Card. Kasper invokes journalist war against another Cardinal?

Card. Kasper looks around for people to blame for his own enormous gaffe.  But the ending is a little … dunno… threatening?

From CWR. Go there for links and other stuff.

The controversy about statements made last week about African bishops and their contributions to the Synod on the Family by the Roman Curial prelate Cardinal Walter Kasper continues. Most recently BILD-Zeitung [a German tabloid newspaper] took up the topic last Friday and headlined its story: “Racism Blooper?” BILD also quoted a German bishop who opined, “Insulting, lying and falsely accusing is not prescribed by the Catechism.” There was criticism about Cardinal Kasper’s remarks over the weekend, as Cardinal Raymond Burke calledthe remarks “profoundly sad and scandalous” in an interview with CWR.

Cardinal Kasper has now offered a qualified apology for his statements and expressed his esteem for the Church in Africa. Kasper had previously denied he’d made the remarks attributed to him by journalist Edward Pentin, then stated that he had been recorded speaking to journalists without his knowledge. Kasper himself has now confirmed to that he had had a conversation with three journalists. In Kasper’s opinion, though, it was not an interview; there has to be an agreement for an interview as such. Then the Cardinal made it clear:

“If one of my remarks about Africans was perceived as demeaning or insulting, then I am honestly sorry. That was and is not my intention, and not my view at all. No one will deny that Africa’s culture is different from Europe’s in many respects. But I have been in Africa too often not to esteem African culture highly.” [Translated for CWR by Michael J. Miller]

Cardinal Kasper was quoted by Pentin as describing the problems of the African Church as “impossible” for the synod to solve, while saying that the African bishops “should not tell us too much what we have to do.” The publication of Kasper’s comments to Pentin, his disavowal of them, and the subsequent release of the full audio of the interview were the source of much controversy late last week as the bishops concluded the two-week Synod on the Family. Some speculated that the appointment of Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of South Africa to the committee responsible for drafting the synod’s final document was a response to Kasper’s remarks.

Another comment made by Cardinal Kasper in speaking with is quite breathtaking: he talked again about a “deliberate dirty trick” to denounce him. “The fact that Catholic media (and unfortunately a cardinal in person) should participate in it, in order to tear down another position morally, is shameful,” Kasper opined. When asked as a follow-up question who that cardinal was, Kasper unfortunately gave no answer. The retired Curial Cardinal announced, however, that “other journalists” are going to take action against such “undignified machinations”.

Is that so?  Is there going to be an attack by Kasper’s journalist sympathizers against Card. Burke?

Moderation queue is ON.

I am getting onto an international flight, so you have lots of time to really think through your comments.

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  1. mrshopey says:

    Um, he didn’t apologize (saying IF someone perceived an offense is not an apology) and then threatens? Wow.

  2. Pat says:

    I fear that the so called machinations will turn now against Card. Muller, once Card. Burke is out of the curia. And I suspect that we wil hear more about Card. Pell’s mismanagement of the sexual abuse scandals.

  3. Legisperitus says:

    His insult was not against “African culture,” but against African Catholics who manifest a vigorous belief in Catholic doctrine.

  4. LeeF says:

    People both angry and desperate at losing a battle often lash out desperately. Card. Kasper stuck his own foot in this mouth and now doesn’t like the blow-back. Regardless of whether his journalistic supporters go after the conservatives, his personal brand and position are seriously damaged. A lot of commentators think he was a stalking horse for Francis, but really it more likely he was for the Rhine bishops. The question is whether they will continue with Kasper holding their banner in the coming year or will choose another standard bearer. Hopefully they can’t win another open battle, so I would look to them to get Card. Baldiserri to even more carefully and forcefully try to stage manage the next Synod to end up with a pre-determined outcome. If that happens, then we will know the HF is really behind it all.

  5. acardnal says:

    Cardinal Kasper is 81 years old. If I was him, I’d retire to a monastery some where.

  6. HeatherPA says:

    What a bogus passive aggressive apology.
    Just stop already, Cardinal Kaspar.
    Accept with a smidgen of grace that you (finally) got called on the carpet for idiotic statements and you should never have said any of them. No qualifiers, no “buts”.
    Just please be quiet.

    As an aside, why in God’s name is CUA bestowing an award on this Cardinal?? Will the Newman Center be reevaluating CUA?

