Card. Kasper: It’s a scandal to deny Communion to adulterers

john_stoneIn the Augustinian Order today is the Feast of St John Stone, one of the 40 English Martyrs canonized by the author of Humanae Vitae. He died under Henry VIII opposing the original version of the Kasper Proposal.

Speaking of Kasper, this is, frankly, scandalous.

Via LifeSite:

BREAKING: Cardinal Kasper: Can the ‘remarried’ now receive communion? ‘Yes. Period.’

October 24, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — In a recent publication of the German journal Stimmen der Zeit (Journal for Christian Culture), Cardinal Walter Kasper published an article calling Amoris Laetitia a “paradigm shift” in the Church’s teaching. [It was a paradigm shift for more than one reason, perhaps.  One reason is that it teaches through implication and ambiguity rather than through unmistakable clarity.  The fact that we keep having to come back to certain questions and that theologians are divided underscores this approach.  Kasper, however, who was an architect of what has become a seriously confusion situation, is raring to go.]

“Amoris Laetitia: Break or Beginning” is the title of a recent scientific article by Kasper in which he analyzes the post-synodal exhortation and provides his opinion on the right hermeneutic in reading it.  [Guess which side he comes down on.]

In the first part called “Discussion regarding the binding character,” Kasper critiques Cardinal Raymond Burke [there’s a surprise] for his statement that post-synodal documents by the Pope are not necessarily binding. Instead, Kasper states, “This position is refuted by the formal character of an Apostolic Exhortation as well as its content.”

According to Kasper – and indeed he is right, as evidenced by the post-synodal discussions concerning the document – critiques of Amoris Laetitia boil down to the question of “remarried” divorced Catholics receiving Communion.  [Indeed, it is more fundamental even than that. The question also must be, can people who are manifestly living in a state of sin receive Communion.  And behind that, does it matter if you are in the state of mortal sin?  And behind that: What is “Communion” anyway?]

As Kasper points out, the question is addressed by two different camps: One opinion is held by “conservatives,” some of whom (including German philosopher Robert Spaemann) see Amoris Laetitia as a break from the tradition of the Church, whereas others (including Cardinal Gerhard Müller) say the publication does not change the position of the Church.

Another (held by Italian theologian Rocco Buttiglione) says the doctrine of the Church is developed further but not on the line of Pope John Paul II. Yet others acknowledge a “careful development” that is paired with a lack of “concrete guidelines.” The last position among the “conservatives” is Norbert Lüdecke (Canon Law, Bonn, Germany) who says it is up to the individual conscience of the remarried divorced person to decide if he or she may receive Communion or not.

Kasper goes on to cite Buttiglione that Cardinal Christoph Schönborn presents the “decisive interpretation.” This citation refers back to a publication in L’Osservatore Romano. The same position is taken by Fr. Antonio Spadaro, SJ in La Civiltà Cattolica, among whom Kasper wants to count himself.

Kasper critiques the “alleged confusion” [“alleged”?  Look at what Kasper detailed as the state of the question!] as having been caused by a “third party” who has “alienated themselves from the sense of faith and life of the people of God.” He continues to say that “behind the pastoral tone of the document lies a well thought-out theological position.”  [One must, then, ask, why wasn’t that well thought-out theological position spelled out clearly in AL?  Kasper claims there is a “well thought-out position”.  Gratis asseritur.]

The Cardinal praises the “realistic, open, and relaxed way of dealing with sexuality and eroticism” in Amoris Laetitia that does not seek to “indoctrinate or moralize.” [So, is that what this is all about?]With a grain of salt, [What’s that kind of phrase doing in an explanation of a “well thought-out position”?] one can say that Amoris Laetitia distances itself from a primarily negative Augustinian view of sexuality and turns toward an affirming Thomistic view on creation.”  [We really need some Thomists to drill into Kasper.  Also, picture yourself trying to explain this situation to St. Thomas Aquinas, and finishing with the phrase: “Therefore, the divorced and remarried can receive Communion.”  But wait… it get’s worse…] Kasper repeats his opinion that the moral ideal is an “optimum,” yet is unreachable by many. “Oftentimes, we have to choose the lesser evil,” he states, “in the living life there is no black and white but only different nuances and shadings.”  [There it is.  Morals are only ideals, I guess.]

Amoris Laetitia does not change an iota of the teaching of the Church, yet it changes everything.” [What does that mean?] The text provides ground for believing – so says Kasper – that the Pope, and with him the Church, moves away from a “legal morality” and toward the “virtue morality” of Thomas Aquinas.  [Ummm… the “legal morality” v. “virtue morality”.]

Afterward, the Cardinal presents his own complex interpretation of Thomistic teachings concerning virtue and moral law in concrete situations. [I haven’t seen the Stimmen der Zeit text, but I’m fully prepared to believe that it is complex.] He bases his opinion on prudence as the “application of a norm in a concrete situation.” “Prudence does not give foundation to the norm, it presupposes it,” Kasper writes. He draws the conclusion that the “norm” is not applicative mechanically in every situation, but prudence is needed as fits the case.


