I had a comment in my messages from an Observant Person who had the misfortune to read an article about Card. Kasper’s remarks on marriage in advance of the Synod.
The Observant Person pulled a strange quote from Kasper via CNS:
“he allowed for the possibility that in very specific cases the church could tolerate, though not accept, a second union.”?
Huh? “Tolerate though not accept”?
There’s marriage and then there’s marriage*
How can the Church tolerate what the Church cannot accept? There is a logical disconnect.
What is this supposed to look like in concrete terms?
Let’s take this into the parish. There are second marriages and they are tolerated but not accepted. How is that going to work? Does anyone think that people will be content for very long knowing that they have a second class marriage? They are tolerated, but not accepted? No, what will happen is that people will come to see the second marriage as the real marriage. The first marriage was the one with training-wheels. No, everyone will come to accept the second marriage as the real marriage.
How is this supposed to work? Are they supposed to do a little penance service before their second marriage is “blessed”? Will Father smile at them with only half of his mouth? In sermons about marriage, will the Bishop talk – with a little sneer – about those people out there with marriages that we Just Tolerate™?
Only tolerated, not accepted. What a window of opportunity that gives us!
Think of the shame factor possibilities.
Hey! I know! This is like “We tolerate homosexuals, but we don’t accept them!” How would that work? Pretty well?
Is this really what we want to be saying?
I can see this now. Father is in the pulpit, and he says: “Please understand this everyone. We only tolerate, but we don’t accept your second marriage!”
What the people in Columbia Heights hear is: “Father said that our second marriage okay!”
And then there are the third marriages. Hey! If second marriage is real-er, then third marriage is really real-er. Good, better, best! Keep on marrying until you get it right.
Like a lot of Kasper’s work, it seems subtle until you start to read it.
I then brought in a couple of my other friendly correspondents to discuss.
One Smart Correspondent wrote back:
[Kasper] wants us to follow the Orthodox into plain error.
Another Smart Correspondent wrote back:
I’m sure what he’s (sloppily – on purpose, I fear) referring to is the possibility of an “internal forum” solution. I maintain that an internal forum solution is only acceptable with the application of the “brother-sister” solution:
“Okay, you’ve made a mistake in divorcing your first wife – your faith was not fully alive at that point, and you did not understand the gravity of what happened, nor is there any objective proof to back up your conviction that that first marriage was invalid. Then, still in darkness, you entered into a subsequent union, have settled down, raised a family with this second woman and now have revived your baptismal faith. You would like to practice that faith and receive the sacraments. Fine – the Church won’t ask you to separate bed and board from the mother of your children. Yet, we cannot “bless” this second union while your wife is alive, nor can you engage in marital intimacy with this woman (no one has an absolute right to sexual activity – something our society seems to forget). As long as your former marriage is not well-known to the parish, and your status does not cause wonderment here, you can go to confession and receive Holy Communion, living a life of continence and chastity with the mother of your children as long as your current status perdures.”
That is, of course, the way this has to be done.
People make mistakes in life and some mistakes just can’t be fixed. Therefore, we move forward with the difficult path, but the only path that preserves charity and integrity. Will people “fall” or “fail” in these situations? Sure, they will. Then they regroup, resolve, confess, and move forward, until they die.
This is how life works: not every mistake can be “fixed”.
More on the wisdom of Card. Kasper from the Canonical Defender!
Check out Ed Peters’ post at his fine blog In The Light Of The Law.
Another of my Smart Correspondents writes:
In itself, [Kasper’s] statement is unintelligible: toleration and acceptance mean the same thing. These terms cannot logically be contrasted as they are here.
His is pseudo-casuistry. Possibility really means in actual practice, very specific cases means upon demand, tolerate means accept and declare an adulterous union not sinful.
This speech was highly praised by Pope Francis, as being theology done on the knees. Wow. This in fact is a worldly accomodationist rejection of Catholic doctrine by a Cardinal of the Sanctae Romanae Ecclesiae. Error is bold and undocile.
The Italian daily Il Foglio has published the entire text of Card. Kasper’s controversial and very long talk. HERE