Sandro Magister has some analysis of the lead up to next October’s Synod on the Family.
It might surprise you.
The Synod Market Index. Kasper Down, Caffarra Up
Even Pope Francis is distancing himself from the former and taking sides with the latter. And staying on good terms with Cardinal Müller. And promoting the African Sarah. All unyielding defenders of the Catholic doctrine on marriage
ROME, March 20, 2015 – “This does not resolve anything,” Pope Francis has said with regard to the idea of giving communion to the divorced and remarried. Much less if they “want” it, demand it. Because communion “is not a badge, a decoration. No.”
In his latest big interview Jorge Mario Bergoglio threw cold water on the expectations for substantial change in the doctrine and practice of Catholic marriage, which he himself had indirectly fostered:
“Overblown expectations,” he called them. With no more references to the innovative theses of Cardinal Walter Kasper, which he had repeatedly extolled in the past but now seems to be keeping at a distance.
On the other hand, for some time now Pope Francis has looked with growing attention and esteem at another cardinal theologian, who upholds ideas on the “Gospel of marriage” that are perfectly in line with tradition: the Italian Carlo Caffarra, archbishop of Bologna. [Caffarra was a contributor to the Five Cardinals Book™.]As a professor of moral theology, Caffarra was a specialist in marriage, family, procreation. And this is why John Paul II wanted him at the head of the pontifical institute for studies on marriage and the family that he created in 1981 at the Lateran university, following the 1980 synod dedicated precisely to these themes.
So a stir was created last October by the exclusion of any representative of that institute[!] – which since its foundation has spread all over the world – from the first session of the synod on the family.
But now this gap has been filled, because last March 14 Pope Francis appointed among the advisers of the general secretariat of the second and last session of the synod, scheduled for October of this year, none other than the vice-president of the pontifical John Paul II institute for studies on marriage and the family, Professor José Granados. [Although we have to look at the other people who were appointed.]
As for Caffarra, if the Italian episcopal conference does not elect him this May among its four delegates at the synod, the pope will certainly see to including him among the synod fathers, as he did for the previous session.
The archbishop of Bologna is one of the five anti-Kasper cardinals who assembled their ideas in the book “Remaining in the Truth of Christ” published in Italy by Cantagalli on the eve of the last synod and now translated into ten languages. [Buy in USA HERE Buy in UK HERE]
And right from the start he was one of the most determined and incisive critics of the bombshell speech read by Kasper at the consistory of February 2014:
In this extensive interview with “Il Foglio” published on March 15, 2014, Caffarra said among other things, with regard to communion for the divorced and remarried:
“Those who advance this hypothesis do not have an answer to a very simple question: what about the first marriage, ratified and consummated? The proposed solution leads one to think that the first marriage remains intact, but that there is also a second form of cohabitation that the Church legitimizes. Therefore there is an extramarital exercise of human sexuality that the Church considers legitimate. But with this comes a denial of the cornerstone of the Church’s teaching on sexuality. At this point one could ask oneself: so why not approve cohabitation at will? So why not relationships between homosexuals? This is not only a question of practice, it also touches upon doctrine. Unavoidably. One may say that it doesn’t, but it does. Not only that. It introduces a custom that in the long run determines this idea in the people, and not only among Christians: there is no such thing as an absolutely indissoluble marriage. And this is certainly against the Lord’s will.”
Further below, in its entirety, is Caffarra’s latest position statement on marriage and family: a conference he gave last March 12 in Rome at the Pontifical University of the Holy Cross.
But first it will be helpful to recall other facts that highlight the growing approach of Pope Francis toward Kasper’s critics.
Read the rest there.
Is the tide turning, or is this a tactic?