Pope Francis: Communion for Divorced & Remarried "Does not resolve anything"
|Cardinal Carlo Caffarra|
Sandro Magister reports today what could well be the turning of the tide with regard to the controversial Synod on Marriage and the Family.
“This does not resolve anything,” Pope Francis has said with regard to the idea of giving communion to the divorced and remarried. Much less if they “want” it, demand it. Because communion “is not a badge, a decoration. No.”
In his latest big interview Jorge Mario Bergoglio [ahem...Pope Francis] threw cold water on the expectations for substantial change in the doctrine and practice of Catholic marriage, which he himself had indirectly fostered: “Overblown expectations,” he called them. With no more references to the innovative theses of Cardinal Walter Kasper, which he had repeatedly extolled in the past but now seems to be keeping at a distance.
On the other hand, for some time now Pope Francis has looked with growing attention and esteem at another cardinal theologian, who upholds ideas on the “Gospel of marriage” that are perfectly in line with tradition: the Italian Carlo Caffarra, archbishop of Bologna.Magister is probably the most respected Vatican insider who really has his finger on the pulse. This constitutes an important change in a process which many have speculated was an exercise in exposing heresy within the Church; an opportunity to see who was interested in following Christ and who was prepared to capitulate before the spirit of the times. And we have certainly flushed them out!
++Caffarra, Archbishop of Bologna is one of the five anti-Kasper cardinals who assembled their ideas in the book “Remaining in the Truth of Christ” which was reportedly removed from delegates mail boxes by pro-Kasperite ++Baldesseri (see here). And right from the start he was one of the most determined and incisive critics of the bombshell speech read by Kasper at the consistory of February 2014, see > Cardinal Caffarra's firm stance on communion for "remarried"
Magister also couples the growing influence of ++Caffarra (a professor of moral theology, and a specialist in marriage, family, procreation) with the appointment of Cardinal Sarah author of a book-length interview, "Dieu ou rien. Entretien sur la foi,” published in France by Fayard, in which he rejects at its root the idea of giving communion to the divorced and remarried, which in his judgment
“is the obsession of certain Western Churches that want to impose so-called ‘theologically responsible and pastorally appropriate’ solutions that radically contradict the teaching of Jesus and of the Church’s magisterium.”Completely agreeing with Müller, Cardinal Sarah also says:
“The idea that would consist in placing the magisterium in a pretty box and separating it from pastoral practice, which could evolve according to circumstances, fashions, and impulses, is a form of heresy, a dangerous schizophrenic pathology.”And after emphasising that the question of the divorced and remarried “is not an urgent challenge for the churches of Africa and Asia,” he declares:
“I solemnly affirm that the church of Africa will firmly oppose any rebellion against the teaching of Jesus and of the magisterium.”In effect, the African bishops elected so far as representatives at the next synod by their respective national Churches all hold the same unyielding positions as ++Sarah does, with the sole exception of Accra archbishop Charles Palmer-Buckle, who has said that he is in favor not only of communion for the remarried but also - hypothetically - of divorce, because of a false idea of Ultramontanism which means he cedes everything to the pope’s powers of “binding and loosing” everything on the earth.
Of course many loyal Catholics with more faith than this miserable sinner will say "See, I told you there was nothing to worry about", however I don't think we should cease in our prayers or support of Christ's truth for one second. We do now have a clearer picture of which prelates we can trust to uphold the deposit of faith, and which are quick to change their colours if it will gain them political favour.