St John Stone in his prison cell awaiting execution. From an engraving printed in 1612 at Liege in a volume by Georges Maigret Buillonoy OSA (+1633)

With reference to Familiaris Consortio (No. 84), Kasper states that “remarried” divorcees are not anymore punished with excommunication but instead are “invited to participate as living members of Church life.”

Instead of choosing the path of John Paul II and Benedict XVI (“who had adhered to John Paul II’s decision”) to not allow “remarried” divorced Catholics to receive Communion and instead to insist that they practice abstinence in their sexual relations, Pope Francis “goes a step further, by putting the problem in a process of an embracing pastoral [approach] of gradual integration.” [Which means that just about anyone can receive Communion, regardless of their objective state.]

“Amoris Laetitia envisages which forms of exclusion from ecclesiastical, liturgical, pastoral, educational, and institutional services can be overcome,” Kasper explains. He posits that when John Paul II gave permission for remarried divorced to receive Communion – if they lived as brother and sister – this was “in fact a concession.” [There is still the matter of public propriety, etc.] The Cardinal reasons this by saying, “Abstinence belongs to the most intimate sphere and does not abolish the objective contradiction of the ongoing bond of marriage of the first sacramental marriage and the second civil marriage.” [He got something right, there.]

Kasper further denies the magisterial content of the provision: “This provision obviously does not have the same weight than the general norm; anyhow it is not a final binding magisterial statement.” In Kasper’s eyes, John Paul II’s request opens up a “playground” between the “dogmatic principle” and the “pastoral consequence,” which Amoris Laetitia tries to widen.  [It’s a “playground”, but perhaps with a “grain of salt”.]

Another argument Kasper tries to use to justify allowing “remarried” divorcees to receive Communion is the distinction between “objective mortal sin” and “subjective culpability.” He insists that Pope Francis “emphasizes the subjective aspects without ignoring the objective elements.” Kasper also alludes to the fact that sometimes people are not able to be convinced of an “objective norm” because it seems to them to be “as insurmountably estranged from world and reality.” [I would ask, if people cannot understand, cannot grasp, cannot accept the Church’s teaching about the indissolubility of marriage, should they be receiving Communion at all?  Perhaps. If that is the only point they are shaky on.  But is it likely that that’s the only weak spot?]

“The conscience of many people is oftentimes blind and deaf to that which is presented to them as Divine Law. That is not a justification of their error, yet an understanding and mercifulness with the erroneous person.”

Therefore, Kasper states that “Amoris Laetitia lays the groundwork for a changed pastoral praxis in a reasoned individual case.” Yet he also says the “Papal document does not draw clear practical conclusions from these premises.[But… let’s see if the Cardinal draws clear practical conclusions from it.] According to Kasper, the Pope leaves the question open, and the very fact of leaving it open is “in itself a magisterial decision of great consequence.”

Kasper explains that the direction of Pope Francis is clear: “One does not need to focus on footnotes. [Ummm… first, the footnotes are the cause of much confusion.  Next, if they are not important, why were they included?] Much more important is that the gradual integration, which is the key topic in question, is directed essentially towards admittance to the Eucharist as full-form of the participation of the life of the Church.”

Kasper quotes Francis’ statement from an in-flight press conference on April 16 wherein he responded to the question if in some cases remarried divorced can receive Communion with the poignant words: “Yes. Period.” This answer is not found in Amoris Laetitia but ‘corresponds to the general ductus.’”  [And so he draws a clear practical conclusion from the document that he says doesn’t draw clear practical conclusions.  Or did I get that wrong?]

According to Kasper, this statement is in full accordance with Canon Law (915 CIC/1983) because it does not negate that “obstinacy to remain in mortal sin” can supposedly be judged in individual cases, and in some cases be excluded. It is even up for discussion whether an objective mortal sin is present in the given case.   [Look how far this has now drifted.]

He adds that the cause of scandal is not necessarily having a person who lives in a second civil marriage receive Communion. Rather, in such a situation, “not the admission but the denial of the sacraments is creating scandal.” [If I am not mistaken, I think he said that it is a scandal to deny Communion to adulterers.  Which turns two thousand years of teaching, starting with Christ Himself, on its head.]

Wow.  Nobody spins like Kasper spins.  He could look you in the eye and without blinking argue that sea urchins are really giraffes.

A Cardinal of the Church says it is a scandal to deny Communion to people who are in an objective state of adultery and the Chicago Cubs are in the World Series.

Is the end of the world and the Lord’s return upon us?

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  1. Amerikaner says:

    Ah yes. The Cardinal that lied about his African comments and got caught. Who needs credibility?

  2. LarryW2LJ says:

    The mental gymnastics being performed by the Germans are truly worthy of a Gold medal. How we got from “here” to “there” is beyond me. This is starting to remind me of a Monty Python sketch – “Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery” – wink, wink, nudge, nudge.

