My jaw dropped when I read the latest from Benedict XVI . . . [Akin]

jimmyakin.com/wp-content/uploads/benedict-at-desk-300x204.pngSince Benedict XVI resigned from the papacy and began his retirement in seclusion, he has said nothing publicly.

There’s a very good reason for that, and that’s why the most recent thing he’s written is so amazing.

He’s just publicly weighed in on Cardinal Kasper’s proposal to give Holy Communion to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.

Here’s the story . . .

1) Why is Benedict XVI so silent these days?

To give his successor a free hand. If a pope emeritus continued to speak out and play a substantial role as a public figure, it could cause all kinds of problems for his successor.

If the two were perceived as being in opposition to each other, it could be extremely traumatic for the Church. Hypothetically, it could even create a schism.

That’s why, when St. Celestine V resigned, his successor kept him imprisoned in a castle until he died.

By choosing to live in a monastery at the Vatican and staying out of the public eye, Benedict is deliberately staying out of Francis’s way.

He’s also setting a precedent for future popes emeritus.

2) What has Benedict said since retirement?

Very little. We know that he has been writing letters. In one letter, he took an atheist mathematician to the woodshed, and the mathematician later published the letter.

He also wrote a speech that was read at a Roman university by his aide, Archbishop Georg Ganswein.

But, in general, he has written very little that has come to public light.

And none of what he has written has dealt with controversial issues in the Church.

Until now.

3) What does Benedict think of “the Kasper proposal”

Over the last year, the Church has been wracked by a revival of Cardinal Walter Kasper’s proposal to give Holy Communion to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics in some circumstances.

Cardinals have been publicly debating each other in the press.

We don’t need to rehash the whole, sad history of that here.

As we’ve watched that situation play out, I’ve repeatedly wondered what Benedict must be thinking—and doing.

Since Pope Francis allowed public discussion of this subject to continue, and since it’s a source of controversy in the Church, you wouldn’t expect him to speak out publicly on the subject.

That would be precisely the kind of interference in his successor’s affairs that he set out to avoid by going into seclusion.

But this issue is so important, with such high stakes, that it’s also precisely the kind of situation that would test that resolve.

I thought, perhaps, he would play a background role—giving advice to Pope Francis off the record at an opportune moment. We know that kind of thing happens.

But he’s now done much more than that.

He’s told us what he thinks.

And it happened through an unusual chain of events that seems providentially structured.

4) What happened?

Back in 1972, when he was still a theology professor, Joseph Ratzinger wrote an essay on the indissolubility of marriage in which he tentatively floated a variation of the Kasper proposal.

This was one of several ideas that Prof. Ratzinger tried out in the days of theological experimentation after the Council but later abandoned.

Indeed, he became a leader in the opposition to the idea that Holy Communion could be given to the divorced and civilly remarried.

Thus, when Cardinal Kasper and two other German bishops floated the proposal in 1993, Cardinal Ratzinger—as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith—wrote a paper forcefully rejecting the idea.

You can read it here.

But that 1972 essay was still out there, and when he revived his proposal last year, Cardinal Kasper started quoting it.

I can only imagine that this deeply displeased Benedict.

Nobody likes having his words thrown back in his face—particularly when they are words that one has disowned.

For Cardinal Kasper to publicly cite the 1972 essay in an effort to associate Benedict’s name with and thus promote a position that Benedict has rejected must really come across as twisting the knife.

And yet it would seem that Benedict’s hands were tied by his seclusion.

Only they weren’t.

5) Why not?

Because, for the last few years, there has been an effort underway to re-publish collected editions of all of Benedict’s theological writings. (His private ones, that is; not his magisterial documents.)

This effort has been led by Cardinal Gerhard Muller.

And now they’ve published—in German—a volume of Benedict’s writings that includes a revised version of the 1972 essay.

The publication of this series of volumes thus allowed Benedict, from one perspective, to yank the rug out from under Cardinal Kasper’s use of the 1972 essay.

From another perspective, it allowed him to weigh in on the present controversy without having to make a new, public statement that could be perceived as deliberately interfering in the affairs of his successor.

The fact that this set of volumes was underway, and that that particular essay had not yet been republished when Cardinal Kasper started using it for his own purposes, is a providential blessing.

And what Benedict said is extremely encouraging.

6) What did he say?

You can read the full text of the part of the essay that changed—and the 1972 original—at Sandro Magister’s site (ht: Fr.Z).

