BOOK: Remaining in the Truth of Christ: Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church

CLICK

There are all sorts of rumors out there about how The Book™ is being received in Rome as the days tick off to the opening of the Extraordinary Synod.

The book I am talking about is, of course, the new Remaining in the Truth of Christ: Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church which contains five essays of cardinals, of the archbishop secretary of the Vatican congregation for the Oriental Churches, and of three scholars on the ideas supported by Walter Card. Kasper in the opening discourse of the consistory in February 2014.

Also available now in the UK! HERE

Be careful with rumors that are circulating right now about this book. The rumors mean nothing, until we see the results in the Synod.

Now Catholic World Report has an interview with the editor Fr. Dodaro and one of the contributors, Dr. John Rist.  You should read it.  I liked this bit:

[…]

CWR: Dr. Rist, your chapter focuses on the matter of divorce and remarriage in the early Church. What are some of the key assertions made by Cardinal Kasper about the practices of early Christians? What are some of the problems with his arguments?

Dr. Rist: Cardinal Kasper suggested that the position of the Church Fathers on divorce and remarriage during the lifetime of the other spouse was a open question. This is quite misleading; although there is evidence that a few bishops tolerated that situation, the overwhelmong view of the Fathers (well summed up by Origen) is that such an attitude is totally contrary to Scripture.

If you think about this, and compare it for example with the arguments against women priests, you will recognize that in the latter case the evidence—that Jesus’ Apostles were only male—enables people to infer that he would only ever want male priests. In the case of marriage we are dealing, as the Fathers recognized, with the actual words of Jesus himself, so that unless you want to argue that what we have in the Gospel are not really the words of Jesus at all, but some construct of the early Church, the evidence is clear that Origen’s comment is entirely justified, as the vast majority of the Fathers realized.

CWR: Historically, what key differences are there between how the Western and Eastern churches have interpreted and applied the words of Jesus’ about divorce and remarriage? Does the Eastern Orthodox practice of today offer solutions or alternatives for the Catholic Church? Why or why not?

Dr. Rist: As regards Eastern practice, it seems that, contrary to the view of some of their own clearer thinkers (like Theodore the Studite) they allowed themselves to misread patristic texts, largely under lay (i.e. Imperial) pressure. In this sense they did something like what Henry VIII insisted on doing in England, tolerating second, and even third remarriages,after some sort of penance for the failure of the first one.

If the Catholic church follows this line, the future of its teaching on sex and marriage will become increasingly Anglican.

[…]

This book is a response, in part, to what Pope Francis invited.  Some people want to think that this book is against Pope Francis.  Nope.  Wait until you read it.  Just because all manner of rumor peddlers are trying the make Card. Kasper into Pope Francis’s surrogate in the Synod, that doesn’t mean that the book or its authors are playing that game.

I think the book is a game changer.

Some sharing options...

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in One Man & One Woman, Our Catholic Identity, The Drill, The future and our choices and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to BOOK: Remaining in the Truth of Christ: Marriage and Communion in the Catholic Church

  1. mrshopey says:

    If you take how the discussion went about ABC (they were supposed to be kept secret except the opposing group leaked theirs), those in favor of ABC spreading theirs, then H.V. ignored, this all could be a good thing. A good thing in that the discussion is out in the open and we can look for ourselves to see what was said/not. So, leading up to this one, we are getting a good idea of their take on the subject so when a decision is made we won’t be fooled like last time.
    That is my silver lining.

  2. incredulous says:

    When is Amazon shipping? I can’t wait to read it. Thank you for bringing this book to our attention multiple times.

  3. mrshopey says:

    Cardinal Burke speaks about the media hijacking the Synod on the Family:
    “I don’t think you have to be brilliant to see that the media has, for months, been trying to hijack this Synod,” said Cardinal Raymond Burke, prefect for the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura – the office which, among other things, handles annulment cases in the Church.

    In particular, he told CNA in a recent interview, the media has been presenting Pope Francis as being in favor of allowing Holy Communion to be distributed to those who are divorced and remarried, and other such propositions, even though this is not the case.

    The danger, Cardinal Burke continued, is that “the media has created a situation in which people expect that there are going to be these major changes which would, in fact, constitute a change in Church teaching, which is impossible.”

    “That’s why it’s very important for those who are in charge to be very clear,” he said.
    http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/cardinal-burke-media-hijacking-synod-on-the-family-79760/

  4. Marissa says:

    Can someone argue against Henry VIII’s annulment? He endured the death of his only brother and extreme pressure to keep peace between England and Spain by marrying his brother’s widow, Katherine of Aragon. I think he’d get an annulment today.