    These “learned” men think that this is going to bring a tidal wave of fallen away Catholics back to the Church. Just the opposite. Clarity and certainty are what people desire the most. This brand of “lukewarm dishwater Catholicism” is going to drive more people away – in droves.

    Can’t ANYBODY learn ANYTHING from 500 years of Reformation error?

  3. Clemens Romanus says:

    I just went to Confession this morning and I think I may have to go again tomorrow. This Wolf in Sheep’s clothing….

  4. Legisperitus says:

    “General Ductus” is my new nickname for the Cardinal.

  5. Benedict Joseph says:

    Why am I even attempting to make a comment in regard to this vain deposit, particularly when your critique alone makes it in any way intelligible?
    As disheartening as this statement by Cardinal Kasper is, it does serve the purpose of unveiling the cognitive dissonance at work in “Amoris Laetitia” and the “school of theologians” who produced it and promote it as pastoral practice. At some point in history – hopefully I will witness it as a current event – this material will make it ever so much simpler to dismantle the “Freudulence” presented as mercy.

  6. Laurence England says:

    He. They. Are so, so, so sneaky.

  7. THREEHEARTS says:

    Fr John Hardon in a letter released after his death. A letter which was just recently made known, makes a very interesting statement about Fr Kasper and his theology. He was involved in the New catechism at that time. It seems his permission was eagerly sought and his conception of the incarnation was a bit dodgy.

  8. Geoffrey says:

    I wish someone would ask His Eminence, and those who agree with his line of thinking, to explain what they think happens to the mark on the soul from sacramental marriage. Is it no longer there, thereby making adultery a non-issue? If that were so, then we would be discussing fornication / cohabitation, which are still mortal sins. I just don’t get it.

  9. Pedro Froes says:

    It’s funny… What Cardinal Kasper says about morals in St. Thomas is the same wrong thing Machiavelli once said. Both consider St. Thomas’s moral to be idilic and unreachable. Both consider it unrealistic.
    However, what Machiavelli does is that he clearly opposes this idea. He says the thomistic morals are undue because their standards are too high. On the other hand, Kasper claims a return to these morals, because they are great, while surreptitiously he says that they are also not for everyone. He ends up giving up morals at all.

    So while one assumes the attack on thomistic morals, the other masks it up.
    Plus, they both oppose moral prescriptivism to moral virtue.
    Both end up being wrong about this: thomistic morals are excellent and the best we have.

    Oh well, poor St. Thomas. He must be rolling in his grave.

    Sancte Thomae, ora pro nobis!

  10. Clinton says:

    I notice that His Eminence Cardinal Kasper is advocating this new paradigm of
    “an embracing pastoral approach of gradual integration” just in the context of
    the divorced and ‘remarried’– for now. What is to prevent the new paradigm’s
    ever-wider application for all sorts of other mortal sins? Who should presume to
    deny Communion to the unshriven murderer, pedophile or public apostate? We’d
    quickly come to the point where the only way one could count on being reliably
    denied Communion is if one attempted to receive on the tongue, whilst kneeling.

    (It is interesting to note that His Eminence has not yet suggested that those German
    Catholics who do not pay their Kirchensteuer, their Church tax, be “accompanied
    in mercy” like those in adulterous relationships. In Kasper’s Church, not paying your
    tax will not only get you denied Communion, but also pretty much every other
    Sacrament– and I have yet to hear His Eminence talk about changing that

  11. msmsem says:

    I have recently been wondering, esp. in light of the announcement of the latest batch of cardinals, just how many of them can hear the words in good conscience: “To the glory of Almighty God and the honor of the Apostolic See, receive the scarlet biretta as a sign of the dignity of the cardinalate, signifying your readiness to act with courage, even to the shedding of your blood, for the increase of the Christian faith, for the peace and tranquillity of the people of God and for the freedom and growth of Holy Roman Church.”

    It seems that so many – if push came to shove – would choose their blood (or its metaphoric equivalent – popularity, public opinion, esteem, even political correctness?) over the safeguarding and transmission of the Christian faith. God, strengthen these men and protect those who would indeed shed their blood for the faith!

  12. Michael_Thoma says:

    This is what you get when you start with the conclusion and come up with everthing you can to defend your preconceived notion.

    Either His Eminence is a enormity of genius, or has mush in his head instead of logical thought. Or he’s the theological equivalent of Intro.. Conclusion.. fill-the-middle-using-Autocorrect.

  13. DonL says:

    What is most frightening, is not a rogue bishop, but the entire play, including the structure and manipulation of the councils, and the ambiguity as default from Rome, (including encyclicals ) so exposed for the danger to the faith that it is. Read Auctorem Fidei by Pope Pius VI.
    As my wise Catholic theology prof used to say: “No one follows an uncertain trumpet.”

  14. Bos Mutissimus says:

    Is it safe now to refer to this movement as Kasp-Arianism, or even the Kasp-Arian Heresy?