Of course, the initial variation of the Kasper proposal is gone. There is no trace of it.

Benedict says a number of very interesting things, and the section dealing with divorce, remarriage, and Holy Communion reads as follows:

The 1981 apostolic exhortation “Familiaris Consortio” of John Paul II . . . states: “Together with the Synod, I earnestly call upon pastors and the whole community of the faithful to help the divorced, and with solicitous care to make sure that they do not consider themselves as separated from the Church …] Let the Church pray for them, encourage them and show herself a merciful mother, and thus sustain them in faith and hope.”

This gives pastoral care an important task, which perhaps has not yet been sufficiently incorporated into the Church’s everyday life. Some details are indicated in the exhortation itself. There it is said that these persons, insofar as they are baptized, may participate in the Church’s life, which in fact they must do. The Christian activities that are possible and necessary for them are listed. Perhaps, however, it should be emphasized with greater clarity what the pastors and brethren in the faith can do so that they may truly feel the love of the Church. I think that they should be granted the possibility of participating in ecclesial associations and even of becoming godfathers or godmothers, something that the law does not provide for as of now.

There is another point of view that imposes itself on me. The impossibility of receiving the holy Eucharist is perceived as so painful not last of all because, currently, almost all who participate in the Mass also approach the table of the Lord. In this way the persons affected also appear publicly disqualified as Christians.

I maintain that Saint Paul’s warning about examining oneself and reflecting on the fact that what is at issue is the Body of the Lord should be taken seriously once again: “A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself” (1 Cor 11:28 f.). A serious self-examination, which might even lead to forgoing communion, would also help us to feel in a new way the greatness of the gift of the Eucharist and would furthermore represent a form of solidarity with divorced and remarried persons.

I would like to add another practical suggestion. In many countries it has become customary for persons who are not able to receive communion (for example, the members of other confessions) to approach the altar with their hands folded over their chests, making it clear that they are not receiving the sacrament but are asking for a blessing, which is given to them as a sign of the love of Christ and of the Church. This form could certainly be chosen also by persons who are living in a second marriage and therefore are not admitted to the Lord’s table. The fact that this would make possible an intense spiritual communion with the Lord, with his whole Body, with the Church, could be a spiritual experience that would strengthen and help them.

He thus proposes pastoral care for those in this situation and finding ways to further involve them in the life of the Church—including allowing them to serve in church associations and perhaps as godparents.

However, he recommends no change on the question of administering Holy Communion.

Instead, he asks us all to engage in serious self-examination and not to receive Communion unthinkingly.

And he recommends the custom of approaching the minister for a blessing when—as with the divorced and civilly remarried—one is not able to receive Communion.

7) How significant is this?

Benedict’s revision of his 1972 essay is extremely significant.

It makes the general lines of his thought publicly known, and this is bound to be a great encouragement for those who wish to see the Church’s traditional teaching and practice maintained.

It also makes it harder to use Benedict’s name in association with the contrary proposal—as Cardinal Kasper and others have been doing.

It’s a net gain. It’s a gift from God. And, with the former pope weighing in on the issue publicly, it may even be a game-changer.

feeds.feedburner.com/~ff/jimmyakin/HPRf?d=yIl2AUoC8zA
http://forums.catholic.com//feeds.feedburner.com/~r/jimmyakin/HPRf/~4/iotC6o_hMis

More…

Thank You and God Bless, Memaw

There are NO coincidences! :smiley:


[quote=Catholic Opinion;12548879.]… He’s just publicly weighed in on Cardinal Kasper’s proposal to give Holy Communion to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics.
[/quote]

It would be good if we could agree on exactly what Card Kaspers proposals actually are.
Can someone summarise his proposal here in his own words?
Only then can we tell what PopeEm Benedict actually rules out or in.

Jimmy your summary below seems incomplete.

You do not mention Cardinal Ratzingers little known article of 1998 (published in the Vatican Newspaper 30/11/2011) where he actually repeated his call for more theological investigation in this area. Which is exactly what Pope Francis (and Card Kasper) is doing with the Synods.

How can the Pope have agreed in 1972, retracted in 1993, reversed that again in 1998 and then reversed that again in 2014?!
It simply doesn’t add up as you try to present it.

This suggests to me that your view that Pope Emeritus in 1993 completely reversed his 1972 enquiries (see here) is too superficial an understanding of what is going on.

Sure, he may have changed his mind on some aspects. Then again his Letter may have simply been to assert guiding points that must be respected in this search.