  7. aviva meriam says:

    The problem for H.E. Cardinal Casper is that the journalist has the Tape of the interview…..
    the non apology won’t be enough (nor should they)…

    I am probably wrong, but I thought the Church is GROWING in Africa while the pews are near to empty in Western Europe and parts of the US. Maybe, just maybe we in the West need to ask questions and then listen more then speak when conversing with our Brothers in Africa. Yes I know the African church has a variety of challenges but, to some degree their challenges are the challenges of plenty (due to faith and obedience) as opposed to the challenges of want.

    Also, since the African church must deal with consequences of a militant Muslim population, maybe their experiences would be instructive.

    Oh well.

  8. Athanasius says:

    It is possible for Cardinal Kasper to have been confused. Pentin identified himself as being for the National Catholic Register, then he gave the interview to Zenit. He could very well be telling the truth when he said he gave no interview to Zenit, but then he denied making the comments, which he did make. Kasper’s tone throughout this whole process has been whining and condescending. Out of power during Benedict’s papacy, he is know basking in the recovery of it, practically having the ear of the pope. He has used that to more or less close down any real free debate whenever he can. The sad truth is he is really a 2nd rate theologian at best, who always makes errors and bad distinctions, especially with respect to theology of the Orthodox.
    I wonder if he thinks that Pentin’s interview was orchestrated by Muller or Burke. Either way, my prediction is that he is going to convince the Pope to put his protege Archbishop Forte in as head of the CDF and get their ducks in a row for next year to ram this through again.

  9. FrJohn says:

    Fr. Dodaro said it best: “I tell my students; every century has it’s stupid bishops.” (or something like that – made my day when I heard it!)

  10. incredulous says:

    The truth is all I care about. Pentin legitimately interviewed Kasper. Kasper tried to hang Pentin by calling Pentin a liar with his insinuation that Pentin made it up. This forces Pentin to release the audio; thus, demonstrating Kasper to be the liar who would destroy another man’s reputation and perhaps ability to earn a living. As we are taught in an examination of conscience, this is 1. bearing false witness and 2. violating “thou shall not kill.” We are taught that assassinating a man’s name violates this commandment against killing.

    While we are all sinners, has Kasper asked for forgiveness for doing this? He’s a powerful man with the ability to destroy a career and and man in a heartbeat. He ALMOST got away with it. Like a hit and run driver, he deserves severe punishment to teach the rich and powerful they cannot be unjust towards people lesser than themselves and who really have no means to defend themselves.

    Further, Zenit deserves chastisement for pulling the interview when it was all proven to be true. Apparently they didn’t like the heat even though it was the truth and the truth shall set you free. It was also a public presenting of the truth because Kasper was engaged in an activity which would have directly impacted the authority of African Bishops, i.e. changing church doctrine or the application of church doctrine in a region he knows very well doesn’t countenance his western, liberal tendencies towards accepting homosexuality as something with good components.

    We are demanded as Catholics to protect the weak and defenseless. Pentin merely presented the truth. It wasn’t pretty. Kasper tried to destroy him. That’s not cool. Nor is it Catholic.

  11. Scott W. says:

    Every now and then, orcish Political Correctness clips one of its allies. Perhaps this is one of those cases. If so, let us milk it for all its worth.

  12. Norah says:

    Pat, the story of Cardinal Pell being accused of sexually abusing someone before he was ordained -and being declared not guilty – was featured in a newspaper shortly after the book “The Gospel of the Family” for which he wrote the forward was published.

    It seems to me that Cardinal Kasper is projecting: accusing others of “undignified machinations” of which he may be guilty.

  13. Norah says:

    Cardinal Kasper is the man who Pope Francis spoke of as “doing theology on his knees” !

  14. Bob B. says:

    Revenge? By a Prince of the Church?

  15. govmatt says:

    One can only imagine St. Augustine sitting in Hippo getting news of the sack of Rome… though out of great scandal came one of the (arguably) greatest pieces of literature in history.

    A bit of hyperbole I suppose, but I do find it telling that the “poor Church for (and of) the poor” in (much of) Africa is seen as the defender of tradition when the “Church thinking like a German utilitarian economist” is seen as the breath of progressivism. Remind me again which one goes into the “periferia”? (Not to mention the one threatened in many areas with martyrdom for belief… not the future depreciation of tax revenues).

  16. FranzJosf says:

    The southern hemisphere is a conundrum to many of us northerners here. Whereas the New World and the Old have much in common (Europe, Canada, and the USA, adding Australia and New Zealand), Africa and South America do not. Among certain Northerners there is a certain hubris. Arising out of the so-called Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution, WE CAN DO ANYTHING, and WE KNOW WHAT’S BEST. We can put a man on the Moon, we can feed everyone, we can mass produce whatever is needed, and we can produce more material comfort than any other civilization known to man.