    I was reluctant at first to name it heresy, except that it seems to fit the criteria:
    1) it is post-baptismal
    2) it sure seems to be obstinate (that is, after two synods, an Apostolic Exhortation, designation of an official interpreter, personal letter to a national episcopal conference and “Yes. Period.”)
    3) it implicitly denies a Truth…
    4) …that must be believed with Divine and Catholic Faith (i.e., the indissolubility of Holy Matrimony is De Fide, is it not?)

  15. SenexCalvus says:

    It’s no coincidence — but neither is it Providence! — that this further clarification of Pope Bergoglio’s intent has been published on the eve of his pilgrimage to Lund to celebrate the Protestant Reformation, the heirs of which continue to espouse the sort of forensic justification that doesn’t require ongoing conversion.

  16. Kathleen10 says:

    Average woman in the pew here, no theologian, no learned scholar (in theology).
    I’ve followed these developments very, very closely for some years now. Three.
    We are witnessing something colossal, something utterly unique, no human beings have witnessed it, but we are. Lucky us.
    The men in charge of the church think we don’t see it or understand it. But we do.
    They believe most Catholics agree with them. That’s probably right. Souls are lost and rushing headlong toward hell. It’s spilling over into this world, which already seems very hell-like.
    But the remnant. Ah, the remnant. We will never, ever, under any circumstances, forget what we learned and what we know to be true. And please God, we will never betray that truth.
    We are waiting on the Lord to separate the wheat from the chaff. His winnowing fork in in His hand…

  17. James C says:

    Not just any cardinal, but the present pope’s favourite theologian! Where does that leave us?

    On our knees, praying for aid in facing the great evils to come. Lord have mercy!

  18. DeGaulle says:

    ” Laetitia does not change an iota of the teaching of the Church…”:

    That is all I want to hear from this man.

  19. Pingback: Cardinal Kasper: Can the ‘remarried’ now receive communion? ‘Yes. Period.’ |

  20. comedyeye says:

    Our diocese just finished a two day conference on evangelization to our fallen away brothers and sisters. How now do we evangelize to those in objectively sinful marriages? Which Church are we inviting them back to? Why is Cardinal Kasper now the authoritative voice on this issue?
    Is this not a slippery slope which can lead to Communion for those in a same sex union?
    Once a door is opened it is virtually impossible to close it as we have seen with Communion in the hand and versus populum worship. It will take the next strong pope to put this issue to bed.

  21. MrTipsNZ says:

    ….not the admission but the denial of the sacraments is creating scandal.
    But what if the divorced/remarried did not pay German eccelsiastical tax? Is not denying them a cause for scandal too?

    Hypocrisy of Teutonic proportions. May the Lord smite him with a blunt instrument and refer him to his senses…soon. Germany does not have much time, with a decaying Church leadership and a rampant, malicious “migrant” faction growing by the day.

  22. Traductora says:

    I never comment on anything, anywhere, anymore because I have nothing positive to say and in fact can not even sound rational most of the time. There is so much wrong that where does one begin?

    But Kasper’s remark about AL’s dealing with “sexuality and eroticism” is just about one of the most bizarre things to come out of the papal coven. Everybody around the Pope – “Art of Kissing” Fernandez, Kasper, the usual Belgians, etc. – seems to be obsessed by sex and somehow think that the Church has just ruined the fun for 2000 years and that they have arrived with their new revelation to set the world free from the chains of sexual morality or any morality at all, for that matter. I feel a burst of irrationality coming on so I think I’ll stop now.

  23. Gilbert Fritz says:

    Just my attempt to sort this situation out:

    What would happen in the following scenario? Let’s imagine a good but confused man as pope. This pope happens to hold a heretical position on a certain topic. He certainly does not realize it is heretical, but there it is. The pope never considers coming out and dogmatically defining this idea of his, because he is a sort who does not bother with formality much. But in any case, if he ever tried it, he’d find that somehow he couldn’t. So, either due to preference or due to prevention, his only way of changing things is to make ambiguous and confusing remarks and statements, while leaving it to his enthusiastic followers to make it explicit, which they are only too happy to do. They are mostly not good men, and are busily using their opportunity to undermine the Church, though there may be some good but confused men among them.

    Now I’m sure you will all say “But God would correct such a good but misguided man! He can’t stay both good AND misguided! God would never allow such a thing!”

    But what if God wanted to winnow out the chaff? What if God wanted to test us, see if we would stick to the Church when the going got tough, when it seemed as if the very Church itself had abandoned us? “My God, My God, why hast though forsaken me!” A dark night of the Church. I’m very fond of that section in The Silver Chair, where Puddleglum states that he will keep following Aslan even if he does not exist. What if God also wanted to punish us for our smugness and our lack of Faith? For to someone with true, deep faith and trust this turmoil would not be disturbing. (Not classing myself as such!)

    Now this would also hold true with an evil, scheming pope doing the above to purposely undermine the Church; but try as I will, look as I may, Francis the first, Vicar of Christ, Bishop of Rome, does not seem like an evil man; he does not seem like his ardent supporters, Kasper and the rest. He seems too real, too authentic for that.

