(Consistory) Prominent Cardinals oppose Kasper on divorce


Prominent Cardinals oppose Kasper on divorce

27 March 2014 by Elena Curti, Christa Pongratz-Lippitt, Michael Sean Winters

"Cardinal Walter Kasper’s proposal to allow Communion for remarried divorcees was given a negative reception from some of his most powerful confrères at last month’s consistory, according to an Italian journalist.

In an article for the Turin daily La Stampa, last Monday, Marco Tosatti says that Cardinal Kasper’s plan was greeted with a storm of criticism. In his address to the consistory on 22 February, the German cardinal argued that Catholic divorcees who remarry should, after a period of atonement, be allowed to seek readmittance to the sacraments.

**Tosatti claims the vast majority of cardinals who spoke in the subsequent discussion criticised the proposal, pointing out that Christ himself had explicitly ruled out divorce and that according to church doctrine anyone who remarried without first obtaining an annulment was in a permanent state of sin. **

Tosatti names 10 cardinals as speaking in this vein including Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, who he says felt the doctrinal change would do nothing to further the Church’s support for the family nor its relations with Islam. **Another alleged critic was Cardinal Camillo Ruini, former vicar general for the Diocese of Rome, who according to Tosatti pointed out that 85 per cent of the cardinals who had commented on Kasper’s proposal opposed it. Ruini is said to have surmised that those who had remained silent had done so out of “embarrassment”. **

Tosatti reports that other Kasper critics included the president of the Italian bishops’ conference, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco; the Archbishop of Milan, Cardinal Angelo Scola; the prefect of the Apostolic Penitentiary, Cardinal Mauro Piacenza; and Cardinal Battista Re, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Bishops. Cardinal Re is quoted as saying that he had decided to speak out because some of the new cardinals might have been afraid to do so. “I am entirely opposed to this idea,” he reportedly said. When invited by Pope Francis to reply at the end of the discussion, Cardinal Kasper is said to have shown “irritation” with his critics."

(Read the rest there)


Here is an English translation of the La Stampa article itself:

The Secret Consistory: what happened

In the Secret Consistory where the divorced/remarried and the Eucharist were discussed, “Kasper’s theorem” received little consensus and a lot of criticism. Here is a reconstruction of some of the most significant and important statements. “It would be a fatal mistake” someone said, to follow the pastoral approach without referring to doctrine.

Marco Tosatti, for LA STAMPA

The Consistory on the 22nd February to discuss the family, was supposed to be secret. Instead a decision came from the top that it was opportune to publish Cardinal Kasper’s long report on the theme of the Eucharist for the divorced and remarried. In all probability [this] to open the way in prospect of the October Synod on the Family. However half of the Consistory remained secret: [that half] concerned observations from Cardinals. And maybe not by chance, as, after Cardinal Kasper had presented his long report (and as it seems it was not very light when given ,) rather a lot of voices were raised in criticizing it. So much so, that in the afternoon when the Pope gave him the job of responding, the German Cardinal’s tone appeared piqued, even angry to the many [present].

The current opinion is that “Kasper’s theorem” tends to allow permission in general for the divorced and remarried to receive communion, without the previous marriage being recognized as null. At present this does not happen, based on Jesus’ words which were very severe and explicit on divorce. People who live a full matrimonial life without the first union being regarded as invalid by the Church, find themselves in a situation of permanent sin, according to present doctrine.

In this sense, Cardinal Caffarra of Bologna as well as German Cardinal Mueller (Prefect of the Congregation of the Faith) spoke clearly. Equally explicit was Cardinal Walter Brandmuller (“ Neither human nature nor the Commandments nor the Gospel have an expiry date…]Courage is needed to enunciate the truth even against current customs. Whoever speaks on behalf of the Church must possess courage if he does not want his vocation to be a failure.…] The desire to obtain approval and applause is a temptation which is always present in the transmission of religious teaching.” Afterwards he made his words public). Also the President of the Italian Bishops, Cardinal Bagnasco expressed himself in a critical manner with regard to “Kasper’s theorem”; the same went for the African Cardinal Robert Sarah, Head of “Cor Unum” who at the end of his comments, recalled that in the course of the centuries even on dramatic questions controversies and divergences had existed inside the Church, but that the role of the Papacy had always been the one of defending doctrine.

