INTERVIEW: Card. Burke our challenges and “authentic pastoral care”

His Eminence Raymond Card. Burke was interviewed by Vatican Radio about the “Five Cardinals Book” and about the Synod.

Compare and contrast with Card. Kasper’s recent interviews?  Night and day!  This is on an entirely different level.

Cardinal Burke: Christ’s truth is at the heart of marriage

(Vatican Radio) “Remaining in the truth of Christ[both the theme and the book title] is at the heart of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, said Cardinal Raymond Burke, Prefect of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura. With the Synod beginning this week, Cardinal Burke sat down with Vatican Radio to talk about his perspectives on the Synod, on issues ranging from outreach to those marginalized in difficult marriage situations, as well as the necessity to proclaim the beautiful truth of marriage instituted by God the Father at creation, taught by Christ, and upheld by the Church.

Cardinal Burke was also one of several contributors to a book, entitledRemaining in the Truth of Christ, intended to help the Synod and the Pope as they work to renew the Church’s commitment to the pastoral care of families.

Listen to the interview:

Read the full transcription of Cardinal Burke’s interview below: [With my patented treatment.]

Click to PRE-ORDER

Q: Your Eminence, you recently authored a chapter in a book about the indissolubility of marriage, entitled Remaining in the Truth of Christ.  What motivated the book and what is its underlying premise?BURKE: At the extraordinary consistory of Cardinals, which was held on Feb 20 and 21 of this year, Cardinal Walter Kasper gave a lengthy discourse on marriage and the family in which he invited a dialogue about what he had stated in his discourse. A group of us decided to ponder more deeply a number of questions which he raised in his presentation and to respond to them in a systematic way. And thank God, with the help of the general editor, Father Robert Dodaro of the Augustinianum, we were able to put this together as a service to the Synod and above all to the Holy Father in his desire to present once again the beauty of the Church’s teaching on marriage and the family.  [The Book is a service, not an attack.  Card. Kasper suggested that this was a “conspiracy” and an attack on the Pope.]

Q: Going into the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, what would you identify as three of the biggest challenges to the Catholic family today?

[His Eminence begins to lay out a series of challenges.] One of the biggest challenges is the defective catechesis in the Roman Catholic Church—I can speak from my experience in the United States—for the past 40 to 50 years. [Do I hear an “Amen!”?] Children and young people are not well catechized with regard to marriage. Coupled with that is the recent entrance of a so-called “gender theory” that alienates human sexuality from its essentially conjugal meaning. [This is well-done.  As a matter of fact, I think that the homosexual lobby within the Church are among the most vociferous in clamoring for Communion for the civilly remarried precisely because they want to detach sexual acts from procreation.  Thus, anything that weakens that original and putatively valid marriage bond is heading in their direction.] This is now being brought into schools along with the advancement of the homosexual agenda. This is a big challenge for families. It is only in the family that the true sense of who we are as man and woman is taught effectively both by the example of the father and mother, but also in catechesis to amplify that and assist the parents in the fuller teaching of the faith. So this is one major difficulty.

Obviously too, we are dealing with a culture, at least in the West, which is totally secularized and therefore denatured. When God is no longer taken into account, and His plan for creation is no longer considered… Instead, we have the pretense to decide for ourselves the meaning of our own lives and the meaning and destiny of our world, the family suffers first and foremost. The family today has to be especially alert to the subtle influences of the secularized culture, what St. John Paul II once called the Godless culture, especially its insinuation into the lives of the members of the family and the family itself, through the mass media and above all through the Internet and the horrible reality of pornography on the Internet, which is causing so much damage to families. The second big challenge to families is secular society itself and the challenge to Christian families today to be countercultural.

A third challenge is the whole question of marriage itself and the effective presentation of the Church’s teaching about marriage, which in fact is also known by reason. Marriage is part of our human nature and therefore it is taught by natural law. Faith illumines reason and helps to see the truth in all its richness. So, we need to help especially young people when they are at the age where one is preparing for marriage to see marriage itself as a beautiful call, a way to eternal salvation—not only to their happiness now on earth—and to assist them in every way we can. I think if we have a good catechesis for children and for young people it will be easier to reach them with the message of the Church, the message of reason and faith with regard to marriage as they come into their young adult years.

Q: How can we renew our pastoral care for people who are divorced and those who are divorced and remarried?

What we must do for those who are in irregular unions is to show the care to each and every one of them the same care we are called to share with every member of the Church, especially those who are in the most need. There is no question that those who are living in irregular unions have a very particular need of the Church’s care. I think the important thing for us is to show them how, even in their particular situation, they can convert themselves more and more to Christ and conform themselves more to Him. It is not easy; it is one of the more particularly challenging situations in which a Christian can find him or herself, but nevertheless there is grace to respond in a way that is true to the teaching of Christ and therefore liberating.

[NB] It would be a big mistake to approach the situation simply from the point of view of trying to figure out how to admit persons in irregular unions to the sacraments. This is a contradiction in itself and would truly miss the point of the authentic pastoral care that these couples need. The Church has a long history of trying to help couples who, for one reason or another, are not able to leave an irregular union to live chastely and to live justly as they can in that situation.

Q: The Synod has attracted a great deal of media attention. How do you think the media reporting has impacted the Synod and people’s perception of it?

Certainly one good thing is that people are very much aware that there will be a Synod on the family! That message has gotten out. The sad part is that the message has been colored by the media with expectations which are unrealistic and actually not true to the nature of the Synod and, even in a more serious way, not true to the doctrine of the faith.  [The false expectations are what scare me, not what the Synod will actually propose to the Holy Father.]

I have experienced myself in talking with the faithful and with bishops and priests that there has been built up this expectation that the Church is now going to change Her teaching with regard to the indissolubility of marriage and permit now second and third marriages and that for those in irregular unions there will be access to the sacraments. These kinds of expectations are unreal. They are not true to the work of the Synod in the first place and, in a more profound sense, not true to what Christ himself has taught us, the truth that human nature itself teaches us. Therefore, that part is very sad. It has been going on now for several months, which is not a good situation. The Church’s teaching needs to be made clear now and her fidelity to Christ needs to be very clear in the Synod. Just like the title of the book to which I contributed, Remaining in the Truth of Christ, which is taken from St. John Paul II’s post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation, Familiaris consortio. That is what the Synod is all about: remaining in the truth of Christ.  [I believe it was Card. Baldisseri, head of the Synod of Bishop who, in an interview of his own suggested that Familiaris consortio was already outdated.]

Q: What would you like to see come out of the Extraordinary Synod?