As for the ommission of his 1972 work in AB Mueller’s Collection…as a scholar myself I find such “revisonism” of history in a work that is meant to gather historical writings very strange indeed.

And I have not yet definitively seen any proof that EP Benedict himself actively requested the ommission. How do we know it wasn’t the editor?

This is very true.
I think there is a slanderous campaign being waged against Card. Kasper. If one reads the linked article without noting the actual revised textpublished, by the way, well beyond the February, 2014 speech by Card. Kasper to the Consistory, and which continues to retain Benedict’s statement of 2005. Sandro Magister quote:

[size=2]2.b. Today there is another question that imposes itself with great seriousness. Currently there are more and more baptized pagans, meaning persons who have become Christian by means of baptism but do not believe and have never known the faith. This is a paradoxical situation: baptism makes the person Christian, but without faith he remains nonetheless just a baptized pagan.

Can. 1055 § 2 says that “between baptized persons there cannot exist a valid marriage contract that is not for that very reason a sacrament.” But what happens if a baptized unbeliever knows nothing at all about the sacraments? He might even have the intention of indissolubility, but he does not see the uniqueness of the Christian faith. The tragic aspect of this situation appears evident above all when baptized pagans convert to the faith and begin a completely new life. This brings up questions for which we still do not have answers. And therefore it is even more urgent to explore them.

Footnote: The new retraction of the 1972 article, with the concluding part entirely rewritten, appeared in the fall of 2014 in the following volume of the German edition of the Opera Omnia.
[/size]
This is was Pope Benedict’s 2005 statement.

3.During the meeting with clergy in the Diocese of Aosta, which took place 25 July 2005, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of this difficult question: “those who were married in the Church for the sake of tradition but were not truly believers, and who later find themselves in a new and invalid marriage and subsequently convert, discover faith and feel excluded from the Sacrament, are in a particularly painful situation. This really is a cause of great suffering and when I was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, I invited various Bishops’ Conferences and experts to study this problem: a sacrament celebrated without faith. Whether, in fact, a moment of invalidity could be discovered here because the Sacrament was found to be lacking a fundamental dimension, I do not dare to say. I personally thought so, but from the discussions we had I realized that it is a highly complex problem and ought to be studied further. But given these people’s painful plight, it must be studied further”.
See more at L’osservatore Romano.

In Kasper’s book which published his actual speech to the Consistory in Feb. 2014, we find only a slight and brief reference to Ratzinger:

Joseph Ratzinger proposed taking up the position of Basil in a new way**. That appears to be an appropriate solution**, one that also underlies my current reflections. We cannot act on the authority of one or other historical interpretation that is still controversial. A fortiori, we cannot simply replicate the early church’s solutions in our situation, which is completely different. In our changed situation, however, we can take up again the early church’s fundamental concern and seek to actualize it in today’s situation, in a manner that is fair and just in the light of the gospel.
18. See Joseph Ratzinger, “Zur…etc. 1972”

Kasper absolutely did not enlarge upon Benedict’s 1972 statement in his February speech whatsoever, (usurping Benedict’s authority) except to quote his words, "that this underlies his “current reflections,” and cautioned the reader with blue portion I quoted above. That’s it. This is not at all what was represented by the bloggers.

So these bloggers have blown this all out of proportion in order to depict Kasper as “utilizing Ratzinger’s authority” for his own purpose. It pays to check these articles, folks. They are not what they appear at first glance, but contain much deliberate deception.

Please take note also that Benedict’s writing in 1972 was not *retracted *by him until **well after Kasper delivered his speech earlier this year, in fall 2014, **most likely due to opponents of Kasper bringing it to his attention.

Thanks for this post. Most informative. Haven’t we been gifted by strong and good Popes this last century when the Church is under such attack, both from outside and within?
Benedict…The Holy Spirit is strong in this one…

Thank you.

Could you please provide a link to the 1998 document that you say shows Cardinal Ratzinger reversing his 1993 retraction? Or at least quote the pertinent paragraph/s.
All I have to go on is the “Sandro Magister quote” link given in Sirach2’s post #5. ( chiesa.espresso.repubblica.it/articolo/1350933?eng=y ) That article implies there was no reversal in 1998. Quote:
**That 1972 article was the first and last time in which Ratzinger "opened up” to communion for the divorced and remarried. **Afterward, in fact, he not only fully adhered to the rigorist position of the ban on communion, reaffirmed by the magisterium of the Church during the pontificate of John Paul II, but he also contributed in a decisive way to the argumentation on behalf of this ban as prefect of the congregation for the doctrine of the faith.

