Secret Consistory: How did other Cardinals react to Card. Kasper’s proposals?

Those of who who read Italian my be interested in an article of Marco Tosatti posted at La Stampa which purports to reconstruct some of the discussion in the now-not-so-Secret Consistory during which Card. Kasper delivered his extremely long and now infamous presentation.

You will recall that the Cardinal suggested a way for the divorced and remarried to receive Communion.   Few, it seems, of the Cardinal agreed or agree now.  I wrote something HERE.  Card. Burke has commented HERE and HERE.

I was struck by a couple points.

Card. Ruini noted that some 85% percent of cardinals who spoke up after Kasper were against Kasper’s proposals.  He opined of those who said nothing that perhaps they were simply “embarrassed”.

Ruini went on to remind everyone of what Bl. John XXIII said at the opening of the Second Vatican Council in his speech called Gaudet Mater Ecclesia… which I now provide (and you can find my PODCAzT on it HERE):

The manner in which sacred doctrine is spread, this having been established, it becomes clear how much is expected from the Council in regard to doctrine. That is, the Twenty-first Ecumenical Council, which will draw upon the effective and important wealth of juridical, liturgical, apostolic, and administrative experiences, wishes to transmit the doctrine, pure and integral, without any attenuation or distortion, which throughout twenty centuries, notwithstanding difficulties and contrasts, has become the common patrimony of men. It is a patrimony not well received by all, but always a rich treasure available to men of good will.

Our duty is not only to guard this precious treasure, as if we were concerned only with antiquity, but to dedicate ourselves with an earnest will and without fear to that work which our era demands of us, pursuing thus the path which the Church has followed for twenty centuries. [...]
… But from the renewed, serene, and tranquil adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness, as it still shines forth in the Acts of the Council of Trent and First Vatican Council, the Christian, Catholic, and apostolic spirit of the whole world expects a step forward toward a doctrinal penetration and a formation of consciousness in faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine, which, however, should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and through the literary forms of modern thought. The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another. And it is the latter that must be taken into great consideration with patience if necessary, everything being measured in the forms and proportions of a magisterium which is predominantly pastoral in character.

Card. Ruini was entirely correct in reminding everyone of what John XXIII famously uttered.

How it is so easily and so often forgotten?  You would think that such lapses in memory were something less than accidental or in the course of nature and its Biological Solution.

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35 Responses to Secret Consistory: How did other Cardinals react to Card. Kasper’s proposals?

  1. McCall1981 says:

    Thank God.
    The article lists some of the Cardianls that spoke against Kasper’s proposals, mentioning: Card Muller, Caffarra, Burke, Brandmuller, Bagnasco, Sarah, Re, Piacenza, Tauran, Scola, and Ruini.
    Here is an English translation of the La Stampa article:
    http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2014/03/very-relevant-exclusive-for-la-stampa.html

  2. Vecchio di Londra says:

    Indeed, Father, I don’t believe there are any lapses of memory. Rather than ‘presenting’ the deposit of faith, many ‘reformers’ want to distort it, to interpret it in a way that is plainly contrary to its essence.

    What can explain, for example, an English bishop claiming (as the Bishop of Brentwood in Essex did this month) that ‘provisions could be made for those Catholics [remarried divorcees] to receive the Eucharist in the same way that non-Catholic Christians are permitted to share Communion.’

    Ah yes, the way ‘non-Catholic Christians are permitted to share Communion’ – now let’s see, what does Canon Law say?
    Canon 844.4 states: “If the danger of death is present or if, in the judgment of the diocesan bishop or conference of bishops, some other grave necessity urges it, Catholic ministers administer these same sacraments licitly also to other Christians not having full communion with the Catholic Church, who cannot approach a minister of their own community and who seek such on their own accord, provided that they manifest Catholic faith in respect to these sacraments and are properly disposed.”

    Are the bishops going to try to regard this bit as a get-out clause?
    “if, in the judgment of the diocesan bishop or conference of bishops, some other grave necessity urges it…”

  3. mrshopey says:

    “He opined of those who said nothing that perhaps they were simply “embarrassed”.”
    That’s pretty telling and sad. I would be embarrassed too.
    Maybe we won’t have a repeat of HV where the wrong people spread the wrong teaching? Maybe?

