Cardinal Walter Kasper has said that he had the support of Pope Francis to advance his proposal for allowing Communion to divorced and remarried Catholics. But the German cardinal said that the Pope will not go forward with the proposal unless he sees a consensus of support at the Synod of Bishops.
In an interview with the Catholic News Service, Cardinal Kasper said that before advancing his proposal at a meeting of cardinals, “I spoke beforehand with the Pope himself; otherwise I would not have touched this problem in my conference.” He said that the Pontiff encouraged him to raise the question of whether divorced and remarried Catholics might be allowed to receive Communion.
However, while he “had the impression” that the Pope is open to a change in Church discipline, the cardinal said that Pope Francis will not act without support from the Synod. The Pope, he said, “wants a great majority of the bishops behind himself. He does not like division within the Church and the collegiality of bishops.”
Regarding the content of his proposal—which he has defended energetically in a series of interviews during the days leading up to the Synod meeting—Cardinal Kasper repeated his charge that his critics are taking a “fundamentalistic” approach by citing the words of Jesus in the Gospel of St. Matthew (19:9) that “whoever divorces his wife, except for unchastity, and marries another, commits adultery.” He said:
We have to integrate such a word, one word of Jesus Christ, in the whole context of his message. We cannot take only one phrase and suddenly make all the consequences. We have to integrate it in the whole message of love, and of mercy, of forgiveness, of a new chance.
The cardinal also said that it is insensitive to characterize 2nd marriages as adulterous unions. “We must be very careful also in our language,” he said, saying that such words insult and offend people to whom the Church should be appealing. (Source)
I am pretty sure that Jesus was not too concerned about who He gave offense to…whether they were liberals or conservatives. And yet to listen to Cardinal Kasper is to think that our overriding objective is to avoid offending people, even if they are objectively in a state of sin. Curiously, Cardinal Kasper is not too worried about offending….oh…say…the rest of us who have a vested interested in keeping our marriages together or the noble sacrifices people have made by living by the Church’s teaching and not engaging in adultery…..ooops….did I say a forbidden word?
The good news in all of this is that because Pope Francis has a Vatican II approach to things, he’s not going to override the synod and the other bishops are not going to go along….and certainly not the majority that Cardinal Kasper is looking for.
Vatican II’s synodal approach to church questions is going to sink a heretical teaching. Oh what ironies we are living through.