He contributed to it in particular by signing the letter to bishops of September 14, 1994, in which the Holy See rejected the theses in favor of communion for the divorced and remarried supported in previous years by some German bishops, including Kasper:

“The International Year of the Family…”

And then again with a 1998 text published by the congregation for the doctrine of the faith and republished by “L’Osservatore Romano” of November 30, 2011:

Never mind BlueHorizon. I found a link to the text. At least I presume that is the particular text :slight_smile: Just found it, so haven’t read it yet.
osservatoreromano.va/en/news/the-pastoral-approach-to-marriage-must-be-founded-#.UulAWPZ21dg

Yes that’s it Nita.
If read carefully I see 2-3 possible new directions that EP Benedict is saying could and should be investigated more deeply.

And in the notes at the end it mentions the 2005 Aosta talk Sirach2 also mentioned below.
I thought that bit was part of the 1998 article but in fact it is 7 years later. This only further strengthens the observations we are making.

So I believe Jimmy’s review of the situation is highly misleading.
At least two very innovative possibilities are on the table and were pushed strongly by EP Benedict himself.

Allow me to make a small prophecy based on my researching/following these subtle threads for the last three years,

A new criterion for dissolving or recognising nullity of a Catholic “marriage” will become mainstream after the 2015 Synod.

Namely, marriages between the baptised where it can be shown one of the baptised was no more than a “club Catholic or Christian” (ie had received the sacraments by no more than an accident of birth but never really believed) then that marriage may be dissolved on the grounds the sacramental bond was never etasablished despite baptism.

As I have stated previously on this forum, I believe it is already in place as a possible (but rarely used) criterion available to judges at Marriage Tribunals. This was told me by a Canon Lawyer but I have no corroborating references to confirm that and have never heard of this before.

Regardless, I believe use of this criterion (in addition to the provable emotional immaturity of at least one of the partners) will become much more frequent and accepted in the near future.

I think there needs to be a chronological clarification to all of the material here, so that we know exactly what was said, and when.

1972 [Sandro Magister]
In effect, in that 1972 article the then 45-year-old professor of theology in Regensburg maintained that giving communion to the divorced and remarried, under particular conditions, appeared “fully in line with the tradition of the Church” and in particular with “that type of indulgence which emerges in Basil, where, **after a protracted period of penance, **the ‘digamus’ (meaning someone living in a second marriage) is granted communion without the annulment of the second marriage: with trust in the mercy of God, who does not let penance go unanswered.” [Sandro Magister]

**1998 **[PE Benedict]
Further study is required, however, concerning the question of whether non-believing Christians — baptized persons who never or who no longer believe in God — can truly enter into a sacramental marriage. In other words, it needs to be clarified whether every marriage between two baptized persons is ipso facto a sacramental marriage. In fact, the Code states that only a “valid” marriage between baptized persons is at the same time a sacrament (cf. cic, can. 1055, § 2). Faith belongs to the essence of the sacrament; what remains to be clarified is the juridical question of what evidence of the “absence of faith” would have as a consequence that the sacrament does not come into being. -
(Reprinted 11/30/11 in L’Osservatore Romano)

[size=3]**2005 **
3 During the meeting with clergy in the Diocese of Aosta, which took place 25 July 2005, Pope Benedict XVI spoke of this difficult question: “those who were married in the Church for the sake of tradition but were not truly believers, and who later find themselves in a new and invalid marriage and subsequently convert, discover faith and feel excluded from the Sacrament, are in a particularly painful situation. This really is a cause of great suffering and when I was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, I invited various Bishops’ Conferences and experts to study this problem: a sacrament celebrated without faith. Whether, in fact, a moment of invalidity could be discovered here because the Sacrament was found to be lacking a fundamental dimension, I do not dare to say. I personally thought so, but from the discussions we had I realized that it is a highly complex problem and ought to be studied further. But given these people’s painful plight, it must be studied further”. [Footnote #3 in the 2011 reprint from L’Osservatore Romano]

[FONT=Calibri][size=3]RETRACTIO: [/size][Published by Sandro Magister Dec. 3, 2014]
[/FONT]b. Today there is another question that imposes itself with great seriousness. Currently there are more and more baptized pagans, meaning persons who have become Christian by means of baptism but do not believe and have never known the faith. This is a paradoxical situation: baptism makes the person Christian, but without faith he remains nonetheless just a baptized pagan. Can. 1055 § 2 says that “between baptized persons there cannot exist a valid marriage contract that is not for that very reason a sacrament.” But what happens if a baptized unbeliever knows nothing at all about the sacraments? He might even have the intention of indissolubility, but he does not see the uniqueness of the Christian faith. The tragic aspect of this situation appears evident above all when baptized pagans convert to the faith and begin a completely new life. This brings up questions for which we still do not have answers. And therefore
it is even more urgent to explore them
.
[Benedict again confirms the concept of a non-sacramental marriage, asking for more study.]