  4. Frank_Bearer says:

    Of course the real problem is the head of the One, Holy, and Apostolic Church, Pope Francis, praised Kaspar’s two-hour clown show as “a beautiful and profound presentation”.

  5. yatzer says:

    Card. Kaspar’s ideas were presented rather favorably in an article in our diocesan paper. I don’t know what to make of that. How odd.

  6. Bea says:

    There is a big difference between:

    quote:
    “The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another. ”

    It seems to me “they” (our Church leaders) confused doctrine with presentation.

    If memory serves me correctly (I am a member of that age group under which falls the “biological solution”), “they” were afraid the laity were Catholics out of fear, rather than out of love of the Lord and the “new” presentation in a more “modern” way would solve the problem of scrupulosity and/or Jansenism. Personally, I would rather err on the side of scrupulosity than on the side of liberalism. When we began to lose the “Fear of the Lord”, we lost the Wisdom that comes with it. “The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom” Proverbs 9:10/Ecclesiastics Chapter 1/Psalms 111:10 It’s all over the bible, too many instances to quote. “They” thought they would bring a “new” life into the Church, a “springtime” if you will.

    “They” thought that changing Doctrine, changing the Liturgy , etc. would bring change. It brought change all right, but not a “change you can believe in”.

    Campfire ghost stories: “Johnny bring me back my liver” (anybody remember that?)
    Vatican II stories “Johnny (John XXIII) bring me back my Church.”

  7. LarryW2LJ says:

    “Ruini went on to remind everyone of what Bl. John XXIII said at the opening of the Second Vatican Council in his speech called Gaudet Mater Ecclesia…”

    Details. Pesky little details that just get in the way.

    (sarcasm off now)

  8. LeeF says:

    @Frank_Bearer
    ‘Of course the real problem is the head of the One, Holy, and Apostolic Church, Pope Francis, praised Kaspar’s two-hour clown show as “a beautiful and profound presentation”.’

    You are assuming that Francis agreed with Kaspar’s conclusions. A more plausible interpretation is that Francis was praising his framing the problem, but not Kaspar’s proposed “solution” to same.

    While among the participants in the upcoming synod, the western non-red hat bishops likely track far more liberal than the vast majority of cardinals, that won’t be true for bishops from Africa and other areas who will align on the side of true doctrine with more conservative westerners.

    Right now this is just the kind of speculative circus that the media thrives on, and which is causing so many liberals to have high hopes for doctrinal change. Which only sets them up for a bigger fall into the depths of despair once they see the final result. Then as Fr. Z keeps predicting, they will turn on Francis in full force, even as the nutty feminist fringe is now. And hopefully after that they will “vote with their feet” and mosey on down the street to the Protestant denomination that most closely represents their views.

  9. McCall1981 says:

    Frank_Bearer and Lee F,
    Yes, to be fair to Francis, each time he has praised Kasper ‘s speech he has made some qualifying remark like “the Cardinal had five main points in his speech, and only the fifth had to do with remarried divorcees”, etc. So he has made a distinction between Kasper ‘s speech as a whole, vs Kasper’s conclusion on one issue.

  10. Scott Woltze says:

    You know you’ve really blown it when the gentle Cardinal Ruini takes you to task. I had the privilege of taking the good cardinal hiking in Oregon’s coastal range back when I was still a secular academic. I was on my way to work on a PhD in political philosophy, and he kindly asked who my favorite philosopher was. Somewhat embarrassed, I told him, “Machiavelli”. He smiled and laughed and we had a great time. He’s a lamb–I’m sure he prayed for me the entire hike.

  11. Magpie says:

    A good priest said recently to me, ‘put not your trust in princes’. All this funny business is a reminder to me to concentrate on my own faith and my own relationship with God.

  12. LeeF says:

    John Allen, late of Fishwrap and now of the Boston Globe, had a nicely worded tweet today (which I don’t ‘follow’ but merely view as a webpage occasionally to get links to his articles there):

    “The pope hasn’t changed a comma in church teachings, but he’s changed the church at the retail level.”

    I like that phrase, “hasn’t changed a comma”. Fr. Z may wish to add that to his often repeated tag line starting with “meanwhile” re the excomm of Fr. Greg Reynolds.

  13. Justalurkingfool says:

    No, comment.

