The following comes from a Mar. 5 story on the Catholic News Agency website.
Roberto de Mattei, an Italian historian, has written about Cardinal Walter Kasper’s Feb. 20 address to cardinals on marriage and the family, calling it a “resounding revolution of culture and praxis.”
The column, authored by the chair of the history department at the European University of Rome, appeared in Il Foglio March 1 immediately following the full text of Cardinal Kasper’s address; it was translated into English by Francesca Romana at Rorate Caeli March 2.
de Mattei characterized the cardinal’s address as an example of the slogan, “repeated for a year now,” that “doctrine does not change, the novelty regards only pastoral praxis.”
“On the one hand it pacifies those conservatives who measure everything in terms of doctrinal statements,” de Mattei wrote, “and on the other hand it encourages those progressives who attribute little value to doctrine and confide everything in the primacy of praxis.”
“Immediately after stating the need to remain faithful to Tradition, Cardinal Kasper advances two devastating proposals to avoid the perennial Magisterium of the Church in matters of the family and marriage,” de Mattei wrote.
The prefect emeritus of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity had delivered his address at the extraordinary consistory on the family, to some 150 cardinals, as well as Pope Francis.
The historian said that Cardinal Kasper began his address on those divorced and remarried reflecting on the “abyss” that exists between Church teaching and the convictions of many Christians.
“The Cardinal, however, neglects to formulate a negative judgment on these ‘convictions’ antithetic to the Christian Faith … in no part of his report it is said that the crisis of the family is the consequence of a programmed attack on the family, fruit of a concept from the secularist world which is opposed to it.
de Mattei faulted the cardinal for failing to “express even one word of condemnation on divorce and its disastrous consequences” in the section of his address which concerned the divorced and remarried.
“But hasn’t the moment arrived to declare that most of the crisis in the family goes back actually to the introduction of divorce and the facts demonstrate that the Church had been right in combating it?”
“In Kasper’s view,” according to de Mattei, the method to deal with the crisis of divorce is to “change the doctrine, without showing that it has been modified.”
The historian said this would be to open the doors to “the systematic violation, on the level of praxis, of that dogmatic tradition where the words affirm it legally binding.”
de Mattei criticizes Cardinal Kasper’s use of papal documents and addresses, magisterial documents, and the Church fathers, to support his proposals.
According to de Mattei, “the first way in the thwarting of Tradition” advances from the cardinal’s use of Bl. John Paul II’s apostolic exhortation Familiaris consortio.
That document specifies, he said, that the judgement of a marriage’s validity is up to “ecclesiastical tribunals, instituted by the Church to defend the sacrament of marriage.”
Noting that Cardinal Kasper suggested alternatives to such tribunals – including the task being entrusted to a priest – de Mattei pointed out that the use of tribunals “guards the search for the truth, guarantees the outcome of a just trial, and demonstrates the importance which the Church attributes to the Sacrament of Marriage and its indissolubility.”
He said that “Kasper’s proposal calls into question the objective judgement of the ecclesiastical tribunal, which would be substituted by an ordinary priest no longer called on to safeguard the good of marriage, but to satisfy the needs of individual consciences.”
de Mattei called the cardinal’s words “offensive” to the tribunals which are based on documents and acts “all aimed at the ‘salvation of souls,” adding that “it is easy to imagine how the annulment of marriages would spread, introducing de facto Catholic divorce, if not by law, incurring devastating damage to good of human persons.”
The historian then discussed Cardinal Kasper’s suggestion that because those who are divorced and remarried can make an act of spiritual communion, they might also receive sacramental Communion, calling it a “leap ahead.”
“The centuries old praxis of the Church,” de Mattei noted, has “no contradiction.” Those who have remarried while their spouse is still alive “are in mortal sin, but they can make a spiritual communion, because even if they find themselves in grave sin, they must pray to obtain the graces necessary to come out of sin.”
He then turned to the cardinal’s use of the Church Fathers – in which he suggested that such leaders as Origen, St. Basil, St. Gregory Nazianzen, and St. Augustine, supported a practice in which Christians could enter a second relationship, while their spouse was still alive, “after a period of penitence.”
“It is a pity that the Cardinal does not give his patristic references, because the historical reality is completely different from what he describes,” wrote the historian….
To read the entire story, click here.
LUKE 11:46 — Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.”
So, I’m not too worried about the “Tribunals” being devastated when Cardinals talk about real people with real struggles.
These “Tribunals” are often staff by people who get addicted to THE LAW, and make good Catholics jump through impossible hoops regarding marriage, divorce, remarriage, and a whole host of other problems.