  5. Christopher says:

    I have already ordered the “Book”, just waiting for Amazon (through you Fr. Z) to ship it out when it becomes available.

  6. acardnal says:

    Cardinal Raymond Burke, a contributor to this book, explains the sacrament of matrimony in a video interview with Catholic Action Insight:
    http://badgercatholic.blogspot.com/2014/09/video-cdl-burke-thoroughly-explains.html

  7. William Tighe says:

    “Can someone argue against Henry VIII’s annulment? He endured the death of his only brother and extreme pressure to keep peace between England and Spain by marrying his brother’s widow, Katherine of Aragon. I think he’d get an annulment today.”

    This is the best study (by a laicized Jesuit Church Historian and Canon Law expert) of Henry’s three marriage annulments:

    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=kelly+matrimonial+trials

    (*The Matrimonial Trials of Henry VIII* by Henry Ansgar Kelly; 1976, Stanford University Press)

    which those interested in the subject ought to get and read. The brief answer is, no, he wouldn’t get the annulment today. Henry’s argument – the only argument he allowed his advocates to make — was that marriage to a deceased brother’s widow was contrary to Divine Law and that, consequently, no pope had the authority to grant such a dispensation; and, thus, that his marriage to Katherine of Aragon was null and void from the beginning. There was no way that such an argument was going to “fly” in Rome, and so Cardinal Wolsey wanted to make a much more technical argument, alleging that the wrong kind of dispensation had been procured in 1503 to permit the marriage of Henry and Katherine (the dispensation had been from the graver impediment of “consanguinity/affinity,” which assumed that the earlier marriage of Prince Arthur and Katherine had been consummated, rather than a dispensation from the lesser impediment of “public honesty,” which assumed that the earlier marriage had not been consummated, as Katherine had always insisted that it had not been, and as Henry was never willing to swear that it had been [although he allowed others to argue on his behalf that it had been]) – but Henry refused to allow such an argument to be advanced in his case. Kelly demonstrates that as the Canon Law “doctrine” that a dispensation from a grave impediment “automatically” carries with it dispensations from more minor impediments (even if these other impediments are not specifically mentioned in the dispensation) had already triumphed in Rome by 1500, Wolsey’s argument probably would not have got Henry the annulment, either.

    (Nor did Henry endure “extreme pressure” to marry Katherine: his father, Henry VII, refused to let the marriage proceed during his lifetime, and Henry VIII, three months after he became king in April 1509, went ahead and married her of his own free will, when some thought he ought to break the engagement, repay Katherine’s dowery, and send her back to Spain.)

    Now, if Henry could have advanced the “psychological immaturity” argument in the 1530s …

  8. Thorfinn says:

    Even Vincent Cardinal Nichols is skeptical of Cardinal Kasper’s serene theology – in his own way:
    http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2014/09/23/communion-for-remarried-would-require-a-radical-rethink-says-cardinal-nichols/

  9. Marissa says:

    (Nor did Henry endure “extreme pressure” to marry Katherine: his father, Henry VII, refused to let the marriage proceed during his lifetime, and Henry VIII, three months after he became king in April 1509, went ahead and married her of his own free will, when some thought he ought to break the engagement, repay Katherine’s dowery, and send her back to Spain.)

    Now, if Henry could have advanced the “psychological immaturity” argument in the 1530s …

    BTW, I’m playing devil’s advocate here–I very much think Katherine was wronged.

    However, Henry VII likely refused because Henry VIII was so young, only 18 when he became king, and 11 or 12 when Henry VII signed the marriage treaty that Henry VIII would marry Katherine. Your sentence that Henry VII “refused” the marriage is confusing since he did sign the marriage treaty. Henry apparently rejected the marriage at age 14 (did not know this — I’m checking out the Wikipedia entry as I’m more familiar with Henry VIII’s life as king not his early life or Henry VII’s life).

    I think it’s likely he could get an annulment today. His father’s death and subsequent coronation at such a young age, his rejection of the betrothal, his sudden decision to marry Katherine without tying up loose ends regarding the dispensation (as well as marriage pressures in general) would all be juicy “psychological” grounds for “psychic weakness” or “psychic immaturity”.

  10. William Tighe says:

    There is no reliable evidence that Prince Henry, the future Henry VIII, rejected the betrothal at any time or age. It was Henry VII who refused to allow the betrothal to proceed to marriage. We don’t know why – possibly because he believed his son was too young to marry (although Prince Arthur married Katherine two months after his 15th birthday); possibly because he wanted to keep “marriage options” open as long as possible; possibly, even, because he thought of marrying Katherine himself (which would require another papal dispensation). Miser that he was, he probably did not relish returning Katherine’s large dowery, as he would have to do if he had sent the widowed Katherine back to Spain after Arthur’s death, or if he had caused the subsequent betrothal to be broken.

