Prominent Cardinal Opens Fire on Kasperism

Fr. Z provides the key quotes from an article written by His Eminence Velasio Cardinal DePaolis over here. The Cardinal touches on both communion for the re-married and homosexuality.

There’s another paragraph in the Cardinal’s article which Fr. Z doesn’t quote and to which I’d like to draw your attention.

In reality, the regulation in effect is not only a “current discipline,” as if this were a matter of a merely ecclesiastical norm and not of divine norms ratified by the magisterium, with doctrinal and magisterial motivations that concern the very foundations of Christian life, of conjugal morality, of the meaning of and respect for the Eucharist, and of the validity of the sacrament of penance. We are in the presence of a discipline founded on divine law. It is not emphasized enough that the documents of the Church in this matter do not impose obligations on the part of authority, but rather affirm that the ecclesiastical authority cannot act otherwise, because this “discipline” cannot be modified in its essential elements. The Church cannot act otherwise. It cannot modify the natural law or respect for the nature of the Eucharist, because this is a question of the divine will. (Source)

Let me break that down for you. There are several very key points here.

The teaching on communion for the divorced and remarried is intimately tied to many other Church teachings, of which he quotes a few: conjugal morality, the meaning of and respect for the Eucharist, and of the validity of the sacrament of Penance. If you don’t understand why this is so, please do yourself a favour and pick up a copy of Christopher West’s Theology of the Body for Beginners. It’s less than 9 bucks at Amazon. A great stocking stuffer. Marriage and sex are at the very foundation of Christian life. It doesn’t get any bigger. You owe it to yourself to understand this.

There are other teachings tied to this issue, including behemoths like the inerrancy of Scripture and even the divine origin of Revelation (because if the Revealer can contradict Himself so flagrantly, then He’s not God at all).

Another key point is that this discipline is not an invention of the Church. It’s part of divine revelation. As he says, the Church has no choice but to ratify what God decreed on this matter from the dawn of Creation. She has no power or authority to change this. She has no veto over God.

Here’s where a lot of Catholics and non-Catholics get confused. The Church doesn’t make up teachings and change ’em as it suits Her. Any teaching which is divinely revealed can never be changed, not even if 1,000 Popes were to say otherwise. That’s what the Cardinal means when he says “documents of the Church in this matter do not impose obligations on the part of authority, but rather affirm that the ecclesiastical authority cannot act otherwise.” He’s saying that the obligations flowing from marriage do not originate from Church authority. They are above Her pay grade because they come down from the mouth of God Himself.

In other words, this whole debate over Kasperism is a waste of time.

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