    Yet, Africa and South America have very little in common. South America is much more “Europeanized” than Africa. The irony is that the elites of the White North, who laudably want to go to a sort of secular confession–often misguided and misunderstood because our weaknesses are not unique; we have the weaknesses of all humanity–don’t understand that the Revealed Truth applies to all, everywhere, and at all times. The Africans haven’t lost that basic understanding. God Bless Them.

    The Greeks had it right about one thing: Nemesis follows Hubris. But so did the Christians. One reaps what one sows.

  17. bittergeek says:

    As the progressives have treated bad translations of interviews with Pope Francis, taken from the memory an atheist who neither recorded nor took notes, as Infallible Truth, it is a little difficult to accept claims of unfairness and “undignified machinations” by a leading progressive who has been so public in this matter. Card. Kasper was asked questions in a public area, surrounded by reporters. Of course someone was recording him. Perhaps he hoped that the reporters were all on his team and would sanitize his remarks, but any surprise at finding that a recording exists is ridiculous.

  18. eymard says:

    The following from Fr. Hardon’s Catholic Dictionary has me thinking that the synod’s manipulators are using this general blueprint:

    POLARIZATION. The process or state of concentrating on two contrary positions. A phenomenon that has affected many aspects of modern society, due in large measure to the influence of Hegel and Marx, with their stress on the role of conflict as a necessary condition for progress. The term is applied to the conflict, even on essentials of faith and morals, in the Catholic Church since the Second Vatican Council.

  19. Stvsmith2009 says:

    If ever there was a poster boy for “undignified machinations”, Cardinal Kasper would be it. He has spent more time with the media practicing his own “undignified machinations” in his attempts to water down Catholic teaching than anyone else in recent memory. One would hope that he would have a minimum of dignity and humility to actually apologize for his remarks, and leave off the threats of sicking his media watch dogs on whom ever he feels has slighted him. Sounds more like a disgruntled politician than a member of the Curia.

  20. Random Friar says:

    I’ve heard of Schadenfreude. I’d never heard of Schadenentschuldigung before this.

  21. Cradle Catholic says:

    I read somewhere that had Benedict XVI waited a few more weeks to resign, Cardinal Kasper would have turned 80 years of age, and would not have been able to vote in the conclave. I am sure that Benedict XVI was well aware of this fact. Also, St. Pope JPII made Kasper a cardinal…despite the long running ‘feud’ between Kasper and Ratzinger.
    My observations:
    What these two holy Popes did with respect to Kasper- i.e. give him access to ‘power’ – seems utter madness…yet as I thought about it, I realized that Jesus too, picked Judas to be his apostle, knowing full well what Judas was about. Therefore, I will trust there is some divine method here…in what does seem to be utter madness to me.
    The second observation is that the ‘machinations’ in the Synod astounded and depressed me…the manipulations performed by Archbishop Bruno F. … I find it hard to believe that Pope Francis was not aware, and did not have a hand in these machinations. I mean, after the Synod Fathers chose the moderators, i.e Cardinal Burke, et al., Pope Francis then put ‘his men’ in to write the ‘relatio’. Furthermore, the way it was published, without the Synod Fathers having looked at it ! Impossible to believe that Pope Francis did not have a hand in this . And I can bet Cardinal Balderssi (sp?) thought that the Synod Fathers would not make a scene when he announced that their group reports would not be published. Thank you Cardinal Pell! Thank you Cardinal Burke! Thank you Cardinal Napier! Thank you all the Synod Fathers who supported Cardinal Pell’s demand that the manipulations stop!

    Finally, the reason I wrote the observation is that I cannot help but make a comparison between the Holy Fathers, Benedict, St. JPII – and Pope Francis. There is no way that I would associate ‘scheming’ and ‘machinations’ with the former two. Unfortunately, until the Synod I would not have associated scheming and ‘machinations’ with Pope Francis. Cardinal Kasper – yes- but not Pope Francis, who, as soon as he was elected, I referred to him as ‘Papa’ Francis. No longer.That has changed- I am extremely sad to say. I can no longer call ‘Papa’ someone whom I do not trust.

    I will use the time between now and the next Synod to pray the rosary – for the Synod Fathers and for Pope Francis. I hope I will have the grace to pray it daily – and also the prayer to St. Michael. These are hard times for Catholics who want to be faithful to the Magisterium.