I’m hoping that it will take up again the great papal Magisterium, which is a gift to us, beginning with Casti connubi of Pope Pius XI, the teaching of Pope Pius XII, then in more recent times, the prophetic and heroic teaching of Humanae vitae of Pope Paul VI, soon to be beatified at the end of this Synod, as well as the teaching of Familiaris consortio of St John Paul II. Fundamentally, what I hope will emerge from the Synod is this beautiful truth about the human person, who has written into his nature the call to union and communion between man and one woman, which is faithful, which is indissoluble, and which by its very nature is procreative; it participates in the creation of new human life in the image and likeness of God, what the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World  referred to as the “crown” of marital love, the gift of offspring.

Whatever the Synod’s particular emphases are—marriage preparation, teaching on natural family planning, all the particular questions—(I hope what) would emerge over all is the splendor of the truth about marriage as God created us from the beginning.

Report and Interview by Andrew Summerson

Food for thought for every parish priest in here.

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76 Responses to INTERVIEW: Card. Burke our challenges and “authentic pastoral care”

  1. McCall1981 says:

    Fr. Z said: ” The false expectations are what scare me, not what the Synod will actually propose to the Holy Father.”

    If by false expectations you mean crazy media driven ideas like the Church suddenly approving gay “marriage” or something, then yes I agree. But if you are referring to admitting the divorced and remarried to communion, I’m afraid that seems to me to be a very realistic expectation.

  2. Unwilling says:

    Cardinal Burke speaks of “the truth that human nature itself teaches us”.

    Anti-essentialists argue that the very notion “human nature” is a mistake, nay, not only human nature, but any nature. They hold that essences (e.g. genders) are imposed by convention, political powers, bias.

    Cardinal Burke speaks from within the Catholic view that recognizes the reality of essences (Gn 1:21 ff), of a human essence, because essences, natures, human nature, are known or are knowable by human reason alone. And from the essences everything else (at this level) is knowable. “Human nature itself teaches us.” You do not have to be Catholic to see this. You have to be kind of blind not to see it.

    What absolutely requires Revelation from God are things like the Trinity, the Incarnation, the Resurrection, Transubstantiation, the Real Presence, Sacraments ex opere operato etc.

    But sexual (i.e. male and female) union for procreation of families is of human nature.

  3. Traductora says:

    It’s so good to hear from Cdl Burke. He’s so rational that it’s stunning in these times of shifting sands.

    I think, no matter how miserable things look now, that he will someday be Pope.

    Leaving that aside, I heard this morning that BXVI has gone on retreat for the entire synod, and isn’t expected back until the beatification of Paul VI. I hope he’s praying hard for the Church.

  4. catholiccomelately says:

    Reading this from Cardinal Burke gives me strength and hope on an otherwise dismal day (due to the SCOTUS decision on rulings on gay marriage.)
    Praying for us all.

  5. JesusFreak84 says:

    Maybe the precise reason BXVI is ON retreat is to pray for the Synod. I don’t imagine for one moment that he’s not praying for it, regardless.

  6. greenlight says:

    First, I still can’t shake the feeling that there’s so much more to Benedict’s abdication than we are told. Who’s planning what, whether it’s some secret master plan, who all the players are, I have no idea, but I really think if we knew the truth it would rock the whole world.

    Second, I’ve said this often, but imagine if Cardinal Burke (or someone like him) had been elected pope after Benedict. Imagine what his pontificate might’ve been like. Now imagine Burke (or someone like him) being elected after Francis. How different, and how much more difficult, his task would be.

  7. Landless Laborer says:

    My guess is there are many bishops and cardinals who sound just like †Burke, but we just don’t hear them.

  8. acardnal says:

    Holy Spirit, may Cardinal Burke please be our next Pope. Amen.
    (Hey, I can pray can’t I?)

  9. Unwilling says:

    greenlight. I sometimes (wishfully) think Francis is removing all doubt about what it is like not to have a highly articulate Pope, so that Big-C Catholics will without murmurs happily accept and actively support the true reform efforts of the next orthodox Pope.

    Anyway, such calculations cannot be purely natural. The Church is the Body of the Christ. It is irrevocably “saved”. Mary holds the Church in her lap, as we see in the Pietas, the Madonnas.

  10. Suburbanbanshee says:

    greenlight – It’s an old truism in American politics that nobody can ever predict what a Supreme Court justice will do, because once they’re appointed they’re pretty much free to do whatever. It’s a lot more true of popes. You don’t know and I don’t know what kind of pope any cardinal would be.

    But if you want to write science fiction, you should be writing stories for money.

  11. Pat says:

    Padre, what is L’Osservatore Romano up to? Have you read the article on contemporary representations of families, see http://vaticanresources.s3.amazonaws.com/pdf%2FQUO_2014_228_0710.pdf

  12. greg3064 says:

    If by false expectations you mean crazy media driven ideas like the Church suddenly approving gay “marriage” or something, then yes I agree.

    Well, in this Synod, of course not, but one can easily hear a justification for homosexuality in some of Cardinal Kasper’s remarks. In his recent interview, he said, “I think the first word of the church always, in every situation, is a yes.” Elizabeth Anscombe (who had probably as sharp an understanding of the Church’s moral teaching as anyone could) once wrote that what was characteristic of the Church (ie. in contrast to pagan religions) was that it was always willing to say ‘no.’

    I know one has to be suspicious of worries about “slippery slopes.” I don’t expect anything to change. But communion for the divorced and remarried would mark a victory for a certain sort of “pastoral rhetoric,” in perception if not in reality, and that would be tough to rein in.

  13. greg3064 says:

    I’ll also add that Cardinal Burke offers so much clarity, wisdom, and grace on this issue, every time I read or watch him. I do not know anything about what contributes to the likelihood of someone becoming Pope, but that would be a blessing on the Church.

  14. wised says:

    I was recently surprised to hear a 70+ year old member of our parish express doubt regarding the impropriety of another younger divorced member of our parish receiving communion after his recent very publication civil wedding. When I stated that receipt of communion was not permitted in such a situation, he clearly imformed me that I was in error. It is not the kids who need the information. I was truly shocked that he wanted to argue the point. By the way, the new couple is receiving communion.

  15. McCall1981 says:

    This sounds pretty positive from Card Erdo:

    “Divorced and civilly remarried persons belong to the Church” but in the case “of a (consummated) sacramental marriage, after a divorce, a second marriage recognized by the Church is impossible, while the first spouse is still alive.” In any case, “what is being discussed at this synod of an intense pastoral nature are not doctrinal issues, but the practical ones — nevertheless inseparable from the truths of the faith.”

    http://vaticaninsider.lastampa.it/en/the-vatican/detail/articolo/sinodo-famiglia-36755//pag/1/

  16. Juergensen says:

    May God grant Cardinal Burke strength to continue standing up for the truth.

