Card. Arinze speaks on issues discussed at the Synod

The formerly nearly ubiquitous John L. Allen, Jr. has an outstanding interview with the great Francis Card. Arinze, 82 year old Cardinal Bishop of Velletri-Segni and quondam Prefect of Divine Worship.  Allen dubs His Eminence as Africa’s Lion in Winter.

HERE

You should read the whole thing, but here are a couple samples.  Note the Cardinal’s unhesitating clarity.

You are convinced it’s not possible to invite divorced and civilly remarried Catholics to Communion?

That is correct, in the sense that Christ has said, “What God has joined, let no man put asunder,” and the Catholic Church traditionally has interpreted it to mean that a consummated marriage sanctified by the sacrament cannot be broken by any authority.

Including the authority of the Church?

Yes, not even the authority of the Church can break it. That being so, if a man leaves a woman or asks her to go away, or she does the same, and they get a fresh partner, that can’t be approved. Christ has one word for a person who does that: “Adultery.” We cannot improve on what Christ has said. We cannot be wiser than him, or say that “there is a circumstance he did not foresee.” We cannot be more merciful than Christ.

We must look for a way to help the divorced who are remarried, [but] we don’t help them by saying, “Come and receive Holy Communion.”

The Eucharist is not something we possess, and we can give to our friends and those with whom we sympathize …. The idea of sin is not something new invented by modern conservative people in the Church. It is Christ himself who called it a sin, and he used that word “adultery.” He knows what he’s talking about. Without departing from Christ, how can we backpedal?

Remember, only God will conduct the last judgment, not us, not even half a dozen cardinals from the Vatican. God will judge each person’s circumstances, but objectively we cannot approve [divorce and remarriage].

[…]

There has been conversation in the synod about a finding a “new language,” especially on homosexuality, meaning something that’s more inclusive and welcoming. How does that look from the African perspective?

I would be suspicious, because I would wonder what type of new language you want. Shouldn’t we call things by their name, calling good “good” and evil “evil”? We don’t condemn the person, but we don’t approve the action.

One of the duties of bishops is to teach, and it is very important that the Gospel be undiluted, without adding salt or pepper, but without subtracting them, either. The message is not ours. Christ’s message must shine clearly on what marriage is. If two men come together for business purposes, we’re not worried about that. But if they begin to call it marriage, don’t you see that it’s not all right anymore?

[NB: And now what I think is out Nightmare Scenario, one of the worst of possible products of this Synod…] Some at the synod have talked about allowing decisions on the divorced and remarried or on homosexuality to be decentralized, made at the level of regional or national bishops’ conferences or by individual bishops. How do you feel about that?

Are you going to tell me that we can have a national bishops’ conference in one country that would approve something which, in another conference, would be seen as sin? Is sin going to change according to national borders? We’d become national churches. Have there not been other religious affiliations in the world that came dangerously near to that?

National bishops’ conferences are important and should have a clear role, [a very limited role, perhaps] but I don’t think it should include these areas. It looks dangerously like nationalizing right and wrong.

[…]

There’s quite a bit more.

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17 Responses to Card. Arinze speaks on issues discussed at the Synod

  1. juergensen says:

    May God bless Cardinal Arinze and all faithful Successors of the Apostles who are standing up for the Faith and the Church and against “the smoke of Satan” at the Synod (Last Saturday at the Synod, Archbishop Tomash Peta confirmed: “During the Synod last year, ‘the smoke of Satan’ was trying to enter the aula of Paul VI. Unfortunately, one can still perceive the smell of this ‘infernal smoke’ in some items of the Instrumentum Laboris and also in the interventions of some Synod Fathers this year.”)

  2. Grumpy Beggar says:

    Thanks for posting this Padre – Even though there’s “quite a bit more”. I only had a little bit of time today to read on the net, and you managed to leave on the tray a brief but choice portion for those of us who are in a rush (off to Mass – will remember to pray for you and Cardinal Arinze at the consecration).

    GB

  3. jaykay says:

    Great to see hear from Card. A. again, and to see him looking so well. For me, this comment neatly summarised the entire issue:

    ” The idea of sin is not something new invented by modern conservative people in the Church. It is Christ himself who called it a sin, and he used that word “adultery.” He knows what he’s talking about. Without departing from Christ, how can we backpedal?”

  4. Johnny Domer says:

    Reading this interview, I really question why the Church’s law doesn’t allow cardinals in their 80’s to vote in Papal elections. I guess I’d hate to let people like Daneels, Kasper, et al. get to vote again, but in principle it seems silly to exclude perfectly healthy, intelligent, wise, sane, and (in Arinze’s case) holy men from the electoral process.

  5. frahobbit says:

    Wham! Home run! He knocked it out of the park! God ple as e protect and bless him!

  6. Traductora says:

    If there’s anything good about this Synod, it’s that the orthodox are finally coming forward and unashamedly declaring themselves. I honestly don’t think that Francis and his gang expected such resistance and I think they’re frantically trying to come up with another tactic.

    Somebody on another blog or board that I read called them the Keystone Kops of Machiavellianism, so maybe their own ineptitude will do them in.