  14. Bea says:

    Magpie says:
    26 March 2014 at 3:47 pm
    A good priest said recently to me, ‘put not your trust in princes’. All this funny business is a reminder to me to concentrate on my own faith and my own relationship with God.

    Magpie:
    Exactly what a good priest told my husband back in the late 60′s “Just continue to say your prayers and don’t let these things bother you”.

    So that’s what we did, teaching our children their catechism at home and fighting the nuns at our Catholic elementary school every step of the way. These once good traditional nuns were sent to the University of San Diego where they came back with such liberal ideas that, want it or not, “these things” did bother us, so we had to protest. Parents could not understand our protesting certain “bents” that, they (the nuns) were taking and looked on me when I spoke up as a “rebel”. Our children survived, thanks be to God, and kept the Faith, some others did not, and many are in the category of “remarried Catholics” and have had unhappy marriage experiences. The problems that the now-Cardinals must address lies in the seeds that were planted 50 years ago and counting.

  15. Robbie says:

    I’m not sure what to make of this. On the one hand, I it can be argued Francis knew this topic had little support so he decided to use the forum as a way to nip it in the bud without him getting his finger prints all over it. That would certainly be the mark of a savvy politician.

    On the other hand, this issue was raised by Francis on his airplane ride home from WYD. On top of that, he asked one of the idea’s chief proponents to give a speech to the Cardinals. Considering that, I think someone could argue this is an issue Francis favors. He’s certainly allowed the idea to mature over the last nine months or so.

    Thirdly, it could also be argued the leaking of this speech is the first real sign of pushback from the Cardinals. Considering some of the heavyweights who have spoken out in opposition, it might be their way of sending a message for Francis not to get too far out of his lane.

    Fourth and most likely though is this Francis putting to work his call for more collegiality among the Cardinals and Bishops.

  16. donato2 says:

    The reported comments of Cardinals Re and Piacenza were especially powerful I thought.

    Cardinal Re reportedly said: “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.”

    Cardinal Piacenza reportedly 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. … 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.”

    I think Cardinal Piacenza has made a great point. Let’s open this debate up. The bishops must address frankly what is going on and why it is that so many find themselves in “irregular unions.” Is it “pastoral” to wink at this situation and thereby allow it to perpetuate itself? The family is under vicious attack and the attack has intensified dramatically in recent years. The attack is aimed directly at de-sanctifying the family and polluting it with unholy ways. The attack has been hugely successful and is the reason so many are cut off from the Eucharist. It is time for the Church to come to the defense of holiness. That is the way — the only way — to promote the Eucharist.

    Further, if the Church does not defend chastity and holy sexuality, who will? In today’s world it is the Church, and the Church alone, who understands what is wrong with the world’s understanding of sex. It is incumbent on the Church to share that understanding even if it upsets people. If the Church does not do it, no one will and the Church will have failed in her obligations to God and the world.

  17. Vecchio di Londra says:

    donato2 – re opening up the discussion: in principle, yes, but opening up such a discussion in the Church always provokes a one-sided dissident response from the laity. The papally-instigated questionnaire that floated around last November seemed to be answered overwhelmingly by activist ‘professional laypersons’ and ACTA-type ginger groups with an axe to grind – before the rest of us had even heard about it. As soon as we had heard, it disappeared from sight, and we were told it wasn’t intended for the laity to answer. (Not our kind of laity, certainly :-)
    I fear the wiser voices of those such as Cardinals Re, Mueller, Ruini etc will be drowned out before and perhaps even during the synod by the mob of modernist chips-on-shoulders, and the much larger crowd of thoughtless, lukewarm ‘c’atholic solipsists demanding wide and deep theological changes as if it were a human right – with bishops in the middle tending to side with the laity who provide them with their living, rather than with the Cardinals who don’t.
    It’s a fanciful wish, but if the Church only still had its medieval land and property, instead of relying on little weekly envelopes, the bishops could all consider the matter purely theologically, without being influenced by the ‘opinions’ of the laity. The fatal idea that majority voting from the pew should be part of a discernment process in the Church has slipped in the back door without anyone having noticed the catch was off.