  17. Traductora says:

    McCall1981, Greg3064:

    Actually, I think approving “gay marriage” is really what this is all about, and I think it’s a little disturbing that Cdl Baldiserri went to address a group of “diverse interests,” most of them led by pro-homosexual activists such as Sr. Jeanine Grammick, and it was even there that he announced the plan for managing the Synod. The “communion for divorced and remarried” is a stalking horse. The progressivists’ plan is really to dynamite the whole concept of marriage and adapt it to what the world says it is.

    Hard cases make bad law…but they make very effective attacks on your opponent. How can anybody be uncharitable enough not to admit so and so to Communion, after all he/she has suffered and compared to how happy he/she is now with his/her (second, third or fourth) new spouse? Only a real meanie. And then, how can you not admit so and so to Communion, after all he has suffered (probably implying that he did this at the hands of the Church) and how happy he is now with his new “husband”…you meanie. And, now that the Africans are chiming in, how can you say that polygamy is bad and degrading to a woman if being one of a herd of wives is fine with that particular culture?

    In their opinion, the goal is adapting to the “beats of the world.” This was an English translation of something said by the Pope this weekend, although I’m not sure what it came from – the only reason it caught my attention was that the translator probably meant to say “rhythm of the world,” which on the other hand, isn’t much better in what it really means.

  18. wmeyer says:

    wised, for 45+ years we have had little to no catechesis. So of course everyone needs it. Adults most of all, as they must teach their own families.

  19. kpoterack says:

    McCall1981 (and other worried people),

    Read the opening address of the relator, Cardinal Erdo. It is quite good and really seems to give no quarter to the Kasper solution. We shall see, but I think that this is something of what we will see emerging from the synod. (Hint: it will be decent). Parts of it are summarized here:

    http://www.catholicculture.org/news/headlines/index.cfm?storyid=22824

    At that article, you can click on another link at the bottom for the full address at the vatican website.

    Cardinal Erdo for next pope!

  20. Rachel K says:

    It is hard to convey how consoling, strengthening and encouraging these words are!
    Thank God for Cardinal Burke and all our priests and bishops who guide us along the RIGHT path, like the Good Shepherds that they are.
    I am sure that the Holy Spirit will continue to guide the Holy Father and all at the synod in the Truth. Let’s keep praying for them all.

  21. Kathleen10 says:

    The topic of communion for remarried people is the “nose of the camel underneath the tent”. The camel is the homosexuality issue of course. But you can’t sell that to people right off, you’ve got to do this by degrees. I won’t speculate on what will or won’t come out of the Synod. I have no idea and envision both scenarios, for and against. With the Pope being for, that would seem to tip it in favor of approval. Anyway what I do bet is homosexualists are driving this whole endeavor, and they no doubt have support within.
    On a related note, I have not read this but the Catholic League reported today that the New York Times (ptooey!) had an editorial today that states that pedophilia should be decriminalized.
    Did we ever imagine we would see the day the NYT (ptooey!) would advocate adult perverts having sexual access to children? Well, it’s here, right on cue.
    This is the one that’s going to end the world, in my opinion. If we ever allow this, we don’t even deserve to be saved in any sense of the word.

  22. lweisenthal says:

    Predicting what’s going to come out of this synod in advance is akin to punditry preceding the World Series. Everyone is entitled to a prediction. And the experts frequently get it wrong. Another analogy are Supreme Court decisions, which should be, in theory, more rationally predictable than the outcome of a sporting contest. But SCOTUS decisions continue to surprise, and, today, most of the expert Supreme Court watchers were wrong. The eventual national legal recognition of same gender marriage contracts appears now to be a foregone conclusion.

    I’m going to make my own, definitely inexpert, prediction of the outcome of the ongoing synod. I honestly think it’s as good as the predictions of the true experts. I’ll first explain my reasoning.

    St. Paul did not consider sacramental marriage to be a desirable human condition. He much preferred celibacy as the ideal station in sexual life, but he said, if one couldn’t remain chaste, then it was basically better to be married than to burn. I wonder out loud if the logical extension of this is not to say, if a homosexual is not to be chaste, then it is preferable to be in a committed, loving relationship rather than to engage in reckless casual sex with enormous numbers of partners.

    In Pope Paul’s Humanae Vitae, His Holiness directly wrote that there are situations where lesser evils may be tolerated to forestall greater evils. He went on to say that the evil of contraception couldn’t be tolerated, however, giving as examples the evils of family economic stress and similar purely social considerations. He did not anticipate the coming global legalization of abortion and did not specifically address whether or not, in this context, 100% effective, non-abortion producing contraception (e.g. hormonal implants) might be a tolerable lesser evil, compared to abortion. This is particularly relevant with regard to the most recent New England Journal of Medicine publication showing an 80% reduction in abortions when sexually active young women were given the free choice of free 100% effective contraceptives. Not everyone in the study chose to receive these contraceptives, but sufficient numbers did choose to result in a staggering 80% reduction in the abortion rate.

    A third example was the pre-papal position of Francis toward gay marriage, when he reportedly was willing to accept the concept of civil unions, as a lesser evil, in his way of thinking, than formal legal recognition of gay marriage.

    There is a big difference between endorsement and simple abandonment of judgmentalism. I predict that the synod will simultaneously affirm traditional Church teachings, while advocating greater pastoral tolerance and less in the way of condemnation, in favor of leaving it up to God to determine if a given sinner receives full spiritual benefit from the Eucharist, as it is only God who is ultimately in a position to judge the entire circumstances in the life of a given sinner.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  23. greg3064 says:

    I predict that the synod will simultaneously affirm traditional Church teachings, while advocating greater pastoral tolerance and less in the way of condemnation, in favor of leaving it up to God to determine if a given sinner receives full spiritual benefit from the Eucharist, as it is only God who is ultimately in a position to judge the entire circumstances in the life of a given sinner.

    The issue is not of a pastoral approach versus one of condemning. The reason to oppose communion for the divorced and remarried is that it is unpastoral. People aren’t supposed to receive when they are in a state of mortal sin. When they do, it’s another mortal sin. It isn’t just a less “full spiritual benefit from the Eucharist.” It is a spiritual detriment. The Church’s approach here matters because the Church is charged to give the faithful the means of determining their culpability and determining whether they should receive the Eucharist. To tell them to go ahead and act on malformed consciences is to fail in its own charge.

  24. lweisenthal says:

    Hi Greg. Thanks for your comments, but I wasn’t advocating a particular position (I would, in fact, advocate a different position than that which I laid out). I was simply making a prediction. Perhaps you would care to offer your own prediction regarding the outcome of this synod?

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  25. AnthonyJ says:

    Larry Weisenthal,

    Your reasoning for allowance of homosexual so called “marriage” is extremely flawed. Two men or two women could never truly love each other in a romantic way as a man and woman can. Homosexual “love” is disordered and narcissistic, whether the homosexual is with one partner their whole life or multiple ones. There is also no chance of procreation between partners of the same sex. Every homosexual deviant act is a mortal sin, so same sex “marriage” can never be justified.

