Thursday, March 27, 2014

Credit where credit is due

I didn't think they had it in them, but I'm happy to be wrong this time: More and more Cardinals are saying that Cardinal Kasper is full of it (and they don't mean sanctity or unction):
The Kasper controversy (with the attempt by Cardinal Kasper, invited by the Pope as the keynote speaker, to undermine and destroy the Catholic dogma of the indissolubility of the matrimonial bond) dominated the consistory discussions of February. Some had given the impression that all were quite pleased with the views presented by Cardinal Kasper - Cardinal Müller (see notes at the end) had been quite clear about the issue since the second half of 2013, but the first member of the College of Cardinals to speak up clearly in public following the consistory was Cardinal Caffarra, followed by Cardinal Burke.

Marco Tosatti explains, however, that from day one the College of Cardinals was in its majority against the "Kasper Doctrine", whose practical effect would be the complete destruction of the edifice of the Sacramental Theology of Matrimony and Penitence, a disregard for the Most Holy Sacrament, and a frontal assault to the words of Christ Himself, maintained by the Catholic Church without interruption and even in grave adversities (e.g. the Henry VIII schism or the ongoing struggle against polygamy in Africa) for 2000 years.
Us Americans are often accused of believing ourselves to be the center of gravity in the Catholic Church. On this issue, it's the German bishops who are making so much noise about admitting adulterers to communion, in part because they have a financial interest in keeping as many butts in the pews as possible due to German tax laws. Fortunately, other churchmen are also speaking out:
Is the most serious problem confronting Catholic families today the fact that the Church does not consider divorced and remarried Catholics suitable to receive Holy Communion? I don’t think so. I doubt most Catholics would. But in the run-up to the October Synod on the Family a number of influential churchmen seem to be of the opinion that this is the most significant problem we must deal with, and deal with in a way that the Church has never done before. A full court press is on by those who advocate that the Church change her teaching and practice on this matter.
 The teaching itself cannot be changed. Cardinal Kasper overplayed his hand. Modernists generally don't wage full frontal assaults on doctrine. Instead they try to make exceptions so large that the doctrine becomes a dead letter in practice. The problem with this is that it's no so much pastoral sensitivity as vicious cruelty. We don't exclude the divorced-and-civilly-remarried from communion to be mean but rather to ensure they don't add the sin of sacrilege on top of their repeated sin of public adultery. In practice, the communion line operates more or less on the honor system. Father isn't going to interrogate you about your moral and spiritual life before giving you our Blessed Lord in the sacrament. There's a world of difference between the Church officially condemning a practice while leaving its enforcement to our own consciences, as opposed to officially condoning the sins of both adultery and sacrilege. I pray that Pope Francis does the right thing. I wasn't around back then, but from what I've read it feels like we're moving toward Humanae Vitae 2: Electric Boogaloo.

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