Monday, October 24, 2005

Kasper: Not So Fast

The president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity has something to say to everyone who thinks a consultative Synod closed the question of optional celibacy

"I can't imagine that the debate on [married priests] is closed. This is a reality and we have to at least reflect on how to respond," said Cardinal Walter Kasper, head of the Vatican's department for Christian unity.

One point of discussion in the synod that ended on Sunday was the plight of millions of Catholics who have divorced and remarried outside the Church without an annulment.

Since the Church still recognises their first marriage, they are banned from receiving communion because they are considered to be living in sin. Synod documents voted by a majority of the more than 250 bishops present reaffirmed the existing policy.

But Kasper said the debate was not closed and suggested it would be up to Pope Benedict to make a final decision based on debate, including the minority opinion, during the synod.




Blogger John Hearn said...

Cardinal Casper can say anything he wants and often does. As head of the Vatican whatchamacallit that is the official organ for interfaith relations, he is bound to love endless "dialog" for its own sake quite apart from any real use it may eventually have, so it would be a shocking to hear him say that *any* discussion about anything was ever closed.

24/10/05 15:13  
Blogger Julie said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

24/10/05 16:03  
Blogger Barry Manilow said...

Cardinal Casper (sic) can say anything he wants and often does.

Kind of reminds you of John Hearn, who blathers and blusters on every Catholic blog accessible from the Western world, lest any one be deprived of his wisdom.

What the hell did senior citizens do before they had computers from which to pontificate?

Oh, wait! I remember . . . my grandmother said the Rosary all day!

And Julie, dear . . .

Thanks for the input. I'm sure Pope Benedict XVI will get right on the case.

In the meantime, what ya cookin' for dinner, luv?

24/10/05 16:12  
Blogger John Hearn said...

Gee BM, did I say something to upset you, or is it past your bed time?

24/10/05 16:23  
Blogger Jeff said...

Well, Cardinal Kaspar is right in this sense: the Church can always reconsider the discipline. But the mind of the Synod has been pretty well established and it's hard to see Pope Benedict, who obviously agrees with it, going back on what the Fathers decided.

Somehow, if a change is made it's always terribly significant, but if an age old tradition is reaffirmed, it's insignificant and meaningless. I wonder why that is?

I think Cardinal Kaspar, Pope Benedict, all you readers and I will all go to our graves with no change on any of these questions, beyond possibly some minor accomodations for the divorced and remarried.

24/10/05 17:33  
Blogger John Hearn said...


I find it really hard to say what is or is not significant about this meeting. I think that it all depends on what use the pope wishes to make of it. He is free to use one or more of this synod's recommendations to advance some initiative he may have in mind for the near future. I have kind of given up trying to guess what move BVXI will make next or just what direction he will try to move the Church. He's a smart cookie and understands the power and limits of the papacy better than any living man IMHO. I'm just going to kick back and watch for the next five years.

24/10/05 18:08  
Blogger Jeff said...

Oh, God, John, I hope he has ONE year, let alone five. And I think he's at bottom a gentler and more unassuming man than Wojtyla. I think he'll accomplish most of what he does accomplish through example and preaching and very little through force-majeur.

But I love him and I'll follow him anywhere.

24/10/05 22:16  

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