AKIN’S COMMENT
It comes as no surprise, therefore, that Ratzinger should have maintained that it was inappropriate for Kasper to cite his 1972 article in support of his own theses**, as if nothing had happened after that year.**

Akin assumes that Kasper knew full well about the subsequent writings of PE Benedict in 1998 and 2005, but in fairness, he may not have known about them, and nothing was mentioned or changed in them with regard to the “period of penance” in Ratzinger’s 1972 writing.

In his Feb. 2014 speech referencing the idea of a “period of penance” (as Ratzinger had written in 1972), Kasper was unaware that Benedict would retract this earlier opinion ten months after Kasper’s speech.

Yet all the while, we find Benedict maintaining the possibility of a null marriage due to couples not having faith in the sacrament at the time of their marriage, and he expressed his urgency to explore it further.
[/size]

The main point in Akin’s article has to do with Kasper’s continuing support of allowing divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion.

The issue addressed in these sections of the Pope’s writings/talks are not about Holy Communion to divorced and remarried, but what constitutes valid or invalid marriage, and also various rules regarding whether a marriage is sacramental or not.
Akin wasn’t talking about any differences between Pope Benedict and Kasper regarding marriage and divorce. At least I didn’t think so. It had to do with the sections that addressed the reception of Holy Communion by divorced persons.

Again, the Church is at an exploratory phase. I like Papa’s ideas though. I hope they receive due consideration. Specifically, expanding the role of godparents to these people. Second, the idea of receiving a spiritual communion in the form of a blessing by approaching the altar. I could even see where they could be blessed with the Holy Sacrament. However, this might be too much. Really, I guess it is best to wait and see. Once again we see what a great mind and heart this man has.

I agree, but at the time Kasper addressed the Consistory in Feb. 2014, PE Benedict had NOT yet emended his 1972 writing. This was done approximately 10 months later, no doubt due to pressure from Card. Burke, et al. To accuse Kasper of using Benedict’s authority to achieve his own purpose is a flat out lie.

Another problem is that Kasper did not “propose” this as his own thought. He published a book of his actual speech (only 45 pages long), Gospel of the Family, which I own. He did not allude to this concept as coming from Ratzinger’s work, except as noted in my Post #5, saying that this ‘underlies his current reflections’. Rather, as Pope Francis had asked him to do, he simply presented this idea as **one **among **several **other proposals … primarily for the synod’s participants to mull over and enter discussion. Yet the media has been adamant in their insistence that this is his sole promotion, borrowed indiscriminately from Ratzinger.

Going further, Burke published 3 books, 300+ pages, to rebut this simple speech, together with numerous press conferences to make sure the public ‘got the message.’ Burke is still confrontational, almost to the point of being another Lefebvre ready to “resist” Pope Francis, if he would enact legislation permitting them to receive communion, (as per his latest press release).

I realize you folks are victims of the distortions of the media, so I am trying to be patient, but there is much slander in the media, both religious and secular, that is outright deceptive. Reading Akin’s comment, it leaves little doubt as to his lack of charity. One need only to read the title about his poor jaw, as well:

For Cardinal Kasper to publicly cite the 1972 essay in an effort to associate Benedict’s name with and thus promote a position that Benedict has rejected must really come across as twisting the knife.

Read Kasper’s book… he never mentioned Benedict’s name except as I stated in post #5.

Joseph Ratzinger proposed taking up the position of Basil in a new way**. That appears to be an appropriate solution**, one that also underlies my current reflections. We cannot act on the authority of one or other historical interpretation that is still controversial.

A fortiori, we cannot simply replicate the early church’s solutions in our situation, which is completely different.** In our changed situation**, however, we can take up again the early church’s fundamental concern and seek to actualize it in ‘today’s situation’ in a manner that is fair and just in the light of the gospel.

