I keep coming back to the position of Card. Kasper about second “marriages”. HERE That innuendo about a solution for second marriages … that we might fudge just enough to “tolerate though not accept” them…, well… it just bugs me.
How do we “tolerate though not accept”?
What else do we “tolerate though not accept”?
Over at Mundabor I saw this amusing entry:
Concerning Cardinal Kasper’s fifth column work, more or less asking that we “tolerate” what we cannot “accept”, the rather baffled Father Z asks: “what else do we tolerate though not accept?”
I have an answer there.
In Italy, brothels were called case di tolleranza. I was always told, and have always taken for granted, that this is because the Church could not allow or in any way consent to the existence of brothels, but considered not fitting to crack down on them. This is the reason why in the Roma papalina prostitution was rife; be it because of the presence of an army of priest, not all of them very chaste, be it because of the position of Rome as an extremely important destination for pilgrimages, then largely the preserve of men, with the consequences anyone who is not a finishing school girl can easily imagine.
Therefore, in order to avoid the huge pressure to which girls would have been subjected in case of crackdown on brothels, the Papal States chose to tolerate brothels. Not “authorise”, mind; simply renouncing to a massive crackdown on a factual situation out there; a situation to which the Church lent no assistance or support whatever, forbidding the visit of brothels and constantly reminding of the consequences of sin on one’s soul.
This is the only example of “toleration” I know. I notice here that when brothels were outlawed in Italy in 1957, this was out of the initiative of a feminist Socialist female senator, enthusiastically followed by her own party and the Communists. Neither during Fascism nor during the dominance of the Democrazia Cristiana in the De Gasperi era did the governments of the day move to crack down on brothels: tolleranza was considered the best choice, and actually since Fascism also a strict regulation (for medical reasons, mainly) followed.