MATTHEW 19:10-12 — 10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”
11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”
Henry VIII could not change Christ’s teaching and neither will Cardinal Kasper. Some practical streamlining of the tribunals may be in order, but does not God, as the third partner in every Catholic marriage, have a right to have His Laws defended? “If you love Me, keep My Commandments”. And I must express (as one who has walked this earth 57 years) that I am heartily tired of our so-sophisticated moderns who boast of their maturity but act like adolescents when it comes to promises they freely made but wish to back out of when things get tough or when the other side of the fence (as in a potential new “partner”) looks greener. If that makes me seem a Pharisee, so be it..
Cardinal Kasper is another example of what is not said is more important than what is said. Pope Francis said in regards to a homosexual priest, “Who am I to judge?” but did not say that homosexual acts are wrong. Yesterday he indicated that he could support same-sex unions. Is not this supporting homosexual acts?
“Thou shall not commit adultery.” – GOD
6th Commandment (not 6th suggestion). Ex 20:14.
” But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female. For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one. So they are no longer two but one.
What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder.” – JESUS –
“ Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery.” – JESUS – Mk 10:11-12.
Those who are validly married (whether physically living with the spouse or not) commit adultery when they have sexual relations with someone else. This adultery is on-going when they continue to have these illicit relations.
CCC: ” 1650 Today there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions. In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ – “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery” the Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was.
If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities.
Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in COMPLETE CONTINENCE. “
CCC: ” 1651 Toward Christians who live in this situation, and who often keep the faith and desire to bring up their children in a Christian manner, priests and the whole community must manifest an attentive solicitude, so that they do not consider themselves separated from the Church, in whose life they can and must participate as baptized persons.
They should be encouraged to listen to the Word of God, to attend the Sacrifice of the Mass, to persevere in prayer, to contribute to works of charity and to community efforts for justice, to bring up their children in the Christian faith, to cultivate the spirit and practice of penance and thus implore, day by day, God’s grace. “
The holy scriptures teach us that, if any new doctrine is introduced which goes against what Our Lord said, then we know it is heresy. To go against Christ’s words, as well as what sacred tradition has taught for almost 2000 years, is horrible. We are changing the Church from a God-made institution into a man made one. The English martyrs , Thomas More and John Fisher, as well as thousands of others, died rather than accept King Henry VIII’s divorce as legal. This new ruling, if it comes to pass, is a sham, and it is a disgrace to the Catholic Church. The Church will always be here, but it will be very small, and underground unless this nonsense cease.
Thank you, Father, for not pulling any punches in your assessments. Too many forget that it is the quality of the sacrifice that matters, not so much the quantity.
God give us true martyrs for the Faith!
I would like to say the following to Cardinal Kasper and many other Bishops (and Priests) – –
Much of the generalized apostacy of Catholics regarding lack of attending Sunday Mass, divorce with remarriage, contraception, sodomy marriage, etc., is your fault.
You are guilty for this general apostacy because you did not, and are not teaching the Faith as required.
You do not encourage all literate Catholics to read the Bible (especially the New Testament, and the “Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition” at home.
People do not know their Faith and the reasons “why” in entirety. Therefore they can not accurately teach their children and others.
Hosea 4.6: “ My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge,I reject you from being a priest to me.” – GOD
It is not pastoral to ignore mortal sin, not is it pastoral to confirm others in mortal sin.
The crux of the problem lies in the contraceptive mentality. If catholics reject humanae vitae it is a mortal blow to their soul and to the church. They live in sin no matter how good they seem to be otherwise. Sin destroys the marriage ultimatly.
I don’t quite get the connection between the quotations of Anonymous and his intent to use them.
The existence of the tribunals are a sign of how important marriage is to the Christians. So, if they make decisions, they are not made to satisfy a “cultural revolution” but to decide difficult and unusual cases, where ‘marriage’ never was a marriage, and therefore can be declared null and void.
But as Anonymous quoted: even marriage is not for every one.
Cardinal Kasper seems to want to have the Church adjust to the temporary “culture”, instead of the other way around. We would then be adjusting to anything all the time, and the Word of God would be rendered without authority.
I think Crdl Kasper is presenting himself like his name says (in German) – a joker.
I think that the Church’s first duty, is to return to a very strong, solid, and unquestionably clear teaching and formation of all clergy and laity, in Catholicism!! The Catholic Church has been utterly disintegrated and destroyed, since Vatican II!! No one understands, any longer, just what it means, to be a good, practicing Catholic, on a daily basis!! Even today’s clergy has “abandoned ship!” We are certainly not here on Earth, to please the false, modern, secular, non-Catholic and unChristian “fallen” world, with “King Lucifer” as its Lord and Master! The Catholic Sacrament of Marriage is HOLY!! It is not like a “worldly” secular marriage! The Catholic home and family is SACRED!! It is not like a “worldly” home and family! Jesus is supposed to be the head of the Catholic home and family, and our Blessed Mother is supposed to help sanctify the Christian marriage, home, and family! The Bride takes a bouquet of flowers to the Blessed Mother, during the traditional Catholic Wedding Mass, and kneels to ask the Blessed Mother’s blessing, and to consecrate herself to Our Lady, as a Catholic wife and future mother! The traditional Catholic Wedding Mass is so beautiful! Devout, mature, responsible practicing Catholics should not have so many problems, choosing a good marriage partner, and living out their lives, together, practicing their Faith! The Church really needs to return to God, and to teaching ONLY the Catholic Faith, as soon as possible!! Otherwise, all is lost, in the hopeless “shipwreck” of the “fallen,” secular and modern world!!