  7. arga says:

    The Cardinal properly notes, “Is sin going to change according to national borders?” Of course it cannot. But what about the varying national regulations on abstinence and fasting? In some jurisdictions (Britain, now, I think) abstinence from meat is observed every Friday and to eat meat on a Friday is a sin. But it is not in the USA because the bishops here have not adopted that rule. Please clarify. I realize this is “discipline” and therefore open to change but nevertheless it seems to be a matter in which geography decides whether a sin occurs.

  8. TNCath says:

    Apparently Archbishop Cupich hasn’t read this article on Cardinal Arinze’s views. He’s already made it known that his archdiocese will do whatever it takes to allow the divorce and remarried and those living in homosexual relationships to go to Holy Communion.

  9. robtbrown says:

    TNCath says:

    Apparently Archbishop Cupich hasn’t read this article on Cardinal Arinze’s views. He’s already made it known that his archdiocese will do whatever it takes to allow the divorce and remarried and those living in homosexual relationships to go to Holy Communion.

    Bernardin Part II. After he had worked his magic in Chicago, mass attendance and contributions declined.

  10. robtbrown says:

    arga says:

    The Cardinal properly notes, “Is sin going to change according to national borders?” Of course it cannot. But what about the varying national regulations on abstinence and fasting? In some jurisdictions (Britain, now, I think) abstinence from meat is observed every Friday and to eat meat on a Friday is a sin. But it is not in the USA because the bishops here have not adopted that rule. Please clarify. I realize this is “discipline” and therefore open to change but nevertheless it seems to be a matter in which geography decides whether a sin occurs.

    That in the West there is, or could be, observance or non observance of the Friday abstinence depending on the nation all but eliminates it, IMHO, as subject of sinful matter.

  11. Kathleen10 says:

    How many times I have watched Cardinal Arinze over the years, on EWTN. He never disappoints. Whatever he is talking about, he always adds some fresh or interesting perspective, and does it with his usual warmth and humor. The man hardly ages. He looks just the same as he did in the 1990’s. God bless him for his fidelity to Christ. Why can’t all Cardinals be like him.

  12. TNCath says:

    robtbrown:”Bernardin Part II. After he had worked his magic in Chicago, mass attendance and contributions declined.”

    Good! I hope the Archdiocese goes bankrupt thank to this “Judas-archbishop.”

  13. Bea says:

    What an awesome man
    What an awesome Cardinal
    Truth shines forth like a beacon from his lips.
    I guess according to some “thinkers” Truth will now need a passport.

    I especially loved his statement:
    “We cannot improve on what Christ has said. We cannot be wiser than him, or say that “there is a circumstance he did not foresee.” We cannot be more merciful than Christ.”
    Laughed out loud with “there is a circumstance He did not foresee.”

    arga and robtbrown
    I remember many moons ago, when this was explained, (meat OK on Fridays) that there were those who loved fish and this was no sacrifice to give up meat, it was then necessary to substitute the meatless Friday penance with an act of charity, eg: visiting the sick, saying extra prayers for someone, etc.
    All anyone remembered was no meat on Friday.

    On the side a newspaper in Mexico was recently advocating what some animal/ecology lovers wanted done globally. They had prominent signers (from Mexico) and were asking to spread the word. They were asking for a meatless Monday for a day to spare animal’s lives and help the ecology. This meatless-Monday, that they were promoting, not just for individuals, but for all restaurants and eateries to take meat off their menus on Mondays. They can’t do it Fridays for God but lets do it on Monday for the ecology. What a joke/the world turned upside down/go figure.

  14. Bea says:

    I said
    All anyone remembered was no meat on Friday.
    Meant to say:
    All anyone remembered was meat OK on Friday.

  15. acardnal says:

    Kathleen10 wrote, “The man hardly ages. He looks just the same as he did in the 1990’s. “

    I read that Cardinal Arinze enjoyed playing tennis and that is an activity that has probably helped to keep him in good health over the years. I had the pleasure of meeting Cardinal Arinze at a conference in the 1990s in Philadelphia. He was the Prefect for the Congregation on the Sacraments and the Liturgy at the time. I’ve always admired him.

  16. tskrobola says:

    Francis has made it pretty clear from his writings and actions that he intends to liberalize the Church’s teaching by promoting ultra-liberal officials to speak for the Church and to control the message regarding teaching and “pastoral care” of married/divorced/remarried folks, gays, communion, and so on (Kasper, Rosica, Cupich, etc) and by encouraging synods and national councils to redefine morality through “pastoral care”.

    While seeming to decentralize authority away from the Papacy (at least in a way that makes it hard for a future conservative to restore traditional discipline and sanity), Francis knows that he will still hold tremendous sway over national councils and synods by having personally empowered them, and also because he’s made himself immensely popular and powerful by enlarging and dramatically liberalizing the modern Papal cult of personality.

    …without actually formally changing any teaching/doctrine, Francis may yet succeed at a complete dissipation of the true authority of the RCC regarding teaching/doctrine over the next 5-10 years.

  17. JesusFreak84 says:

    Reading the Cardinal’s words was like a sight for sore eyes!