  26. gjp says:

    The Pope kicked off the Mass which kicks off the Synod by incensing the relics of Ste. Thérèse de l’Enfant-Jésus et de la Sainte-Face and her parents, Blesseds Louis Martin and Marie-Azélie Guerin. I think that is a good sign.

  27. acardnal says:

    lwiesenthal, I disagree with your understanding of Humanae Vitae. Specifically your points regarding the “lesser of two evils” argument and that contraception isn’t always sinful (except for therapeutic reasons when the end is not to prevent conception) is specious and that includes “non-abortion producing contraception (e.g. hormonal implants)”.

    Herewith a relevant quote from paragraph 14 of HV:

    “Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary. (15)

    Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means. (16)

    Neither is it valid to argue, as a justification for sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive, that a lesser evil is to be preferred to a greater one, or that such intercourse would merge with procreative acts of past and future to form a single entity, and so be qualified by exactly the same moral goodness as these. Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good,” it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it —in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general. Consequently, it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong.”

  28. acardnal says:

    lweisenthal wrote, “There is a big difference between endorsement and simple abandonment of judgmentalism. I predict that the synod will simultaneously affirm traditional Church teachings, while advocating greater pastoral tolerance and less in the way of condemnation, in favor of leaving it up to God to determine if a given sinner receives full spiritual benefit from the Eucharist, as it is only God who is ultimately in a position to judge the entire circumstances in the life of a given sinner.”

    This reminds me of the erroneous thinking of those who try to justify their sinful behavior by saying “I follow my conscience. If my conscience informs me that it is not sinful and evil then it’s not.” What they fail to recognize is that a person’s conscience can be wrong! The Church is a divine institution established by Christ and has the authority to determine what is objectively sinful/evil as revealed by God. Members of the Church are obliged to form their consciences in accord with the Church’s teaching regarding faith and morals – even if they intellectually disagree with it.

  29. Joe in Canada says:

    Good job in transcribing. I would add a comma
    The Church has a long history of trying to help couples who, for one reason or another, are not able to leave an irregular union, to live chastely and to live justly as they can in that situation.
    This makes it clear that he is NOT saying “couples who are unable to leave in irregular union to live chastely” but “to help (those) couples to live chastely”. See, if we all agreed on the Oxford comma, the absence of a comma after the word chastely would be very helpful!

  30. lweisenthal says:

    Hi Everyone. I note that you are all offering opinions of what the synod SHOULD do, but none of you are stepping up to the plate and actually making a prediction of what the synod actually WILL do.

    I’m not foolish enough to get into any sort of ongoing arguments regarding doctrine on this particular blog. I simply wanted to state my prediction and reasoning behind it and leave it at that. Thank you all for your attention and courtesy.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  31. jhayes says:

    Continuing its series of videos, CNS interviews Cardinal Wuerl:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EilxXRaHhrk

    “When we talk about doctrinal givens, things that are fixed, we’re talking about something such as: In what does marriage consist? The reception of Communion is not a doctrinal position. It’s a pastoral application of the doctrine…. Just to repeat the practice of the past without any effort to see whether there is some awareness, openness, influence of the Spirit that might be helping us in total continuity with our past practice to find a new direction today.”

    [Dr. Peters responded HERE]

  32. Traductora says:

    LWiesenthal, civil unions are not marriage and that was the whole point of tolerating them. Marriage gets into the religious realm, but civil unions are just that: civil, meaning that the state can dispose as it wishes .

    The big problem arises when the state attempts to impose its wishes, as expressed in these civil unions, on the Church, where marriage is an entirely differnt concept from automatic inheritance rights, tax breaks, etc.

    That’s what civil unions are: legal constructs to support the operations of the state. Christian marriage is a whole different thing, and it would have been much better if the civil unions had gone ahead without being able to call themselves marriages. Now that they have adopted the term “marriage,” they are in a whole different category and are seriously pressuring the few churches (Catholic and Orthodox and a couple of Evangelical groups) who have the original understanding of marriage.

  33. Charles E Flynn says:

    I am sure that someone has thought of this odd consequence that would follow if Pope Francis adopts Cardinal Kasper’s view of the subject of the reception of communion by divorced and remarried Catholics, but I have not seen it mentioned in what I have read so far.

    There are many divorced and remarried Catholics who do not receive communion now, and who believe that the Church’s present teaching on the subject, hard thought it may be for them, is in fact in accord with the will of Christ. If Cardinal Kasper’s view is adopted by Pope Francis, then these divorced and remarried Catholics would not simply be allowed to received communion, they would be required to, by their Easter Duty. So Cardinal Kasper’s “mercy” would force these divorced and remarried Catholics to violate their conscience and receive Communion, even thought they believe it would be immoral.

  34. acardnal says:

    Prediction: Both Synods will uphold Christ’s teaching regarding adultery and Catholic doctrine as expressed in CCC #1650:

    ” Today there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions. In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ – “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery” the Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was. If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God’s law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities. Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in complete continence.”

  35. greg3064 says:

    Larry, I do not really have a prediction, I don’t think I know enough to make one. Your prediction, if it came to fruition, would surprise me, because I could not imagine the magisterial Church coming to the conclusion that “leaving it up to God to determine if a given sinner receives full spiritual benefit from the Eucharist, as it is only God who is ultimately in a position to judge the entire circumstances in the life of a given sinner” is a “pastoral” approach that avoids “endorsement” while abandoning “judgmentalism.” God is of course the only one fully aware of the state of any souls, but the Church still has a Catechism that enumerates various sins and criteria of culpability so that the faithful can approach the Eucharist only in a state of grace. The idea that someone in a state of mortal sin just receives a less “full” spiritual benefit when they receive the Eucharist is a euphemism that I cannot imagine the Church endorsing.

    I would also agree with acardnal that any approach concerning the “lesser of two evils” could not have the breadth your post suggests. There are evils that can be permitted but not done. That distinction does play a role in double effect reasoning etc., but line between intending the evil and not intending the evil is not as easy to straddle as would have to be for the outcome suggested in your post to be plausible. One could not hand out condoms to people saying, “I hope you don’t use these!” Evils may be permitted when they are not intended, but it is not the case that all agents have stipulative control over their intentions.

    I apologize for reading your prediction as something you endorse. I criticize it on the ground that I do not think the synod could arrive upon it while “simultaneously affirm[ing] traditional Church teachings.”

  36. Pingback: Cardinal Burke’s interview with Vatican Radio | Foolishness to the world

  37. lweisenthal says:

    Hi Traductora,

    I agree 100% with your statement (which I am quoting below). I have argued the precise point on other public forums, going back years. I believe that, if the defense-of-(traditional)-marriage movement had expressed tolerance for this particular solution (give same gendered couples the same legal rights and responsibilities, but don’t apply the term “marriage” to secular laws granting those rights and responsibilities — I once read a thoughtful gay person who suggested the word “twainage”), then the present unstoppable momentum of the legal recognition of same gender marriage (using that precise term) could have been forestalled. Alas, there was no willingness at all to acknowledge that gay people had a constitution right to equal protection under the law through reasonable accommodation; so we now have what we have.