  18. robtbrown says:

    Vecchio di Londra says:

    What can explain, for example, an English bishop claiming (as the Bishop of Brentwood in Essex did this month) that ‘provisions could be made for those Catholics [remarried divorcees] to receive the Eucharist in the same way that non-Catholic Christians are permitted to share Communion.’

    I see that he’s past retirement age.

  19. Ignatius says:

    I think all this is providential and will be very good for the Church.

    Finally, the cards are down: on one side the modernists and on the other, the orthodox. The orthodox will prevail.

    Yes, yes and no, no and all that jazz.

    Best regards.

  20. McCall1981 says:

    Ignatius,
    I think the real question is, which of those two sides is Francis on, modernist or orthodox? That’s all that really matters, ultimately, right?
    And I honestly can’t tell.

  21. Vecchio di Londra says:

    robtbrown – Yes, Bishop Thomas has technically retired but remains in post, as his successor has not yet been named. Yet so strange and apparently unorthodox a statement by any bishop must surely perplex the faithful. He cannot be suggesting that the remarried should be treated the same as non-Catholic non-Orthodox Christians who are ‘in danger of death’ yet ‘manifest Catholic faith’ and are ‘properly disposed’. But I can see no other licit exception to the extraordinary permission for Communion currently permitted by Canon 844. The false impression is left in the minds of the untutored faithful that they’ve just blinked and missed a revolutionary volte-face by the Church on the giving of Communion to Protestants, so now anything goes.
    I expect we’ll get a lot of this in the lead-up to the synod. I see another of our bishops, Tom Burns of Menevia, is quoted as calling on the synod ‘to re-build the Church – with good marriages, good families … and good remarriages too!’
    That really does sound like a call for more little weekly envelopes.

  22. LeeF says:

    @McCall1981
    “I think the real question is, which of those two sides is Francis on, modernist or orthodox? That’s all that really matters, ultimately, right?”

    To my mind what really matters, in the long run, is that the Holy Spirit guarantees that true revealed doctrine cannot be falsified, i.e. changed in a permanent way as in an ex cathedra pronouncement that cannot be undone by a future pontiff.

    And overly broad definitions of modernism by 3rd rate theologians in the radtrad camp, the same ones who attempt to turn liturgical questions into doctrine inappropriately (and thus set themselves up as schismatics), are not the standards by which to judge the actions, statements or official declarations of Peter.

    While as in the time of Arianism, many or even a majority of bishops can adhere to heresy, and even a pope when not speaking ex cathedra, the Holy Spirit guards the Deposit of Faith in its entirety from permanent corruption. Either we trust the Holy Spirit, and thus have reason for hope (in the long term), or we don’t

  23. RJHighland says:

    I pray that the schimas for the synoid don’t get thrown out and the Rhine bishops along with quite a few American Bishops put in their own schimas. I could hear Cardinal Dolan now, “I talked to many of my brother bishops and didn’t think there was any way this could pass, I am shocked and appalled! But now since it is the law of the Church I will happly in obediance go along with it.” Our wonderful Cardianls and Bishops always seem to show up to the battle after it is lost and proclaim ignorance. “Shucks and gosh darn it, if I only knew!” Thank God for Cardinal Burke and the other Cardinals that don’t mince words. In my experience though it is the quite ones you always need to be worried about. You know were the out spoken ones stand. I don’t know for sure but I think I have seen this movie before and it is scary as h*!!, and it doesn’t end well for most.

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  25. Ignatius says:

    McCall,
    He will be in the side of the orthodox, of course.
    I believe in the Holy Catholic Church.
    Best regards.

  26. SimonDodd says:

    LeeF said: “To my mind what really matters, in the long run, is that the Holy Spirit guarantees that true revealed doctrine cannot be falsified, i.e. changed in a permanent way as in an ex cathedra pronouncement that cannot be undone by a future pontiff.”

    Yes, but that is not the only way in which damage can be done to the Church. Look at the last fifty years. True, revealed doctrine has not been falsified, and yet we are in disarray and the Church teeters on the precipice of canonizing a man whose choice to hold a council is a but-for cause in uncounted souls going to Hell. Do you not suppose that enormous damage will be done if the Holy See does with remarriage what the American bishops did with Friday penance, remanding it to the consciences of the faithful with the “expectation” that they will do what they are supposed to do?