How can anyone expect God to bless a marriage when the Bride and Bride’s maids are practically falling out of their dresses? Where are the priests who used to counsel those wishing to be married in the Church on the Church’s teachings on proper modesty, and subsequently tell them that if they showed up for the weddding immodestly dressed, there would be no wedding?
May God have mercy on an amoral Amerika!
Viva Cristo Rey!
God bless, yours in Their Hearts,
Kenneth M. Fisher, Founding Director
Concerned Roman Catholics of America, Inc.
Kenneth, there are priests in the mid-west who are being chastised for requiring “modest” dress for weddings. It is on the web. They are an order brought in by the Bishop to run a number of parishes. I can’t remember the name of the order.
But, your valid concern is not popular in the pastoral world. On the other hand, I think you are accustomed to that.:)
No one should get one’s hopes up about Card. Kasper, and everyone should wonder what was the reason that he was chosen to give the address at the recent cardinals’ consistory the past week. Unless P Francis intends to change the historic teaching on marriage and divorce—it is hard to find any other explanation.
In 1993, Kasper as then bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart [I couldnt make that name up! ], signed in his official capacity a letter that advocated ” allowing divorced and remarried German Catholics to return to the sacraments”. At that time, then-Card. Ratzinger reproved him and corrected the claims of the letter (there were other signers in the Rotten-conference of German bishops).
All this is a search by certain media-loving cardinals in Germany, France and Austria (especially) for relevancy. You have a situation where cardinals and bishops like Kasper, Muller, now-retired Lehmann and a long list of others in Germany (you could also say this of other European countries, esp. France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria) have no priestly vocations (or nearly none), no Mass attendance, nearly no Catholic youthful involvement in the Church, and a social structure in a very wealthy state (Germany) that is rotten to its core. You can walk down any street in any German city (just about) and see the young people stoned out on heroin and designer drugs, just for one example , and most of them foregoing getting married, becoming committed, and having families. There is a hopelessness among the young.
They are not changing the teaching on marriage and divorce. It is divinely revealed Truth from our Lord Jesus Christ. It is in both Scripture and Tradition.
The idea is to do like Vatican Council II did. Say you do not change dogma but anyway go ahead and change everything in the name of aggiornamento (e.g. The Mass). The ends justify the means to Jesuits. To have priests confess you and forgive so one can receive the Host is in agreement with modern man. But the Who I am to Judge mentality Pope Francis introduced into the veins of the Church leads inevitably by its logic to Gay Marriage, which is what they seek now. The Synod will get this latest poison flowing and then they will think of something else. Casuistic Pelagians of the World, beware!
Our Blessed Lord taught: WHEN YOU MEAN YES, SAY YES, WHEN YOU MEAN NO, SAY NO. Anything else is from the devil. Christ also said IF YOU ARE LUCK WARM I WILL VOMIT YOU OUT OF MY MOUTH. How much more direct can one be? Liberalism and modernism takes some truth, and mixes it up with lies. That is the problem. Where there is confusion, there is the devil, the father of lies and deception.
Another thing, following up on Fr K: All these great Vatican II-types—esp. Lehmann and the late Dopfner and Rahner and [soon-to-be-self-annihilated] Hans Kung [Kasper was a student of Kung’s], the mentors of Kasper and Muller and their ilk—All PROMISED us there would be a great Catholic revival, a “New Pentecost” (the great claim of Card Leo Joseph Suenens) ats a result of Vatican II. The real result? Nil at best, and a catastrophe more exactly the reality.
Kenneth, when you write, “How can anyone expect God to bless a marriage when the Bride and Bride’s maids are practically falling out of their dresses?” well, I just have to ask myself: where does this guy go for Mass?
It sound like your parish is pretty wild, if the bridesmaids are falling out of their dresses.
Custody of the eyes, my dear fellow, custody of the eyes!!! :)
God have mercy on an amoral Anaheim, Kenneth!
“Have merrrrcy,” is the saying that comes to mind for me. That is women, especially in God’s house, have mercy. That doubles down at a wedding where one is supposed to be celebrating a spiritual union and not a hot-damn-he’s-a-lucky-sob-fest. :)