    Your (wise) quotation and opinion:

    “That’s what civil unions are: legal constructs to support the operations of the state. Christian marriage is a whole different thing, and it would have been much better if the civil unions had gone ahead without being able to call themselves marriages. Now that they have adopted the term “marriage,” they are in a whole different category and are seriously pressuring the few churches (Catholic and Orthodox and a couple of Evangelical groups) who have the original understanding of marriage.”

    To Acardnal: Thanks for offering your prediction.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  38. greg3064 says:

    I believe that, if the defense-of-(traditional)-marriage movement had expressed tolerance for this particular solution (give same gendered couples the same legal rights and responsibilities, but don’t apply the term “marriage” to secular laws granting those rights and responsibilities — I once read a thoughtful gay person who suggested the word “twainage”), then the present unstoppable momentum of the legal recognition of same gender marriage (using that precise term) could have been forestalled.

    Professor Robert George actually did suggest this as an option in New Jersey, I believe, but he suggested it as a form of contract that can be entered into without any sexual pretense. (So two nuns would be able to enter such a civil union, and obtain the full legal benefits of marriage.) I do not think it was accepted.

  39. JPK says:

    I don’t think there is a chance in Hades that the Synod will be allowed to advocate Communion for divorced and remarried couples. That not only goes against the Gospel of Saint Matthew Chapter 19, but also 2000 years of Church teaching. But, what I fear is that the bureaucracy behind the scenes will allow enough wiggle room to give the Bishops Conferences the green light to exercise pastoral discretion in “extraordinary situations”. The rationale will be similar to all of that “In the Spirit of Vatican II” tripe. So, the Pope and the Curia will still preach Orthodoxy concerning the Eucharist and the Family; but in “praxis” something else will evolve.

  40. acardnal says:

    lweisenthal, I offered my prediction reluctantly ONLY because our gracious host did not ask for predictions in THIS post, and he doesn’t like “rabbit holes”. I think you are new here so you may not know the rules yet.

  41. acardnal says:

    The Church could care less about what the U.S. Constitution says about “equal protection under the law”. They are concerned about the universal applicability of the salvific teaching of Christ and morality.

  42. Robbie says:

    Cardinal Burke has essentially become the leader of the loyal opposition.

  43. Traductora says:

    Lweisenthal, I just want to make it clear that I don’t think there’s any way of equating civil unions and marriage. I remember when this was suggested years ago, it was to give state household benefits to unmarried people who were either related or living together in a permanent situation. For example, an elderly mother whose single adult child lived with her and cared for her, or siblings who lived together, or two unrelated parties who lived together permanently would qualify as a household or civil union. It had nothing to do with sexual relationships or children.

    Gays would no longer even accept civil unions now but want to force the marriage issue because they want full approval or the destruction of the Church, whichever comes first.

  44. lweisenthal says:

    Hi acardnal,

    Regarding the US Constitution: I well recognize the distinction between civil and Church laws. But the Church does voluntarily choose to engage in the political arena — in this particular case, the political activities of Archbishop Cordileone with regard to gay marriage opposition come immediately to mind.

    When the Church voluntarily chooses to engage in the political arena, it doesn’t have the luxury of “caring less” about the provisions of the US Constitution. It cannot simply expect the US legal system to abandon constitutional law simply to satisfy the religious demands of the Church. I am coming back to the “lesser evil” principle advanced by St. Paul, by Pope Paul VI, and, most relevantly, by Pope Francis, who was willing to accept secular civil unions as a means to forestall secular recognition of gay marriage.

    I believe that there would have been an opportunity for the states to pass laws officially recognizing civil unions for the express purpose of providing equal protection under the law through the principle of reasonable accommodation. This would have rendered moot the (ultimately legally successful) argument that same gendered couples were being denied their Constitutional right to equal protection under the law. Alas, not only was this opportunity not seized, but it was actively opposed by the most committed opponents to same gender marriage. At this point, it’s merely a thought exercise, except f0r the lesson that there are occasions where lesser evils might indeed be preferable to greater evils.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  45. Traductora says:

    What you are not understanding, Lweisenthal, is that when the gays enter into the political arena and start demanding that “gay marriage” be accepted and imposed on everyone, the Church has a duty to respond. Archbishop Cordileone was doing absolutely the right thing, and I wish more bishops had joined him.

    That’s why my feeling is that the real target of people trying to manipulate this synod is an attempt to achieve the explicit or implicit approval of gay unions, call them what you want, as being the equivalent of marriage. They’re not, and in fact, it’s impossible, literally speaking, because the matter of the sacrament (two persons of different sexes) is not there. But the gays, of whom I assume you are at least an advocate, want to maneuver the Church into the position of approving or looking as if it approves – precisely to undercut people like Archbishop Cordelione.

    Of course, after today’s Supreme Court decision, gays may decide that they no longer have to bother with the big picture and the next step will simply be to start suing the local parish unless the priest “marries” them. Which of course will never happen, and I just hope that the Synod affirms at least this.

  46. robtbrown says:

    LWeisenthal,

    1. It is not true that St Paul did not consider marriage to be a desirable human condition. Nor is celibacy in itself a higher state. Celibacy is only higher if it’s ordered toward a greater good than marriage. The celibate sacrifices marriage in order to be dedicated to a greater good. Thus Kant’s celibacy is not considered a greater good than marriage.

    2. In Humanae Vitae the Pope distinguished between first, lesser evil that would produce a greater good, and, second, a lesser evil that is produced by the same cause as the good (cf. Double Effect). The first is always proscribed. The latter can be permitted. Not to distinguish the two, as you seem to have done, is usually considered Proportionalism (cf. Veritatis Splendor).

    3. You seem also not to understand that even though marriage has been sacralized by the Church, it is first of all a natural institution. And all its legal protections are based on the nature of marriage, including property law.

    To say that in a homosexual relationship there is love (which by definition is to be admired) is to admire the arm and accuracy of someone who throws rocks that break the windows in Chartres Cathedral.

    4. The question of giving the Eucharist to those who publicly persist in grave sin has been dealt with here many times. I will, however, add this: If a priest knows with certitude that someone is privately persisting in sin, he has the obligation to make sure that person knows the serious consequences of receiving the Eucharist.

  47. acardnal says:

    lweisenthal, you talk like a lawyer. Perhaps you are one. But AB Cordileone wasn’t addressing “political” considerations but moral issues. And morality is definitely within the purview of the Church. Why? Because immorality may lead to eternal damnation. He has a sacred duty to teach that which will bring people to salvation. Homosexual behavior will not do so.