  22. RJHighland says:

    So Cardinal Kasper is going to unleash his hounds from hell, not surprising and I’m sure that the Cardinals/bishops in question are use to it and spiritually prepared for it. It is not surprising coming from Cardinal double standard. Liberal Cardinal looks to maline Cardinals standing up for Christ’s teaching, what else is new. If we had a Pope worth his salt Kasper and all his minons would have been defrocked years ago, and none of these false shepherds would have been elevated in the Church. He was elevated by St. John Paul, as was Bernardin, Mahoney, Law, Weakland etc, etc, does anybody else have a major problem with this!!! Does anybody think that St. John Paul was guided by the Holy Spirit in these decisions? By the grace of God we have Cardinal Burke and his squad of authentic princes of the Church. It will be very interesting how Pope Francis will treat the bishops that stood up against Card. Kasper and his minons, lets see who gets promoted and who is shipped out. Then you tell me who is on the Lord’s side. Did St. John Paul do things that were honorable and make hard unpopular stands, most definitely, and his strong stands on some of the hard teachings is what brought me into the Church, but with these elevations he totally undermined the Church Hierarchy. It would be like St. Leo X elevating Martin Luther to Archbishop of Mainz and Magdeburg or St. Sylvester I elevating Arius to the Bishop of Alexandria!! Those hard teachings that brought me into the Church are being undermined by this pontificate and those princes elevated by St. John Paul. Pope Benedict XVI made several poor choices in elevations but by the grace of God he elevated Cardinal Burke and Archbishop Athanasius Schnieder two heroic shepherds and thank God for all those that stood up for God and His Church at the synod rather than the ruler of this world.

    “Unfortunately there were in the first century members of the clergy and even bishops who put grains of incense in front of the statue of the Emperor or of a pagan idol or who delivered the books of the Holy Scripture to be burned.” Archbishop Athanasius Schnieder June 2014

  23. Deacon Augustine says:

    It isn’t clear to me that he is “invoking war” against a journalist, but rather the Cardinal who he blames for being involved in the “machinations.” Kasper obviously thinks he belongs to some kind of renaissance papal court. However, judging by the way the synod was “run”, perhaps he is nothing more than some petty medieval courtier.

  24. Gratias says:

    If Cardinal Walter Kasper goes around saying Black Africans are not to be trusted he might give his own nation, Germany, a bad name.

  25. Nobis Quoque Peccatoribus says:

    Cardinal Kaspar: “But I have been in Africa too often not to esteem African culture highly….Oh, and did I mention that some of my best friends are African?”

  26. Unwilling says:

    James O’Keefe & Lila Rose are establishing a franchise office in Rome. If only, eh.

  27. robtbrown says:

    acardnal says:

    Cardinal Kasper is 81 years old. If I was him, I’d retire to a monastery some where.

    There would be no problem finding room for him. He could have his pick of places–as long as they’re still open. The religious houses in Germany are emptying and closing because of no vocations.

    St Michaelsburg at Siegburg had Benedictine monks for 1000 years (with a few breaks due to war). The monks have left.

    The Redemptorist House in the Rhineland was not only closed but razed.

    The Dominican House in Walberberg has been sold.

  28. robtbrown says:

    The simple truth is that Cdl Kasper does not have the intellectual wherewithal to comprehend the damage he is doing to Catholic Life.

  29. Unwilling says:

    A little more reverence for the Pope, please. And remember Divine Providence. The Pope is a sacred person. He is Peter… ad quem dedit Dominus claves regni caelorum. We may feel disillusioned, uncomprehending, distrustful, outraged. But we see only through a glass darkly.

  30. Peregrinator says:

    Also, St. Pope JPII made Kasper a cardinal…despite the long running ‘feud’ between Kasper and Ratzinger.

    Those of us who were around at the time will remember the odd timing of the announcement that +Kasper and +Lehmann were to be added to the Sacred College.

  31. JesusFreak84 says:

    *Headdesk* Oh, but it’s folks like Cdls. Burke, Mueller, Pell, and the FFIs that are polarizing…. >.>

  32. MAJ Tony says:

    This whole situation calls to mind something I read in Soloviev’s “The Russian Church and the Papacy” (which I highly recommend, btw.) In it, he describes the events of the “Robber Council” of Ephesus. The big difference in the synod and Ephesus, is the bulk of the bishops who say Contradicitur to Rome, as it were, so I have to wonder if the “Stalking Horse” isn’t something Francis allowed for a greater purpose. He had to know this would happen. Just reading his remarks, I have to believe Francis is trying to say orthodoxy and mercy are not in opposition, but complimentary, or you can’t really say you’re following Christ. He warns against, on the one hand, the “false mercy” of letting people persist in their sinfulness, and on the other, of being so opposed to mercy that we become like the pharisees, so wrapped around the rules that we forget why we’re here.