    St. Junipero Serra, pray for us. (The liberals had a spittle flecked nutty over THAT decision of Francis!)

  24. mithrandirmonk says:

    I nearly had a seizure when I read, “…toward the ‘virtue morality’ of Thomas Aquinas.” Then, after composing myself, I smiled and thought, “Well, then, let us remember that the ‘virtue morality’ of Thomas has much to say about ‘vices in morality’ as well. And vice does not comport well with providing up moral species for specifying the acts to be elicited by the will. . . . Oh, also, don’t forget that in sexual matters alone (indeed, merely considered from the perspective of chastity and not the injustice, for instance, that would be involved in cases of adultery) one can even pass beyond unchastity to the much worse realm of unnatural vices. Perhaps his Eminence is missing ST II-II q.154 a.11-12 from the personal copy of the Summa theologiae that he much *certainly* read every day if he is going to make such claims about the ‘virtue morality’ of Thomas Aquinas.”

    Methinks, however, he is referring to an ens rationis sine fundamento in re. His purported “Thomistic virtue ethics” does not exist at all, whereas the Angelic Doctor’s actual teaching, thankfully does. (If we want to be clear, it exists in a speculative objective unity, though with a foundation in reality. However, we need not get into those niceties of material logic here.)

    I hope that some Dominicans lower the boom on him. Heaven knows that a mere layman will get no hearing. Do not let him warp Thomas like so many others have.

  25. mithrandirmonk says:

    I apologize for trolling two comments…. I had not read this humdinger: “’Prudence does not give foundation to the norm, it presupposes it,’ Kasper writes. He draws the conclusion that the ‘norm’ is not applicative mechanically in every situation, but prudence is needed as fits the case.”

    He shows his own legalism anyway. That is not what prudence is about. Prudence counsels, judges, and (most importantly) commands the means to a due end. The ends are taken from the moral virtues themselves (cf. ST II-II q.47 a.6), which provide, as it were, the practical parallel to first principles—because the end functions as such in the moral order. Furthermore, without the moral virtues, prudence itself will not be rectified in its acts. Indeed, if we follow eminent Thomists (among whom we can number Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange on VERY good reasoning, I assure you after considering this for some while) even ACQUIRED (i.e. NON-INFUSED) prudence at best exists as a virtue only in statu facile mobilis For them to be fully virtues, one must be in a state of grace.

    But I digress—THE ENDS OF PRUDENCE COME FROM THE MORAL VIRTUES. (One can then also make a study with regard to infused prudence and its relation to the theological virtues and the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. Those matters are above my pay grade, being a mere philosopher.) Yes, the prudential command is, strictly speaking, incommunicable because it commands the will, giving it the formality applying to this or that instantiated case. Nonetheless, morality comes from the moral object that specifies the will. Is it, or is it not proceeding from a virtue? That is what it all boils down to. It is not the luke warm “let’s be realistic” attitude that Kasper in effect is trying to push.

    Gosh, we need a primer that would include Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, Maritain, Simon, and Fr. Benedict Merkelbach, et al.. I assure you that on these matters, Yves Simon especially throws great light, far more than His Eminence. (And, as I have been working on a translation of a text by Garrigou-Lagrange, I have realized how much Simon learned from him—likely via Maritain.)

    In any case…. I bring my public stroke to an end.

  26. THREEHEARTS says:

    I my earlier comment on a noted catechetical American Jesuit. one of the best of his time, author of the Marian Catechism for the Missionaries of charity. This catechism is, in my opinion, the best available in the church today for the entrance into the faith. What I missed and so have fr kasper was that Christ did not take long to remove Moses’ bill of divorce as it was wrong. If the germanic trained theologian thinks he is above Christ and has no conception of the Beatific Vision and what it means, then we have other idiosyncrazies to come from his understanding and opinions of the Catholic Faith,
    Fr Z writes about scandal well this Priest scandal is looking in the wrong direction to where this scandal is pointed, It reminds me of what might be the real spirit of Vatican 2, The Roman God Janus who looks both ways at once and speaks out of two mouths.

  27. Stevetop815 says:

    So what do we do? We were promised up and down during the synod, and before and after the encyclical by all the apologists that nothing would be changed, that nothing COULD be changed.

    And yet here it is, trotted out by the leadership a little bit at a time. A total break from continuity.

    I am being asked to change my beliefs to those that dont align with the Church teaching for 2000 years.

    How can my faith and Kasper’s belong in the same Church? I am on the verge of losing hope. Please help. I try as hard as I can, but every one of these developments, every one of Francis’s homily condemning the “rigid” and “scholars of the law”, something is chipped away.

    If the Church is reduced to a tenant, fine. I will survive. But when the Church is torn down from within and the remnant finds itself on the outside, what do we do? Where do we turn?