    Robtbrown raises points you should give serious consideration to.

  48. iamlucky13 says:

    “On a related note, I have not read this but the Catholic League reported today that the New York Times (ptooey!) had an editorial today that states that pedophilia should be decriminalized.”

    I just looked it up. It has a terrible title (I wonder what the author thinks about the way the NYT titled it), but thankfully, the editorial was not actually a call to decriminalize pedophilia, but to argue that the attraction is not so much a choice as a disorder, and to distinguish between the attraction and the act. The editorial is here.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/06/opinion/pedophilia-a-disorder-not-a-crime.html?ref=opinion&_r=0

    The intent seems to be encourage those with pedophilic tendencies to get help, and to keep those who don’t commit crimes from being treated unjustly. I don’t know what help might be possible, but I think I understand what the author is contending, and she outright states that child predators should be held responsible for their actions, and that there are limits on protecting the rights of those with such a disorder such as not putting someone struggling with pedophilic attraction in a job involving children.

  49. lweisenthal says:

    Hi Acardnal and Rotbrown, I thank you for your comments, from which I definitely gained helpful information and insights. No, I’m not a lawyer. I’m simply a layperson (actually a physician) who is concerned with some of these issues. Here’s my own personal layperson “brief” about the gay marriage issue: http://floppingaces.net/2010/08/25/summary-of-one-persons-my-opinion-of-the-gay-marriage-controversy-reader-post/

    Regarding St. Paul’s views on sacramental marriage, I was referring to 1 Corinthians 7 1-9

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  50. lweisenthal says:

    Addendum: Regarding H.V. and Pope Paul’s statement regarding lesser evils, here is the quote to which I referred:

    “Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good,” it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it (18)—in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general.”

    Now, the point I made was that Pope Paul VI did not anticipate the global legalization of abortion. So he gave examples of individual welfare, family welfare, and societal welfare. These examples would by doing evil so that good may come of it. But preventing ovulation for the purpose of preventing abortion would be an instance not of promoting a greater good but of avoiding a greater evil.

    – Larry Weisenthal/Huntington Beach CA

  51. Kathleen10 says:

    @ lweisenthal, if St. Paul had felt “celibacy was the ideal station in life, but if one could not be chaste he considered it was better to be married than to burn”, that would mean St. Paul endorsed the end of the species, since how could children result from a world of celibate people? Can we really say as you did, “St. Paul did not support a sacramental marriage to be a desirable human condition”? I don’t think so. Surely he referred to celibacy for clergy or religious and not for everyone.
    I think you are implying that people in general should support gay marriage because it limits the sin to the illicit relationship between two people rather than a multitude, which I don’t think holds up, in terms of Church teaching on morality.

  52. robtbrown says:

    LWiesenthal,

    I am aware of the text from HV also St Paul’s text.

    And you continue to make the same mistake regarding lesser evil.

  53. jhayes says:

    Here is the “Relatio ante disceptationem” which is the basis for this week’s discussions by the Synod participants.

    http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2014/10/06/0712/03003.html

    It was prepared by Cardinal Erdö based on the written comments which the participants submitted after receiving the “Instrumentum Laboris”

    Each particpant will have four minutes to comment on the “Relatio”

    http://press.vatican.va/content/salastampa/en/bollettino/pubblico/2014/10/06/0712/03003.html

    At the emd of the week, Cardinal Erdö will prepare a new “Relatio” incorporating comments made this week – and that will be used as the basis for discussions in small groups next week.

  54. acardnal says:

    lweisenfluh, as I quoted above in its totality para 14 from HV,

    “Neither is it valid to argue, as a justification for sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive, that a lesser evil is to be preferred to a greater one, or that such intercourse would merge with procreative acts of past and future to form a single entity, and so be qualified by exactly the same moral goodness as these. “

  55. acardnal says:

    sic: lweisenthal….

  56. acardnal says:

    lweisenthal wrote, “But preventing ovulation for the purpose of preventing abortion would be an instance not of promoting a greater good but of avoiding a greater evil.”

    Pope Paul VI wrote in para 14 of HV, “Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary. ”

    Deliberately preventing ovulation is a “permanent or temporary” sterilization.

  57. I like the way he reached all the way back to Casti connubi (an excellent, still relevant document) and went all the way to the present.

  58. robtbrown says:

    LWeisenthal says,

    But preventing ovulation for the purpose of preventing abortion would be an instance not of promoting a greater good but of avoiding a greater evil.

    The Church position on contraception is to protect the sanctity of the marital act.

    The question of the use of non abortifacient contraceptives is not the same for married vs unmarried couples.

  59. Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

    Fr. Z. wrote:

    “As a matter of fact, I think that the homosexual lobby within the Church are among the most vociferous in clamoring for Communion for the civilly remarried precisely because they want to detach sexual acts from procreation. Thus, anything that weakens that original and putatively valid marriage bond is heading in their direction.”

    Conversely, while Cardinal Wuerl has NOT been an open campaigner for Communion for the divorced-and-illicitly-remarried, he is famous for continuing Masses celebrated specifically for unchaste homosexuals (“Dignity Masses”) in Pittsburgh for NINE YEARS after Rome definitively demanded their termination, and for punishing any priest who denies Communion to unchaste homosexuals, and for demanding that his priests give Communion to public promoters of abortion.

    Cardinal Wuerl and the openly gay activists both know the same truth: Communion for those who notoriously commit one species of grave sin opens the door to giving Communion to all those who notoriously commit any species of grave sin.

  60. marcelus says:

    DO not forget:

    Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, the Archbishop of Buenos Aires and Primate of Argentina, has said that if a proposed bill giving same-sex couples the opportunity to marry and adopt children should be approved, it will “seriously damage the family.”
    He made the statement in a letter addressed to each of the four monasteries in Argentina, asking the contemplatives to pray “fervently” that legislators be strengthened to do the right thing.
    He wrote: “In the coming weeks, the Argentine people will face a situation whose outcome can seriously harm the family…At stake is the identity and survival of the family: father, mother and children. At stake are the lives of many children who will be discriminated against in advance, and deprived of their human development given by a father and a mother and willed by God. At stake is the total rejection of God’s law engraved in our hearts.”
    Cardinal Bergoglio continued: “Let us not be naive: this is not simply a political struggle, but it is an attempt to destroy God’s plan. It is not just a bill (a mere instrument) but a ‘move’ of the father of lies who seeks to confuse and deceive the children of God.”
    The cardinal also noted that “today the country, in this particular situation, needs the special assistance of the Holy Spirit to bring the light of truth on to the darkness of error, it need this advocate to defend us from being enchanted by many fallacies that are tried at all costs to justify this bill and to confuse and deceive the people of good will.”
    The cardinal explained why he has called on the nation’s Carmelites for “their prayers and sacrifice, the two invincible weapons of Santa Teresa.”
    “I invoke the Lord to send his Spirit on senators who will be voting, that they do not act in error or out of expediency, but according to what the natural law and the law of God shows them,” he said. Addressing the contemplatives, he called on them to pray for the legislators and their families, “that the Lord visit, strengthen and console them. Pray for the senators to do good for their country.”
    Cardinal Bergoglio said the bill will be discussed in the Senate after July 13. “We look to Saint Joseph, Mary and the Child Jesus and ask that they fervently defend the family in Argentina at this particular time,” he said. “We remember what God said to his people in a moment of great anguish: ‘This war is not yours, but God’s’: defend us, then, in this war of God.”
    Argentina already permits civil unions. Last Wednesday, a senate committee approved a bill which conferred on civil unions the same benefits as those who are married, but prohibited adoption and assisted reproduction.
    L’Osservatore Romano says that there is growing opposition to the legislative proposals, and many are opposed to same-sex marriage, not only Catholics. “They also consider the proposed legislation a serious threat to the natural family,” it writes.
    President Fernández de Kirchner has stated that she would not block the bill from becoming law if it was approved by the Senate.
    Same-sex marriage has been very much in the headlines in Argentina over the past year after a series of marriages were approved and then overturned by local and supreme courts.
    Earlier this year, Cardinal Carlo Caffarra of Bologna issued a doctrinal note warning against same-sex marriage, calling it “devastating” to society, and saying it would cause one of the “pillars of our legal system” to collapse.

    Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/edward-pentin/cardinal_bergoglio_hits_out_at_same-sex_marriage#ixzz3FQV12ixl

  61. Legisperitus says:

    When any Churchman (let alone a Cardinal!) speaks of any teaching of the Church as “outdated,” I can only wonder whether any inkling of the nature of Divine and Catholic Faith has ever penetrated his heart. Revelation does not have a sell-by date.

  62. Sadly, many if not most bishops have decided to just join the zeitgeist. It is after all much easier to do that than cooperate with the challenges that comes with God’s grace. In their position that would be standing up for and using their God-given talents, position, influence, charity, courage, fortitude, and patience to spread, not just defend, Roman Catholic Church Teaching. Instead many choose to give legitimacy to lifestyles contrary to the Teachings of Christ and just give up the fight. This has always baffled me. Why would they do that, given the sacramental oaths they have taken? Is it laziness, vanity, or a wholesale loss of faith?

  63. jhayes says:

    i wrote Here is the “Relatio ante disceptationem” which is the basis for this week’s discussions by the Synod participants.

    I was wrong. They are following the Instrumentum Laboris. Here is the beginning of the transcript of todays afternoon session ( sorry for the Italian but the transcript is in whatever language the speaker used. Much of today was in English)

    Alle ore 16.30 di oggi, alla presenza del Santo Padre, si tiene nell’Aula del Sinodo in Vaticano la seconda Congregazione generale del Sinodo straordinario sulla famiglia.

    Con questa Congregazione inizia il dibattito generale, che segue un ordine tematico in corrispondenza con le parti e i capitoli dell’Instrumentum laboris.

    La sessione tematica di oggi: Il disegno di Dio su matrimonio e famiglia (I parte, cap. 1), e La conoscenza della S. Scrittura e del Magistero su matrimonio e famiglia (I parte, cap. 2) si è aperta con una breve presentazione del Presidente delegato di turno, il Card André Vingt-Trois, Arcivescovo di Paris (Francia), che ha introdotto la testimonianza dei coniugi Romano e Mavis Pirola, Direttori del Australian Catholic Marriage and Family Council (Australia), presenti al sinodo come Uditori. Ne riportiamo di seguito i testi:

    HERE

  64. KAS says:

    I love when the advice is to go back and read the encyclicals on an issue in chronological order. I had a professor do that in a Moral Theology course for all sorts of social teaching of the Church and the clarity that can give you on the subject is amazing. I gained a whole new perspective on parts of Church teaching and a much deeper appreciation for the wisdom of those teachings.

    I am glad Cardinal Burke is speaking out. He isn’t the only one, but the press sure likes to ignore them. That said, it sometimes seems like there are more Bishops like Cardinal Kasper, than like Cardinal Burke. I don’t know this, and hope it is a wrong feeling, but it sure seems bad. Perhaps not quite as bad as when St. Athanasius declared that if he were the only one standing for orthodox teaching that it would be him against the world. St. Athanasius pray for the boldness and courage and protection of all the orthodox Bishops and priests!

    I am of great gratitude that I can home school so as to be more certain my kids are properly taught the Faith. But even so, I only have one who can quote from the documents and that one took a job that has him working weekend hours in such a way that Mass is out of the question and words cannot express how much it disturbs me that he is not shifting his hours to allow him to catch Mass on Sunday. It is not easy these days to find ANY programs that can be trusted to be orthodox. A teacher here or there who is mostly orthodox, a segment of an other wise good program botched, it is a minefield trying to educate one’s children to actually LIVE Catholicism. Our culture is so insistent with its propaganda that there ought to be nothing that you MUST do for religious reasons, and yet that same culture has propaganda for all kinds of things that are not negotiable and often contrary to Church teaching. I pray this synod end with a strongly worded support for Traditional orthodox teaching on marriage. All this fudging just adds support to the relativism of the culture.

  65. KAS says:

    When Bishops fudge on the teachings to “allow” teachings to be violated without penalties such as having to refrain from Communion– it teaches young people to state the dogmas and then, wink wink, violate them if they wish. I find myself wondering about those Bishops, “whose side are they on?”

  66. Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EilxXRaHhrk

    In this brief interview with Catholic News Service, Cardinal Wuerl continues his unbroken record: Namely, I am not aware of any statement by Cardinal Wuerl on the subject of the reception of Communion by manifest grave sinners that did muddle the issue by piling on falsehoods.

    He has, over the years, consistently muddled the responsibilities of the Communicant with those of the minister of Communion. (Another way to put this is that he has consistently pretended that Canon 915 IS Canon 916.) He has repeatedly pretended that it if a Communicant decides to approach for Communion, the issue is settled. While it may be WRONG for such a person to approach for Communion, there is no such thing as an obligation to DENY Communion.

    He has consistently pretended that to deny Communion to manifest grave sinners is a PENALTY, which he, a bishop, may or may not CHOOSE to impose. It is not a penalty. It is a grave obligation, strictly and absolutely required by the moral and divine law. (And this is why Canon 915 is NOT a penal canon.)

    Now, squidlike, Cardinal Wuerl injects another dose of inky confusion into the water: an overstated, misapplied distinction between what is “doctrinal” and what is “pastoral.” Another way to put it is: He makes an over-broad distinction that obscures the real distinctions that must be made. (Which is what Dr. Edward Peters points out.)

