divorced & remarried

The Worthy Reception of the Eucharist Neglected at the Synod

The 2015 October Synod on the Family has ended.   So, what came out of it? A final document was handed to Pope Francis that was a fine academic treatise on the family. But media reports say that Cardinals, archbishops and theologians are still wrestling over whether the Synod opened a way for "some" divorced and [...]

“Internal Forum”: How Kasper May Achieve His Goal

The admission of divorced and “remarried” Catholics to the Eucharist was one of the neuralgic issues at the recently concluded Synod on the Family. The German Episcopal Conference in general and Cardinal Walter Kasper in particular had been agitating for change in ecclesiastical discipline to allow some divorced and “remarried” Catholics to Holy Communion, with [...]

Is Marital Indissolubility Only an Ideal?

One way that dissidents (including various episcopal conferences that had been derelict in teaching Catholic marital morality in the immediate periods before and after Humanae vitae) sought to dilute the clear Magisterial teaching the encyclical provided them was to reduce its vision of married sexual life to an “aspirational norm.” In other words, the idea [...]

Synod Ends Without Disaster . . . Mostly

Never in the 50-year history of the Synod of Bishops was there so conflictual and raucous a session. The 14th Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on “the vocation and mission of the family in the Church and the contemporary world” began under the shadow of a shocking announcement by Polish Msgr. Charamsa. This [...]

When Ratzinger Said No: A History of the Kasper Proposal

Like the good German that he is, Cardinal Walter Kasper has a wonderful capacity of persistence. Like a dog with a bone, he is able to keep fighting against incredible odds long after a lesser man would have packed up his things and gone home. The case in point is, of course, the question of [...]

Is the Ambiguity in Synod Documents Intentional?

Although it is unpleasant to discuss, there is a medical disorder (sometimes called “pica”) in which a person desires to eat non-nutritive, non-food substances like glass, plastic, dirt, wood, and apparently almost anything else one could imagine. Besides their disordered desire to eat harmful things, people with pica otherwise seem to be normal and are [...]

Sin and the Reception of the Eucharist

In Evangelii Gaudium Pope Francis reminds us that the Eucharist is “not a prize for the perfect but a powerful medicine and nourishment for the weak.” Amen to that. It is also true, however, that the Eucharist is not magic dust. The Eucharist, like Jesus during his ministry, “works” in relationship with the faith of [...]

Doctrine, Discipline and the “Kasper Proposal”

One of the questions commonly raised in relation to the proposal of Cardinal Walter Kasper that the Catholic Church should admit to sacramental penance and Holy Communion certain civilly divorced and “remarried” individuals—who continue to act as if their second “marriage” were valid—is whether the Church’s traditional prohibition of this proposal is a matter of [...]

The Africans Will Save the Synod, the Church, and the World

I understand spin. Spin is not lying. It is capturing the narrative. If your side does not capture the narrative, the other side will. The other side most likely will have the media on their side so capturing the narrative is so much easier for them. Still, you must try. Therefore, I fully understand the [...]

Prophetic Voices are Heard in Germany

Cardinal Müller, head of the CDF, condemned German heterodoxy at a book signing in Regensburg recently.  In what can only be described as a philippic, Müller spoke of growing ideological tensions within the ecclesiastic establishment, as members attempt to change Church teaching regarding the divorced and remarried over and against truth and ecclesiastical unity. With all available [...]

The 2015 Synod: The Real Issue at Stake

When the Church gathers in Rome from October 4-25 for a much-publicized Synod, the centerpiece topic will be “The Family.” We are living in a time when the family unit, which is at the heart of the human experience, has taken on “hot button” status. That is troubling enough. But other fiery issues are also [...]

Kasper’s Flawed Path to Mercy for Divorced and Remarried

In a recent interview with EWTN journalist Raymond Arroyo, Cardinal Walter Kasper stated that Pope Francis never approved his “proposal” that would permit divorced and remarried Catholics to receive Holy Communion. Most of those commenting on Kasper’s clarification focus on this aspect of The World Over interview. After all, this seems to be something of [...]

German Bishops have Prepared the Way for a De Facto Schism

The German bishops are offering us a new kind of Christianity despite their claim that no change is being proposed other than in pastoral approach and language. A new pastoral approach would be commendable if applied as Pope Francis intends, to accompany the broken, wounded and lost into the field hospital that is the Church. [...]

British Priests Speak Up for Marriage

Since almost the beginning of the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops that considered the "Pastoral Challenges of the Family in the Context of Evangelization" over a fortnight in Rome last October, the Church has been wrought with anguished debate on the future of marriage and human sexuality. That’s the way the matter has been reported in [...]

German Bishops Support Kasper’s Proposals on Remarried Catholics

St John the Baptist gave his life in the defense of marriage. The German bishops, by coming out in favor of Cardinal Kasper’s proposals on divorced and remarried Catholics, took the side of Herod. In effect, they concluded that St. John’s position was too antagonistic and decided to issue a letter of congratulations to Herod [...]

Defending the Truth About Marriage

The Catholic Church is the only major institution that still teaches the truth about marriage: that it is an indissoluble, lifelong union between one man and one woman, open to the transmission of life. And one of the consequences of this truth is that divorced persons who have remarried while their spouse is alive may [...]

Is Pope Francis Duping Liberals on Marriage?

It’s no secret that liberals adore Pope Francis. The more secular the “progressive,” the greater the reverence for the new man in the Vatican. Liberals—which includes liberal Catholics and Protestants as well as secularists—see the pontiff as the long-awaited liberator of the reactionary Roman Catholic Church. And yet, if you think about it, there aren’t [...]

Waiting: A Concept Applied to the Divorced and Remarried

The concept of waiting is central to Christianity, but only a few have devoted much thought to it, most notably the French philosopher Simone Weil. In the famous Gospel parable, the servants are judged on whether or not they have waited through the night for the arrival of their Master. It shouldn’t be so very [...]

Theological Dissent and the Final Synod Report

One of the most controversial proposals contained in the final report (Relatio Synodi) of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family is found in paragraph 52—which deals with the possibility of Eucharistic communion for divorced and remarried Catholics: The synod father[s] also considered the possibility of giving the divorced and remarried access to the Sacraments of Penance [...]

Who Will Rescue the Lost Sheep of the Lonely Revolution?

Forgive me, Lord, if I use your words for an admonitory parable. You said to the Pharisees, “What man among you, having a hundred sheep, and learning that one of them has wandered into the wilderness, will not leave the ninety nine and go after the lost sheep? And when he has found it, will [...]

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