  28. mlmc says:

    I was surprised that the Bishops at the Synod voted to keep the current understanding (and frankly- greatly & prayerfully relieved). I cannot fathom how a change to allowing divorced and remarried to receive eucharist doesn’t overthrow both the teaching of Jesus (in say Matt 19:3-9) or make the Pope’s/magisterium’s interpretation wrong for 2000 years. In such a situation doesn’t that effectually mean the end of the Catholic Church? Are we not all protestants then? If the Pope/magisterium was wrong for 2000 years on marriage, weren’t they probably wrong on other matters? If we can reinterpret what Jesus said in Matthew & Mark, can’t we reinterpret much else? If the Popes from Peter to BXVI couldn’t get it right, how can we expect any Pope to be right on important matters? Where our past Popes unusually dense-where they not, in many instances, men of great faith & wisdom (not to mention the Bishops at the great Councils)? If many weren’t great men of faith then can’t anyone interpret scripture for themselves?’ Are we Mormon’s-with our Bishops able to reinterpret scripture with new revelation? Are we G-ds messengers/faithful servants or his editors? I say this in all earnestness & am greatly troubled by the implications therein. Perhaps Fr Z can enlighten me in how such a reading of the “spirit” of this kind reinterpretation is wrong.

  29. Tom A. says:

    I would name it Bergolioism. He could put a stop to all these heretical notions if he wanted to. Sad truth seems to be that he doesn’t want to.

  30. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    comedyeye asks, “Is this not a slippery slope which can lead to Communion for those in a same sex union?” If one wanted to design something to that end, this is what at least one such construction would look like!

    “Amoris Laetitia does not change an iota of the teaching of the Church, yet it changes everything.” That sounds a lot like what the Dutch Old Catholic Archbishop Joris Vercammen persuaded his church to, almost exactly 10 years ago: blessing ‘the exclusive and faithful lifelong unions of baptized homosexuals as a contribution to the mission of the church’, while insisting it was completely different from Christian marriage and did not represent an attempt to equate the two.

  31. Thank s for the reference to St. John Stone. It’s my religious name (onomastico). When I entered the Augustinian’s this was the religious name that I received 39 years ago. There is no consolation for a Catholic in cardinal kasper’s admission, except that it only confirms what I suspected all along. End it makes me think of Saint John Stone. He was the only priest in his monastery to refuse to sign the oath of supremacy. I have often wondered about how lonely and betrayed he must’ve felt, to be the only one in his community to read the signs of the time. These days it is one of the few things in which I take consolation. May Saint John stone and all the holy martyrs pray for us.

  32. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    “One reason is that it teaches through implication and ambiguity rather than through unmistakable clarity.”

    There it is, Father.

    Your quote draws my mind to Genesis 11. Perhaps our being confounded is what we deserve for our collective hubris. Perhaps it is our time for chastisement.

  33. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    SenexCalvus says, “It’s no coincidence — but neither is it Providence! — that this further clarification of Pope Bergoglio’s intent has been published on the eve of his pilgrimage to Lund to celebrate the Protestant Reformation”.

    “St John Stone […] died under Henry VIII opposing the original version of the Kasper Proposal.” In 1531, Luther and Melanchthon seem convinced that Henry VIII had no grounds for putting away Catherine, but would be justified in taking an additional wife, whereas Henry was convinced that his connection with his late brother’s widow was a nullity, which he fervently hoped the Pope would recognize and declare. “The Wednesday after St. Nicholas, 1539” Luther, Melanchthon, Bucer, Corvinus, Adam of Fulda, and Lanyngres joined Winther in signed a letter originally of his drafting giving the same advice to Philip of Hesse: an additional wife, by way of “dispensation”!

  34. Ray says:

    It is a scandal not to deny; he is a Cardinal??

  35. SenexCalvus says:

    The only criterion of truth recognized by today’s world is ‘inclusivity’, and it may be this very Shibboleth that proves the absurdity of Pope Bergoglio’s innovation. The now-overthrown sacramental discipline did not discriminate between hetero- and homosexual adultery. Both were regarded as mortal. This new dispensation, however, admits of no demonstrable distinction between the two, though there is no indication in the letter of the exhortation itself or in the elaborations of its sanctioned interpreter that cohabitating homosexual couples are embraced by the license it affords. Indeed, Pope Bergoglio seems to have kept faith with his predecessors’ teaching in this regard (except, of course, in the case of the Spanish woman whose same-sex partner was referred to by the pope as the hormonally transfigured woman’s “wife”.) AL and the pandemonium it has incited, then, may be the first incontrovertible case of “homophobia” in an officially — and I do use the word reluctantly — promulgated Church teaching in living memory.

    The former Church, for all her caricatured faults, was the homosexual’s true spiritual mother. She never singled out his sin as being anything other than a sin among sins. Now, it seems, some sins have been found to be “more equal” than others.

  36. tzard says:

    I wonder if someone who’s been divorced (against their will, for example) and their spouse goes ahead and “marries” civilly – might have some sort of canonical case to be brought if a priest, bishop. or cardinal were to negate their actual marriage like this? It seem to me all this kasperian thought depends on nobody objecting to the divorce.

    I’ve heard of cases where challenges to annulments have been brought to Rome by the other spouse. Even though rarely.