Cardinal Re who was one of Bergoglio’s greatest electors, gave a very short statement, which can be summarized thus: “I will speak for just a moment, because there are future new cardinals here and perhaps some of them do not have the courage to say it, so I will: I am completely against this report.” Also the Prefect of the Penitentiary, Cardinal Piacenza said he was against it and more or less said: “we are here now and we will be here again in October for a Synod on the Family, and so since we want to have a positive Synod, I don’t see why we have to touch only on the matter of Communion for divorcees.” He added: “Since we want to have a debate on pastoral care it seems to me that we should have to take note of a widespread pan-sexualism and the attack of the “ideology of gender” which tend to demolish the family as we have always known it. It would be providential if we were lumen gentium so as clarify the situation we find ourselves in, as well as the things that can destroy the family.” He concluded by exhorting a re-reading of the catecheses by John Paul II on corporeity, since they contain many positive elements about sex, being a man and a woman, procreation and love.

Cardinal Tauran, (of Inter-Religious Dialogue) returned again to the attack on the family, also in light of relations with Islam. Likewise Cardinal Scola of Milan raised theological and doctrinal perplexities .

Cardinal Ruini was also very critical. He [also]added: “I don’t know if I understood well, but at this moment, about 85% of the Cardinals have expressed opinions apparently contrary to the layout of the report.” He added that among those who did not say anything - therefore could not be classified - he took from their silence that: “I believe they are embarrassed”.

Cardinal Ruini then cited the Good Pope. In essence saying: “when John XXIII gave his opening speech at the Second Vatican Council, he said a pastoral council could be held as fortunately doctrine was accepted peacefully by everyone and there were no controversies; so a pastoral approach could be presented without fear of misunderstandings because doctrine remained very clear. If John XXIII had been right then, the Cardinal commented, God alone knew, but apparently it was true to a large extent. This could absolutely not be said anymore today, because doctrine is not only not shared, but it is contested. “It would be a fatal mistake” to follow the pastoral approach without referring to doctrine.’

(Read the rest there)

I can’t take it. I don’t care if their Sacraments are invalid or not, but if Kasper gets his way, I’m going SSPX. May God grant him the grace to recant his position contritely and sincerely before he drags the Church into the depths and changes the Sacrament into nothing more than a drive-thru Vegas spectacle. Don’t like husband number #1? Get divorced and remarried elsewhere then return, it’s not as if you’ve sinned! Open adulterers who dump through marriages like Elizabeth Taylor are hedonists and put themselves above God who’ll probably never recant and repent of their sin as long as they can marry fellow adulterer number heaven knows what, and this is what Kasper supports. What else would he back if it means destroying the Church from within? Homosexual Nuptial Masses? Rosaries for Muhammad & Joseph Smith? Maybe even sacrificing a boar to Yahweh Jehovah Pentecostal Effigy Malarkey before every Angelus?

God, have mercy on him and the Church. We’ve all sinned, but we have to realize it before we do anything else.

This is good to know. :thumbsup:

Kasper has always had heterodox views (for example, he didn’t like Dominus Iesus), so this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Good sense will prevail. :slight_smile:

I am so encouraged by this and should not be surprised at the opposition to Cardinal Kaspar’s innovative “theorem.” I’m saving this quote as one of my favs:

Neither human nature nor the Commandments nor the Gospel have an expiry date.

Cardinal Walter Brandmuller

Well, hopefully this article is encouraging for you, it has been for me :slight_smile:

Cardinal Ruini was also very critical. He [also]added: “I don’t know if I understood well, but at this moment, about 85% of the Cardinals have expressed opinions apparently contrary to the layout of the report.” He added that among those who did not say anything - therefore could not be classified - he took from their silence that: “I believe they are embarrassed”.

What is needed is much courage - may the hearts of the “embarrassed” ones be emboldened to safeguard the perennial faith - this is, after all, a battle!

Card Brandmuller has a lot of courage and is pretty outspoken:


Whoa :eek:… hyperbole …

You lambast sinners and imply that they will never repent [how can you know this?] … then say you would sin by separating yourself from the Church and receive invalid Sacraments … and then propose that a bishop would promote and support some very outlandish official church actions … sheesh … are you serious :shrug:

The church is not going to change dogma and doctrine , disciplines can change … but an official position that one can receive the Eucharist while in a state of sin … its not going to happen … so take a deep breath and relax :slight_smile:


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