At the UK’s best Catholic weekly, The Catholic Herald, William Oddie has his say about Card. Kasper, his odd notions about Communion for the divorced and remarried, the upcoming Synod and Pope Francis.
Read the whole thing HERE, but I can bring you in in medias res:
So why am I so sure that the Pope does support Cardinal Müller’s insistence that there will be no change in the teachings of the Church, despite his warm words about Kasper’s speech? [Remember? Tolerated but not accepted?] For a start, Kasper’s speech is such that you could find it interesting, even to be commended as an intellectual exercise, without agreeing with a word of it. It’s tentative, speculative; I didn’t exactly find it “serene” (incidentally, I seriously wonder if the Holy Father wasn’t teasing Cardinal Kasper when he said that “It is pleasant to read serene theology”; he’s known for his sense of humour) and if Pope Francis had actually agreed with it, wouldn’t he have used rather different wording?
In an interesting opinion piece in the New York Times on Kasper’s proposal, which is roughly that a second “marriage” might be tolerated but not accepted, Ross Douthat comments that “whatever individuals and pastors decide to take upon their own consciences, declaring the reception of Communion licit for the remarried-but-not-annulled in any systematic way seems impossible without real changes — each with its own potential doctrinal ripples — to one or more of three theologically-important Catholic ideas: The understanding that people in grave sin should not generally receive the Eucharist, the understanding that adultery is always a grave sin, and/or the understanding that a valid sacramental marriage is indissoluble.”
If he actually did effect some change of the kind being fondly touted by liberal Catholics, Pope Francis would be either dissolving important Church teachings into incoherence, or else changing them in a way that mainstream Catholics firmly believe that the Pope, any pope, cannot do. [Yep.]
Anyway, I confidently predict that there will be no change and that the Holy Father is NOT preparing the way for one. It’s a matter of his entire attitude to the Church’s doctrinal tradition. Not once has he cast any doubt on his support for what the Church teaches. [As I have been saying.] I draw your attention to one of his little sermons, preached at his daily Mass in the chapel of the Casa Santa Marta in January, and reported on this site but otherwise unnoticed, in which he made it quite clear that fidelity to Church teaching is a fundamental part of belonging to the Church and that we cannot, in his words, use Church doctrine “as we please.”
He defined the three “pillars” of belonging as “humility,” “fidelity” and “special service.” He said that fidelity was the “second pillar: “Fidelity to the Church, fidelity to its teaching; fidelity to the Creed; fidelity to the doctrine, safeguarding this doctrine. Humility and fidelity. We receive the message of the Gospel as a gift and we need to transmit it as a gift, but not as a something of ours: it is a gift that we received.”
Read the rest there. There is a great Chesterton quote.