Wednesday, 12 March 2014

“Kasper’s encore: Either it happens as I say, or no synod”

This is my translation of an interesting post on Sandro Magister’s blog Settimo Cielo, entitled as above. I thought a few things were worth highlighting in bold.


Cardinal Walter Kasper is very angry at the publication by Il Foglio on 1 March – and disseminated in additional languages by www.chiesa - of his report to the consistory on 21 –22 February, in favour of Communion for remarried divorcees. This may be because the daily newspaper edited by Giuliano Ferrara has ruined the scoop the cardinal was already planning with the approval of Pope Francis, with the publication of his own report in the form of a short book, to be published by Queriniana.

But on 11 March it was L’Osservatore Romano which was the second media outlet to anticipate the issuing of the booklet, publishing almost in their entirety two other unpublished texts of Kasper, taken from his participation in the consistory, at the end of the discussion.

It was a very lively discussion, with many first-rank cardinals speaking against the theses maintained by Kasper.

In his reply to the critics, the German theologian and cardinal called on the tradition of the Church in support of his theses, and on the Eastern principle of “oikonomia”, on the Western principle of “epicheia”, on the equiprobabilism of St Alfonso Maria de Liguori, on the concept of prudence in Thomas Aquinas, and on the “sensus fidei” of the Christian people considered by Newman.

And he concluded with an either/or. Either the synod on the family will produce a change, or else it will be much better not to convene it at all:

“Regarding this question of ours, there are great expectations in the Church. Without doubt we cannot respond to all the expectations. But if we were merely to repeat the responses which have already been given, presumably going back forever, that would lead to a very serious disappointment. As witnesses of hope we cannot let ourselves be guided by a hermeneutic of fear. Courage, and above all, biblical openness (parresia), are necessary. If we do not want this, then we should rather not hold any synod on this subject, because in such a case the subsequent situation would be worse than it was before.”

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