    When a person manages, over a period of many years, in each and every public utterance on a topic, to add to people’s confusion and their misunderstanding of the issue, something is at work other than the laws of chance.

  67. Gratias says:

    I am with Traductora and Kathleen on this one.

    After the immense damage inflicted by homosexuals on the priesthood and the Church it is amazing to see them pushing from within our institutions. I am all for communion for divorced but that is the stalking horse. The stallion is contraception, abortion, and euthanasia – the culture of Death. Coming soon to a parish near you Church marriages in the name of egalitarianism if the Church wants to keep tax exemptions. This is like releasing the furies of Pandora’s box voluntarily. Like 1964 this is the wrong time for aggiornamento. This is the epoch of Obama and Progressivism, Kirshner and Peronism, Hollande and Socialism, Madero and Chavismo, Ortega and Sandinismo, and the Castros and Communism. These leaders will pass but the tweaking to church pastoral practice will stay with us for decades. Is is what, 60 years after Paul VI’s Council? We cannot shake off its negaive effects. I fear what might emerge from this reckless exercise might be Sacrosanctum Concilium II.

  68. Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick says:

    Correction:

    “…did not muddle…”

  69. Deacon Augustine says:

    Larry Wiesenthal, in your original posting above you described hormonal implants as having reduced the number of abortions. As other commentators have noted, hormonal contraception is still a grave evil which is never permissible. However, what many people do not realise is that hormonal contraceptives are also abortifacients.

    While one of their roles is to suppress ovulation by making the woman’s body think it is already pregnant (the long-term side effects of this or of themselves horrendous), another feature of their operation is that they remove the endometrial lining of the womb, so that in the event that an egg is fertilized, it cannot implant and thus the embryo is expelled from the womb. The only methods of contraception which are not abortifacient are barrier methods which are less reliable for planning pregnancies than Natural Fertility monitoring methods. Having worked in academia and the pharmaceutical industry as a biochemist, I cannot emphasize enough the dangers of hormonal contraceptives for women. If they had been created for men, it is highly unlikely they would ever have been licensed and if they had been, the lawsuits against big pharma would dwarf the tobacco industry’s problems by comparison.

  70. shoofoolatte says:

    Yes, we believe in the sacredness and sacramentality of marriage. That our vows are made in heaven and that our love will last forever. The very idea captivates us and we are sure that we will make whatever sacrifices it takes to make it “work”.

    The problem is that we are human. Less than perfect. Some of us are damaged from way back. Things start not working out. We hurt each other, deeply. Things fall apart. Sometimes it is beyond our control: addictions, depressions. No matter how many “sorries” we say, we cannot put things back together again.

    So here we are, 25 years old and already failures. There might be a child or two. Despite our hard won insights into ourselves, we are not allowed to try again. We cannot eat at the family table anymore, so that the idea of a sacramental marriage can be preserved.

    What would Jesus say to us?

  71. acardnal says:

    Thank you Fr. Vincent Fitzpatrick for your faithful witness . . .and temerity. I am reminded of Fr. Marcel Guarnizo’s denial of communion to an active lesbian and AB Wuerl’s response to it.

  72. Fiat Domine says:

    Dear Father Z,
    This might not be the place for this comment, but this morning I received a notice from Amazon telling me “Hello, We’re still trying to obtain the following item[s] you ordered on August 28, 2014”. (My order was a pre-order of “Remaining In The Truth Of Christ” book). Have you heard of anyone else having trouble with their Amazon pre-order of this book? I sure hope they can get them, or if not, where else would you suggest to buy one?
    Thank you dear Father. Deo Gratias.

  73. robtbrown says:

    LWeisenthal,

    I followed your link and read part of your summary.

    1. You seem to think a live-and-let-live attitude is possible. Experience shows otherwise. There have already been lawsuits filed against merchants (e.g., bakeries, photographers) who refuse to participate in Homosexual “weddings”.

    There is also the situation with the public schools, where there is already indoctrination about Homosexual Unions. So much for the Free Exercise clause.

    2. I’m not so sure I buy your premise that the number of homosexual persons is constant across cultures and eras. Many years ago Carl Jung wrote that homosexuality would become more prevalent.

  74. Grateful to be Catholic says:

    I cannot let pass without comment the references to “equal protection under the law.” The Supreme Court yesterday announced that it will not review decisions of several U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals that struck down state laws limiting marriage to one man and one woman. The Circuit Court decisions were generally based on the claim the same-sex couples have a right to equal protection of the laws. This is nonsensical. The laws have always protected the right of a man to marry a woman and a woman to marry a man. People with same-sex attraction also have that right. What they are demanding is a new right, not a right equal to what they and everyone else has always had.

    This redefining of marriage would not have been possible if we had not already, in civil law and popular practice, destroyed all the other characteristics of marriage: indissolubility, fertility, and exclusivity. Besides no-fault divorce, we have sex without children, children without sex (in vitro), marriage without children, children without marriage, and sex without marriage. Now we have broken the final bond: “marriage” without real sex. The societal consequences of this breakdown of the family are all around us and fully recognized even in academic studies.

    Even the British government realizes that this makes no sense in any traditional or legal understanding of marriage: they have proposed that the requirement of consummation be eliminated so that same-sex couples can marry. In one stroke, they admit that marriage requires sexual intercourse and that same-sex couples can’t do it.

    It appears that the Catholic Church is one of the few institutions still upholding the natural order of marriage. It is irresponsible for bishops to propose that any essential characteristic of marriage be denied by winking at the consequences of violating it. For bishops to muddle anything about the Church’s teaching and discipline on marriage is irresponsible. Those bishops and cardinals who are doing so must be on an agenda that has nothing to do with building up and protecting the Body of Christ. There, I am judgmental and I will not apologize for it.

  75. pannw says:

    shoofoolatte says: …So here we are, 25 years old and already failures. There might be a child or two. Despite our hard won insights into ourselves, we are not allowed to try again. We cannot eat at the family table anymore, so that the idea of a sacramental marriage can be preserved.

    What would Jesus say to us?

    I imagine it would be something to the effect of ” If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

    Or a complete repeat of His supper parable in Luke 14, after which He told the people, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not carry his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”

    So if someone can not reject a lover who is not even their true spouse in the eyes of Christ and His Church, then what do you think Jesus would say to that person?

    And perhaps I am misreading your intent with the part about ‘so that the idea of a sacramental marriage can be preserved’, but the tone of it sounds as though you think that is not at all worth making someone feel like a ‘failure’. It isn’t the ‘idea’ of one, but it is in fact a sacramental marriage that is preserved, whether one acknowledges it or not. Jesus was quite clear about that. “…from the beginning it was not so…”He also never promised our lives would be peachy keen, or that we would never feel like ‘failures’, only that our reward would be worth picking up our cross and following Him.

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