  37. kurtmasur says:

    Hmmm, all of this mess just leads me to wonder what happens next regarding all the souls that will be lost because of these heretics? Indeed, I fear many people will be deceived and their souls will be lost because of this deception. Will a lot of such ignorant souls go to hell by continuing to live in adultery and also receiving communion in good Kaspar-inspired conscience (assuming that they followed such heretical teaching out of pure ignorance at best)? I wouldn’t want to know what fate awaits the souls of church leaders like Kaspar for leading many souls of the flock into deliberate perdition.

  38. TNCath says:

    I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that on many issues such as this one the Church is headed toward heresy, and Cardinal Kasper is one of the leaders of it. I’m not so sure Pope Francis isn’t far from it as well. If things like this continue in the Church, we are headed for some very difficult times ahead.

  39. Matt Robare says:

    I am reminded of three things:

    1) Lucky’s monologue in “Waiting for Godot”, which descends into logorhea.

    2) Orwell’s famous phrase from “Politics and the English Language”: “Political language . . . is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” The whole essay, of course, is excellent for parsing this bilge.

    3) What Gandalf says to Wormtongue in “The Two Towers”: “The wise speak only of what they know, Grima son of Galmod. Therefore be silent and keep your forked tongue behind your teeth.”

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  41. Rob83 says:

    I feel sorry for his Eminence. Here is an 83-year old man so preoccupied with the passions of the flesh that he has lost sight of the passion of the Lord and of the things to come. He should take a page from his fellow countryman and retire to a monastery for prayer…after publicly repenting of the error he is spreading.

  42. iamlucky13 says:

    This involves a huge jump down the text, but the two statements both seem to be about the magisterial nature of Apostolic exhortations

    Kasper critiques Cardinal Raymond Burke [there’s a surprise] for his statement that post-synodal documents by the Pope are not necessarily binding. Instead, Kasper states, ‘This position is refuted by the formal character of an Apostolic Exhortation as well as its content.’
    ‘This provision obviously does not have the same weight than the general norm; anyhow it is not a final binding magisterial statement.'”

    In the same document, Cardinal Kasper seems to be saying that Apostolic Exhortations are by their nature magisterial, but they are “obviously” not magisterial.

  43. JabbaPapa says:

    comedyeye :

    Why is Cardinal Kasper now the authoritative voice on this issue?

    He most certainly isn’t — but the cronies and lapdogs of the “liberal” Press are keen to trumpet the views of any anti-Catholic ideologue they can lay their hands on.

    And VERY keen to exploit and report any perceived divisions in the Church, and politicise them, in order to promote the Heretical ideology of Americanism, whereby political “camps” and “left versus right”, “liberal versus conservative”, “democratic” “debate” in the Church are to be defined as the “source” of “authority”.

  44. Clinton R. says:

    If only there was a bishop with the courage of St. Nicholas, who punched the heretical Arius at the Council of Nicaea. How much longer will Cdl. Kasper be allowed to spout heresy? Domine, miserere nobis. +JMJ+

  45. JonPatrick says:

    I see a lot of parallels between what is happening in the Church and in the political realm outside the Church, namely that the leadership is perceived to no longer have the interests of their people as the central focus but are pursuing their own ideological ends; therefore the people have begun to take matters into their own hands. In the world today we see movements in several countries (the Sanders and Trump movements in the US, Brexit and the turmoil over immigration policies in Europe). In the Church, pockets of resistance are growing to the perceived willingness of Church leaders to compromise with the world – in this case the leaders are saying Church dogma is not changing but the world’s belief that one cannot deny sexual pleasure to any 2 consenting adults somehow trumps the Church’s beliefs.

    I have faith that due to Christ’s promise the true Church will prevail; I don’t feel as sanguine about the political situation as battle lines harden and one hears the sounds of pitchforks being sharpened.

  46. Gabriel Syme says:


    These “learned” men think that this is going to bring a tidal wave of fallen away Catholics back to the Church. Just the opposite. Clarity and certainty are what people desire the most. This brand of “lukewarm dishwater Catholicism” is going to drive more people away – in droves.

    That is absolutely correct my friend and all the more shameful given the collapse of protestantism stands as a warning against superficial religion.

    Of course, a big portion of today’s largely modernist Catholic hierarchy are protestant-in-all-but-name. They do not see themselves as guardians of the truth, but more as politicians who can chop and change policy to win approval and attract votes.

    Therefore the current trajectory of the Church should not be a surprise to us.

    Most of the hierarchy are so out-of-touch with ordinary Catholics and what they expect from the Church, that it is frightening and a sure example of the “diabolical disorientation” Our Lady warned of at Fatima.

    It is a generational thing, as I even see it among older Diocesan priests. I recently had a conversation with some of these, (nice guys) and found they were noticeably dismayed to learn that I attend the traditional mass.

    Moreover, they were of the opinion that:

    (i) if the faith is challenging to people’s lifestyle..
    (ii) if liturgy is not relatively puerile and wholly congregation-centric…
    (iii) if mass lasts more than 35-40 minutes..

    then “that just drives people away”.