  27. donadrian says:

    Is not the point of a Secret Consistory that it is secret – i.e. a chance for the Cardinals to discuss things with no holds barred and without having to worry about reactions from outside. Why have there been leaks? Public discussion is surely premature.

  28. kpoterack says:

    “While among the participants in the upcoming synod, the western non-red hat bishops likely track far more liberal than the vast majority of cardinals, that won’t be true for bishops from Africa and other areas . . . ”

    KP: True, but the curial cardinals will be at the synod, as well – and some of the western bishops are “red hats.” Card. Nichols will be there since he is head of the English Bishops conference and, while he didn’t overtly criticize Kaspar, his interviews indicate that he is not particularly supportive. He seemed to think that the direction of the discussion at the consistory was in the direction of seeing that the ‘failure to intend indissolubility’ among modern secular westerners was, inter alia, grounds for more declarations of nullity. (A much more defensible position.)

    Anyway, I am heartened by this report as I just had a sense that the Kaspar proposal didn’t go over anywhere near as well with the cardinals as some of us feared. What I think needs to be done in the short term is prayer and fasting. I also think that someone needs to write a good, scholarly – but short and to the point – rebuttal to the last fifth of Kaspar’s address. Something that can be put in the hands of bishops who will attend the synod.

    Any takers?

  29. robtbrown says:

    donadrian says:

    Why have there been leaks?

    Because people are involved.

    An Army officer told me that as a lieutenant his unit was called together and told that it was going to Viet Nam. They were then told to say nothing because it was still secret. On the way home he stopped to pick up laundry and heard: “Hey, I hear you guys are headed for Viet Nam.”

  30. McCall1981 says:

    Here’s an interesting theory on whats going on from CMR:
    http://www.creativeminorityreport.com/2014/03/the-popes-uber-secret-plan-to-save.html?m=1
    Its basically says Francis is being crafty here, knows Kasper’s proposals dont have support, and is using this Cobsistory/Synod process to kill the proposal without making himself look like the bad guy.

  31. robtbrown says:

    Vecchio di Londra says:
    robtbrown – Yes, Bishop Thomas has technically retired but remains in post, as his successor has not yet been named.

    He’s not listed as being retired.

    Usually, bishops are retired only when a successor is named.

    In certain cases, the bishop is retired without a successor being named–this happened with Bp Matthew Clark of Rochester. It is both a slap in the face of the retiring bishop and a way to weaken his more powerful supporters.

  32. robtbrown says:

    McCall1981 says:
    It basically says Francis is being crafty here, knows Kasper’s proposals dont have support, and is using this Cobsistory/Synod process to kill the proposal without making himself look like the bad guy.

    I tend to agree, but I don’t think he’s trying not to seem the bad guy. More likely, he is gathering support, so that it doesn’t seem like he’s fighting the bishops.

    NB: There is also the resentment toward the German arrogance of wanting to impose their Protestant ideology on the Church.

  33. Vecchio di Londra says:

    robtbrown: Bishop McMahon celebrated a farewell Mass in December 2012, but remains as the bishop because his successor has not yet been appointed.
    The point was in what he actually said about divorce and re-marriage, which is the subject of this post. See my remarks above.

  34. Michel MacDonald says:

    There is an important omission from this translation of Bl. John XXIII’s speech.
    The questionable translation : “The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented is another.”

    It should read:”The substance of the ancient doctrine of the deposit of faith is one thing, and the way in which it is presented KEEPING THE SAME MEANING AND SAME JUDGMENT is another.”

    The original Latin :”Est enim aliud ipsum depositum Fidei, seu veritates, quae veneranda doctrina nostra continentur, aliud modus, quo eaedem enuntiantur, eodem tamen sensu eademque sententia.”

    This can be found at http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_xxiii/speeches/1962/index_en.htm

    The Italian translation is correct, but the Spanish translation omits the translation of the Latin “eodem tamen sensu eademque sententia”.

    The omitted part is important because of what the last sentence stresses: “And it is the latter that must be taken into great consideration with patience if necessary, everything being measured in the forms and proportions of a Magisterium which is predominantly pastoral in character.”

    The eminent moral theologian, Dr. William E. May, who pointed this out to me.

  35. robtbrown says:

    Vecchio di Londra,

    I already saw your remarks above and noted that he is due to be replaced. And a farewell mass is not the same as retirement.