Thank you Pope Benedict, we miss you so very much.

I realize he had not actually put out an emended edition of his 40+ year old book earlier, but he had certainly made public to the whole Church what his “emended” position was in the official CDF document he issued on February 14, 1994 - well in advance of Kasper’s 2014 speech.
(1994 CDF document: vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_14091994_rec-holy-comm-by-divorced_en.html )

Read Kasper’s book… he never mentioned Benedict’s name except as I stated in post #5.

[quote] (from your Post #5)

Joseph Ratzinger proposed taking up the position of Basil in a new way. That appears to be an appropriate solution, one that also underlies my current reflections. We cannot act on the authority of one or other historical interpretation that is still controversial.

A fortiori, we cannot simply replicate the early church’s solutions in our situation, which is completely different. In our changed situation, however, we can take up again the early church’s fundamental concern and seek to actualize it in ‘today’s situation’ in a manner that is fair and just in the light of the gospel.

[/quote]

If that’s all he said about Joseph Ratzinger regarding communion to the divorced and remarried, then I do find it misleading. Those Catholics who have not read the publications of the CDF and popes (and there are many), would be mislead if this statement of Kasper’s was cited in a publication they did read. Kasper includes nothing that would indicate Ratzinger no longer proposes that position. His statement would leave an uninformed reader thinking he and the retired pope hold the same outlook and position regarding communion to the divorced. It would have been very easy for Kasper to say, “Although he no longer holds that position, Joseph Ratzinger in his earlier years proposed taking…” (or something along that line).

I guess my question would be: Why did he even mention Joseph Raztinger’s name and earlier proposal? It certainly wasn’t necessary.

For Cardinal Kasper to publicly cite the 1972 essay in an effort to associate Benedict’s name with and thus promote a position that Benedict has rejected must really come across as twisting the knife.

He could have found a more charitable expression than “twisting the knife”; also the “jaw dropping”. He gets a little passionate/emotional in how he writes.
It is something I really appreciated about Pope Benedict. He tells the truth, but in a charitable and objective manner. Scholarly.

I don’t believe his reason was to embellish his speech by name-dropping. As I stated, Kasper suggested several other “ideas” to the Consistory. It was not necessary to clarify that Ratzinger no longer held that view, in order to make his presentation. In effect, he was giving credit for his proposal to another ‘theologian’ for a particular point of view that is 44 years old. He surely was not capitalizing on PE Benedict to lend greater authority to that viewpoint, for in fact, his many suggestions were simply* that*… suggestions for consideration and further study.

Again, even though he admittedly concurred with Ratzinger’s view at the time of his speech, he had NO authority at all to influence the synod, other than to follow Pope Francis’ direction in simply making the presentation. That’s all. :shrug: And the press RAN with it, distorting it completely.

I probably should read the book again, for it is possible he also mentioned the concept that Benedict presently holds; i.e., that the sacrament of marriage celebrated without faith would nullify the marriage. If my memory is correct, that he did not mention this view, then I maintain that he was unaware of his later writings. If you recall, the 1998 article in L’Osservatore Romano called it a “little known text.” Can we also presume Kasper read the CDF article written in 1994? Is it fair to rashly judge that he had knowledge of all of these without asking him whether he read or knew of them?

Nita, you have been very fair, and I thank you. I wish those who so willingly take up pen and paper to trounce him would do some research first.

Pursuing the examination of whether or not Kasper knew about Benedict’s other documents pursuant to 1972, I checked the book again. He** did** know and mentioned it specifically. My problem in using “Ratzinger” as a keyword for a search of the book, did not locate this. However, there is another keyword I should have tried: “Benedict”.

Kasper stated: “The CDW provided a guideline already in 1994 when it declared – and Benedict reiterated it in the meeting of families in Milan in 2012 – that the divorced and remarried admittedly cannot receive sacramental communion, but can indeed receive spiritual communion. Many will be grateful for this statement, but it also raises questions.”

This puts to death the idea that he was capitalizing on Ratzinger’s 1972 proposal for his own purpose, and ignored his further writings… In fact, this deeply angers me to think that such a position was voiced publicly by notable Catholics in the press, including Akin, who obviously did not read the book. Kasper clearly gave written evidence of his understanding that Benedict had changed his earlier view. Obviously, he was merely repeating the 1972 concept as one of the several suggestions that merited further study and gave credit to Ratzinger’s authorship.

I hope this sets the record straight. I am happy this is now in print for future reference.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.