    No, the winning formula is the exact opposite to that. The exact opposite.

    (hint: look at the previous 2,000 years).

  47. Kerry says:

    Kasper stands atop Orthanc, about him the ruins of Isengard. Gimli,”Ahh!. This man stands words on their heads. Legolas, put an arrow in him!”

  48. stuartal79 says:

    Stevetop815, Amoris Laetitia does NOT allow Catholics who are civilly divorced and remarried without an annulment to receive Holy Communion. It merely promotes use of the internal forum. In spite of all the spin to the contrary, as Cardinal Muller and many others have clearly said, nothing in regard to worthy reception of communion has changed.

    While nothing has changed, the problem with Amoris Laetitia is that it lends itself to abuse.

  49. stuartal79 says:

    I am not praising or defending Cardinal Kasper, but I will throw a few thing things out there. He is quite orthodox in some ways. He has clearly said women can not be ordained as priests or deacons. He has also warned priests against blessing homosexual unions.

  50. JabbaPapa says:

    More Americanism in action, from the Fishwrapper and Amerikan brigade — (from Wikileaks)

    You are invited to a Public Dialogue of the


    at Georgetown University
    Seeking the Common Good in a Time of Polarization:
    Pope Francis, Catholic Social Thought, and
    American Public Life
    Thursday, October 16, 2014
    7:00 p.m., Gaston Hall
    Seating is limited. RSVP here.
    The Dialogue includes opening remarks by:
    Cardinal Theodore McCarrick
    Archbishop Emeritus of Washington
    And a structured conversation with leaders of major Catholic publications, including:
    Fr. Matt Malone, S.J.
    Editor in Chief, America Magazine

    Paul Baumann
    Editor, Commonweal Magazine

    R.R. Reno
    Editor, First Things
    Caitlin Hendel
    President and CEO, National Catholic Reporter

    Greg Erlandson
    President and Publisher, Our Sunday Visitor

    Moderated by:
    John Carr
    Director of the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life;
    Washington Correspondent, America Magazine
    To learn more about the Initiative on Catholic Social Thought and Public Life at Georgetown University, visit or email

    Julian Assange, a committed atheist, has described the political will within the Clinton campaign as “a demon“. Regardless of his atheist opinions, his fierce commitment to Truth is clearly a Grace from God.

    If only there was a bishop with the courage of St. Nicholas, who punched the heretical Arius at the Council of Nicaea

    There are hundreds of thousands of ordinary American Catholics who can punch these Amerikan Heretics in the nose on November 8th.

  51. robtbrown says:

    How generous are the actions of the German hierarchy, who are so willing to share with the entire Church the agenda that reduced the Church in Germany to rubble!

  52. Stephen Matthew says:

    Cardinal Kasper is a master. Perhaps of sophistry, but certainly a master of something.

    His position has a certain sort of logic, a certain kind of attractiveness, an allure if you will. It mixes a bit of truth with a bit of distortion. It mixes a bit of what we need to hear with a bit of what we want to hear.

    I do see a bit of where Card. Kasper is coming from. If a person came to confession and had a grave sin that they fall into frequently and for an extended period, in large measure due to some force of addiction/habit/compulsion most confessors would counsel them it is a grave matter but probably subjectively only venial and thus it would be a point of discernment regarding receiving communion (assuming the person really is repentant and does intend amendment). There are penitents who struggle with the same sin for years with seemingly little progress in the moral life, yet they keep trying. The Cardinal is extending that basic framework to a radical degree, and perhaps in some tiny number of very particular cases it may even be reasonable, but as a general norm it is obviously deeply flawed.

    The Cardinal may well intend this to be some intense spiritual journey of conversion, repentance, and amendment of life; but we all know by the time this gets rolled out large scale it turns into a free pass. This sort of stuff would be OK as a point of theological discussion/disputation in a university or seminary, but to present it to the faithful and the world as the right understanding of the teaching of the Church is terribly dangerous on so very many levels. No one should present mere personal interpretation as if it were the teaching of the Church. That road leads to heresy, schism, and worse.

  53. Gerhard says:

    Kasper -scientific? Had to do a double take there. Pray for him and Pope Francis. Their eternal salvation depends upon it.

  54. Gerhard says:

    Don’t get too excited, it’ll all get far, far worse. This is just start. But as the Men from Norcia remind us, deep roots will outlive the frost. And Our Lord has already overcome the world. So let’s keep calm and pray on.

  55. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    “He has also warned priests against blessing homosexual unions.” (stuartal79) Something good to hear – about which I’d like to know more. It seems like he’s set himself and others up for problems in that (wider) area, here, whatever his intentions.

  56. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Tangentially, I’ve just happened, en route to looking things up, to get acquainted with Hartmann Grisar’s Luther: a critical biographical study from about a century ago, which looks quite interesting (in the Internet Archive in German original and English translation) – and got wondering, as 2017 approaches, if anyone has any other (more recent?) reading recommendations in this line?

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