    Furthermore, there were no “loose ends regarding the dispensation” to be tied up in 1509: Henry VII and Ferdinand of Aragon were two of the sharpest and canniest kings in Europe, and they did all that they could to ensure that the dispensation to allow Henry and Katherine to marry would be flawless and unimpeachable.

    As to whether modern “psychological rationales” would have worked for Henry — well, perhaps, he was certainly an egocentric narcissist, “a bit of a bully and a bit of a baby,” as the late Sir Geoffrey Elton characterized him. But whether such a man could or would have been able to undergo the humiliation of representing himself as a psychological basket-case, unable to give the consent necessary to effect a valid marriage, I doubt very much.

  11. Alanmac says:

    “If the Catholic church follows this line, the future of its teaching on sex and marriage will become increasingly Anglican.”
    The Anglican/Episcopal church tried being everything to everybody; it ended up being nothing to nobody. The Anglican church is a textbook model of how to alienate parishoners:
    -monthly theology changes
    -vast sums of money spent on clerics to “find” themselves on retreats
    -gut wrenching loyalty challenges for parishoners
    -empty pews and coffers, loss of serious clergy
    -much easier to go to a sane and stable “other” church
    Please don’t follow down this path to extinction.

  12. McCall1981 says:

    @Thorfinn,
    Interesting.
    And Card Schonborn is another liberal Cardinal that has disagreed with Kasper.

  13. McCall1981 says:

    Card O’Malley has also said (again) that the teaching on communion for the remarried will not change:
    http://www.cruxnow.com/church/2014/09/12/cardinal-omalley-pope-francis-brings-hope/

  14. Marissa says:

    Thank you, William Tighe! That’s good historical ammunition, so to speak. Your last line made me laugh.

  15. Traductora says:

    I think it’s pointless to argue on the basis of Henry VIII and Katherine of Aragon, because everything was different then. We don’t do arranged marriages anymore, for one thing, and we surely don’t promise people off when they’re children.

    Being married if you were a member of royalty was almost worse than being married if you were a peasant. If you were female, you had no control; and if you were male and wanted to inherit the crown or title in question, you actually had very little more control than your female sibling.

    But even under the standards of the times, there was no legitimate reason for him to get an annulment. Strangely enough, Katherine appears to have loved him. He was the typical royal who slept with anything that moved and was discernably female (just like Caterina’s father, Fernando, much to the distress of Isabella).

    However, fertility may have been down in both families, because Henry’s production of male heirs (the father supposedly determines the sex) from any of his wives wasn’t great, and the Spanish monarchy actually ran out because not enough sound male heirs were produced. So there were a lot of factors involved.

    But this doesn’t affect a regular non-royal modern annulment. Or even a royal one. IIRC, it was very hard for one of the chronically badly marrying daughters of Grace of Monaco to get an annulment, and unfortunately it was too late when it finally came through.

  16. William Tighe says:

    “He was the typical royal who slept with anything that moved and was discernably female (just like Caterina’s father, Fernando, much to the distress of Isabella).”

    Maybe not; Henry seems to have suffered from what we might euphemistically term “sexual dysfunction,” and his mistresses/”affairs” were few and brief – unlike, say, his contemporary and rival Francis I of France, who really did die (unlike Henry) of syphillis. When Henry grew weary of Anne Boleyn’s shrewish ways, and concluded that their inability to have a son together meant that their marriage was “cursed by God,” and so decided to find a way out of it, he seems originally to have wished to be rid of her without necessarily executing her, but then when Thomas Cromwell managed to discover that Anne and her intimate circle of attendants used to joke about Henry’s frequent inability to “perform,” he fell into a furious and self-righteous rage, and was willing to believe the stories (which Cromwell concocted) about Anne’s supposed adulteries with various male courtiers, including her own brother, Viscount Rochford – and thus Anne’s trial and execution, and those of several of her supposed paramours, including Rochford.

  17. Theodore says:

    Medical note. It is not uncommon for patients who have severe head trauma to develop hypopituitarism as a result of your brain rattling around in your skull.

    Henry VIII sustained a severe concussion while jousting on 24 January 1536, when, in full armor, he was thrown from his horse, itself armored, which then fell on top of him. He was unconscious for two hours and was thought at first to have been fatally injured.

    Signs and symptoms of hypopituitarism can include changes in mentation, obesity, impotence depending on which trophic hormone producing cells are damaged.

  18. Pingback: Synod Must Address Family Disintegration - BigPulpit.com