the 1983 CIC and 1990 CCEO canons:
“First of all, against a misunderstanding that is becoming ever more wide-spread, what is fundamentally common to both structures must be here underlined. Even the eastern Churches’ very extensive practice of divorce retains the structure of the position of Origen-Basil. That is to say, also for them there can be no valid sacramental marriage while the first spouses are alive.”

It is the Orthodox Church that allows, in some cases, those who have divorced to remarry. An individual in the Orthodox Church can seek a second marriage. The Marriage Ceremony for second marriages is penitential in character…not the joyousness of the first. They will only be allowed to have it under certain conditions, conditions which are similar to what would be required for a Catholic Annulment.

Sorry to you (and Ignatius) - by “Eastern Catholics” I meant the Orthodox.

Somebody really needs to come up with a standardized vocabulary for what “Catholic” means.

Catholic is any of the 22 Sui Juris Catholic Churches. The Eastern Catholic Churches are self-governing (i.e SUI JURIS) churches in full communion with the Holy SEE.

Here is the place to go to find about the Eastern Catholic Churches in the US:

The Holy See’s Annuario Pontificio gives the following list of Eastern Catholic Churches with the principal see of each Thge Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) gives the same list, except that it does not place the liturgical traditions in the alphabetical order.

Alexandrian liturgical tradition:
       Coptic Catholic Church (patriarchate):
       Eritrean Catholic Church (metropolia):
       Ethiopian Catholic Church (metropolia)
   West Syrian, including Malankara, liturgical tradition 
       Maronite Church (patriarchate):
       Syriac Catholic Church (patriarchate):
       Syro-Malankara Catholic Church (major archepiscopate):
Armenian liturgical tradition:
      Armenian Catholic Church[52] (patriarchate):

Chaldean or East Syrian liturgical tradition:
Chaldean Catholic Church[53] (patriarchate)
Syro-Malabar Catholic Church[54] (Major Archepiscopate):
Constantinopolitan (Byzantine) liturgical tradition:
Albanian Catholic Church (apostolic administration):
Belarusian Catholic Church (no established hierarchy at present):
Bulgarian Greek Catholic Church[55] (apostolic exarchate):
Byzantine Church of Croatia,(an eparchy and an apostolic exarchate):
Greek Byzantine Catholic Church[57] (two apostolic exarchates):
Hungarian Greek Catholic Church[58] (an eparchy and an apostolic exarchate):
Italo-Albanian Catholic Church (two eparchies and a territorial abbacy):
Macedonian Catholic Church (an apostolic exarchate):
Melkite Greek Catholic Church[59] (patriarchate)
Romanian Church United with Rome[60] (major archiepiscopate):
Russian Catholic Church[61] (two apostolic exarchates,):
Ruthenian Catholic Church[62] (a sui juris metropolia]
Slovak Catholic Church[65] (metropolia and an eparchy):
Ukrainian Catholic Church[66] (major archiepiscopate):

Forgive my nitpicking, but I have always been under the impression it was less it being a “sinful” act, but more a recognition people make mistakes and there should be an allotment for a second (and indeed third) chance.

The second marriage is not something that needs to be absolved, it only need to be recognized as a more solemn, indeed penitential occasion. They see it as while marriage should last forever, it is pointless to claim a marriage remains until death when there are very strong signs the arrangement has ceased to exist (i.e: When one spouse has abandoned the other and has no intention of ever returning). That is perceived as a mistake or making promises one had no intention of keeping and there is no merit for the injured party to remain single. I may be mistaken but I don’t believe the “guilty” party is usually automatically permitted to re-marry, although there are exceptions.

At least that is how it was explained to me and I must say I agree, it is more sensitive and to my mind more realistic.

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