Polish, Eastern bishops meet separately to defend family, marriage

Remember the secretive, liberal, French, Swiss, German meeting of the circle around Card.   Kasper’s proposal at the Gregorian University? They met to strategize about how to use the upcoming Synod, et al.

Remember the recent meeting of presidents of African bishops conferences who strongly defended perennial Catholic teaching?

Now I see this from NCRegister:

Polish and Eastern Bishops Discuss Need to Uphold Catholic Teaching Ahead of Synod

ROME — During recent meetings which were held separately, both the Polish bishops and the Eastern Catholic bishops from Europe have discussed the family in view of the upcoming synod on the family and are likely to uphold Catholic pastoral care for families.

The bishops from Poland will be on the front line at the synod, giving an overall view of the family and not focusing merely on the contentious issues of access to Communion for the divorced and remarried and pastoral openings to homosexual relationships.

A source in a congregation at the Roman Curia told CNA that “the feeling of the Polish bishops is that John Paul II’s teaching on marriage and family has been betrayed” by the “shadow council” led by some German bishops at the Pontifical Gregorian University on May 25.

The lecture delivered the last week of May to the Polish bishops’ conference’s general assembly by Jesuit Father Dariusz Kowalczyk illustrates the issues at stake for the Polish bishops.

Grounded in St. John Paul II’s pastoral care and speaking about granting access to Communion for the divorced and remarried, Father Kowalczyk indicated two criticisms.

“The first question we should ask ourselves,” he said, “is this: Does the Church have the authority to give sacramental absolution and holy Communion to divorced persons cohabiting in non-sacramental unions? This question of Communion for those people is comparable to the issue of the mandatory celibacy of priests, or, on another the level, to that of ordaining women.”

He then continued: “If we answer the question of Communion for remarried divorcees by saying that a change in the Church’s current doctrine and practice is possible, then a second question can be asked: From the pastoral viewpoint, would the new, proposed sacramental practice be useful? Would it edify the Church or not? After all, the fact that something could be possible from the doctrinal point of view does not necessarily imply that it would be good for the Church from a pastoral point of view.”


Read the rest there. It’s good.

And then…

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The more than 40 bishops met in Prague June 4-7 to further develop their responses to the many challenges facing families. Among the participants were Archbishop Cyril Vasil’, secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches. Archbishop Vasil’ contributed a chapter to Remaining in the Truth of Christ, in which he argued that there is no coherent position among the Eastern Orthodox Churches that favors oikonomia, a practice which some, including Cardinal Walter Kasper, have cited as a justification for admitting the divorced and remarried to Communion.

At the conclusion of their meeting, the Eastern Catholic bishops stated that the Church, including particularly Eastern Catholic Churches, “gives its Yes to the family, the fundamental cell of human society, where every person becomes more and more him / herself.”

“The family, the domestic church spoken of by St. John Chrysostom and repeated by the Second Vatican Council, as a workshop and training ground for humanity, is not just the place where the transmission of faith happens, but where the fundamental principles of living together are learned. … Husbands and wives, parents and children, brothers and sisters are called to love each other: Everyone in the family has a unique and important role.”

The Eastern Catholic bishops added, “In preparation for the synod of bishops … the episcopal participants at the meeting were committed to promoting an evermore careful preparation for the sacrament of matrimony, so that husband and wife, with the strength of grace [of God], might generate a true communion of life welcoming children and educating them.”


Si vis pacem, para bellum.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. donato2 says:

    Laudato si’ provides a solid and useful base for defending and upholding the Church’s anthropological teachings. Those teachings safeguard human ecology. Divorce, for example, is very destructive to the human environment, particularly for children.

  2. Auggie says:

    I love the Eastern Orthodox, but they should not be allowing divorced and remarried people to receive Communion. I’m therefore concerned that the proposal by Francis to change the date of Easter (to appease the Orthodox) might be a sort of Kasperian ploy to advance “unity” at the expense of traditional Catholic teachings. A false union is not what is needed.

  3. Lirioroja says:

    Changing the date of Easter has nothing to do with aquiesing on Church teaching. Until the Roman Catholic Church started the Gregorian calendar, both East and West celebrated Easter on the same day. The reason the dates are different today is because the Orthodox refused to adopt the Gregorian calendar for liturgical purposes. Greece continued to use the Julian calendar until the 1920’s. Far greater is the scandal to non-Christians, especially Muslims, that we don’t celebrate our greatest feast on the same day.

    There are Eastern Catholic Churches that also use the Julian date for Easter (the Ukrainian Catholic Church in Canada comes to mind) so there’s more at stake than just fostering unity with the Orthodox.

  4. Woody79 says:

    Perhaps, just maybe, we’ll see a fight at the synod?! I envision the Poles and African bishops taking off the miters and “asking” the German, French and Swiss bishops to meet them out back for a “pastoral discussion” on the future of Catholic families. I’d buy tickets to that meeting.

  5. Auggie says:

    Changing the date of Easter might have everything to do with acquiescing on Church teaching.
    Cardinal Kasper is using the Orthodox ideas on divorce and remarriage in an attempt to change Roman Catholic doctrine. Therefore, considering the cardinal’s closeness with the bishop of Rome, it is logical to be worried about the motivation of Francis when it comes to East-West “unity” and what that means down the road.

  6. Hidden One says:

    Oh to be a fly on the wall at the Synod.

Comments are closed.