  33. Kathleen10 says:

    These events have been a sad display. There is so much confusion sown and there will continue to be. @eymard, that is an interesting definition, thank you for that. Pope Francis himself asked for “lio”. Our God is not a God of chaos, but of order. This is disorder at the highest levels. There has always been some disorder, surely, but in our time, to see it as blatantly as we have, that has to be unique, and all due to social media. Heretics who happened to be Cardinals would be somewhat expected, but as many point out it is the manipulations that are also extremely disturbing, and the conclusions we seem forced to draw are most unpleasant.
    Pope Francis received a four minute standing ovation at the end of the Synod. Four minutes of ovation by the Cardinals who saw something in him they wanted for the church. Four minutes of ovation by the Cardinals who elected him. [Not really, no. We don’t know how the few Cardinals who attended the Synod, and who were Cardinal Electors last time, voted.] That gives me pause. I found his commentary after the Synod to be nothing but disturbing.
    Perhaps the laity have a part to play in this. Perhaps God will find us useful at some point. As the church militant, fully aware now of what is going on, we may find we are called to participate more fully as time goes on.

  34. mater_et_magistra says:

    It is interesting that Cardinal Kasper admits a certain view of journalism – that it can be used to play “deliberate dirty trick[s]” to “denounce” another or that it can be used to “take action against” others.


    As you posted last week, Father, about some manipulation going on at the Synod…..and, the media being one of the major tools of that manipulation……I think Cardinal Kasper quite implicates himself in such activity.

  35. Janol says:

    Hmm…”other journalists”? And orchestrated by whom?

    Speaking of journalists, I’m surprised that more has not been said about the role of Fr. Antonio Spadaro of La Civiltà Cattolica, apparently very close to the Holy Father since his interview with him last year, and one of the six non-bishops at the Synod, personally appointed by Pope Francis. According to Magister, the controversial paragraphs on homosexuality in the Relatio post disceptationem reflect the views of only three persons, one of whom is Spadaro. (BTW, I’ve read there’s a rumor that he may eventually replace Fr. Lombardi or be placed at the head of Vatican Radio.)

  36. dbliss says:

    Cardinal Kasper also said that he did not speak at the synod. He spoke October 8.

  37. Ferde Rombola says:

    For a clear analysis of the Synod and its issues I heartily recommend a visit to “A Shepherd’s Post” a blog written by Fr. David Barnes. He says clearly what the Synod Fathers should have said and didn’t.

  38. I assume the only revenge that he could mean is to “win” the Synod next year. It’s not like Cdl. Burke has anything left to take away.

  39. Supertradmum says:

    If St. Nicholas had been present at the Synod, he would have slapped Cardinal Kasper, for not being one of his students, but a student of discord. Good grief, the man is not even “politically correct”!

  40. pseudomodo says:

    I’m expecting the Spanish Inquisition any minute now….

    Roll out the comfy chair and BID HIM DOTH SIT IN IT!!

  41. robtbrown says:

    LeeF says:

    People both angry and desperate at losing a battle often lash out desperately. Card. Kasper stuck his own foot in this mouth and now doesn’t like the taste. Regardless of whether his journalistic


  42. Dialogos says:

    People need to stop focusing on Cardinal Kasper. Even if (and I am not sure it’s so) he has been discredited, there are many others who voted with him and support his views. They have not been disheartened by rather will be hard at work for 2015. Think about how many things contrary to Church discipline have become de facto practice. Think about how politics work: in my state (WA) for instance, the supporters of “gay marriage” first said they just wanted to be treated like everyone else, and the “nice” voters and legislators believed them; then it was for civil unions–but oh no believe us NOT marriage–and the voters and legislators, not wanting to be mean, said okay; then it was marriage equality but we’ll mind our business and you mind yours, and the voters and legislators believed them, and suddenly if you don’t go along with the regime you are a bigot and a hater and a criminal. Wake up people: it was great what many brave bishops did at this synod, but this is just the prelude. Bishops need to be teaching their people, getting good candidates to the priesthood, encouraging obedient religious, and speaking to their confreres to build support for magisterial teaching based on timeless teaching, the Bible, the saints, etc. and not feelings and the zeitgeist and false concepts of “mercy.” And we need to encourage and support them in that.

  43. The Cobbler says:

    Someone here mentioned the Southern Hemisphere and I thought, “At least Cardinal Kasper does not seem too confused about geography.”

  44. Imrahil says:

    Dear Peregrinator,

    what was odd about the timing?

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