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.




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